Analyzing why the dark triad traits are attractive in context with God’s intended creation of attraction and marriage

Per wikipedia:

Machiavellianism

Named after the political philosophy espoused by Niccolò Machiavelli, people who score high on this trait are cynical (in an amoral self-interest sense, not in a doubtful or skeptical sense), unprincipled, and cold, believe in interpersonal manipulation as the key for life success, and behave accordingly.[22] Scores on measures of Machiavellianism correlate negatively with agreeableness (r = −.47) and conscientiousness (r = −.34).[1] Machiavellianism is also significantly correlated with psychopathy.[23]

Narcissism

Individuals who score high on narcissism display grandiosity, entitlement, dominance, and superiority.[24] Narcissism has been found to correlate positively with extraversion (r = .42) and openness (r = .38) and negatively with agreeableness (r = −.36).[1] Narcissism has also been found to have a significant correlation with psychopathy.[23]

Psychopathy

Considered the most malevolent of the dark triad,[25] individuals who score high on psychopathy show low levels of empathy combined with high levels of impulsivity and thrill-seeking.[26] Psychopathy has been found to correlate with all of the Big Five personality factors: extraversion (r = .34), agreeableness (r = −.25), conscientiousness (r = −.24), neuroticism (r = −.34) and openness (r = .24).[23]

The secular manosphere has pushed the dark triad traits as sort of a paragon of masculinity that should be strived to if you want to sleep with women. Obviously I think that’s wrong. But sinners want to sin, so that should be no surprise.

However, one of the points of contention among various Christians is why dark triad traits tend to be attractive to women. This doesn’t really make any intuitive sense without some careful thought. As a Christian, I think the attractive traits were created by God for the purpose: A Christian understanding of attraction, and the role it plays in marriage Part 3

If the attractive traits were created for a good purpose and the dark triad tends to be attractive to women as well, then it must be true that either — or possibly both — that (1) the expression of attractive traits are attractive whether it is for good or evil and/or (2) that the patterning of attractive traits also has to do with the reciprocal rule to some degree.

Narcissism in particular ticks the check box of stimulating hypergamy to a strong degree. Women’s hypergamous impulses want to marry up, and someone who displays an attitude of dominance and superiority seems like they are going be someone with power and status. This may or not be the case, which is why women are attracted to narcissistic men who actually have high power and status and narcissistic men who are deadbeats. These tick off the power and status parts of PSALM. Couple that with the extraversion where many narcissists come off as charming social butterflys, and you have a recipe where women can easily be attractedto men who exhibit narcissistic behavior.

Machiavellianism and psychopathy are an interesting pair as they are similar and relate to each other. The machiavellian tends to manipulate people to do things for them. Machiavellianism plays off the Benjamin Franklin effect where doing something for someone makes you like them more than you doing something for that person. Psychopathy ticks the thrill seeking emotional side of women bringing them to emotional highs and lows. This is also similar to the fact that I believe most types of BPD are significantly correlated with psychopathy.

Both Machiavellianism and psychopathy have negative agreeableness, which I think tends to be a stronger factor for displaying masculinity. Girlfriends tend to be very supportive and agreeable with girlfriends, but demonstrating manhood or masulinity has always been about being able to disagree and “grow a backbone” with women. I’ve mentioned before that in college that it was vegetarian women who seemed to be the most attracted to me mainly because I put down eating like rabbits at any chance I got. Negative agreeableness with vegetarianism translated to having a backbone and not being afraid to show it with women. 

It appears that the dark triad traits tend to tick a bunch of the PSALM and masculinity traits, except instead of in a godly manner it is in a sinful manner. Just like authority was created to be good and used for good, it appears that the various attractive traits that were meant for good toward marriage can be expressed in evil ways as well.


In regard to #2 on attraction of reciprocal behavior, the general pattern is that most ‘social game techniques’ were created to induce attraction and make women want to have sex. Thus, if effective they tend to be the most effective on women who are promiscuous. Most players are probably not sticking around for a dozen dates or a committed relationship or marriage to have sex; they are likely going for women that want to sleep around by a couple dates. Hence, promiscuous men are going to select for promiscuous women. Like attracts like. Likewise, most women or men with physically abusive partners were typically abusive themselves in some way before as they go back to the same pattern of behavior, but someone growing up with a more healthy childhood generally will just leave at the first sign of abuse.

When I’ve seen some of these things in action in real life, it tends to be predominately #1 that is the major factor but there seems to be a bunch of #2 interspersed as well. It’s hard to tell how much of each is involved, but the vast majority of cases the women find those with dark triad traits very attractive compared to most other men. However, it is also the case that women who have average to strong character can spot these traits in some cases and will be turned off in which case I think the reciprocal rule starts to play a stronger role.

Another scenario may also be the common one that I have stated before. The vast majority of Churches are “beta factories” in that they turn men into nice guys instead of masculine men. When women only see attractive non-Christian men they assume that only “bad boys” are attractive because there are no good masculine representations of attractive “good boys.” Of course, women that are still attracted to “bad boys” even with attractive good men around typically fall into the category of #2 where they’re probably along the lines of more culturally Christian than true Christians. They easily fall into sexual immorality and temptation rather than fighting against it and their life goes from Church to total depravity. Perhaps I am giving this scenario a bit too much credit, but that’s what I’ve seen in my circles at least.


Overall, no Christian man should strive to do anything related to the dark triad, but I think knowing about why women are attracted to dark triad traits and being able to explain it to them can typically be helpful with counseling female friends, wives, and daughters to avoid seemingly attractive men of dubious and deceptive moral character. This is a huge problem in the Church as well.

Also, the institute for family studies has an article on how “family instability” increases propensity for dark triad traits. “Family instability appears to be a stronger predictor than family socioeconomic status for a child’s life trajectory.”

 

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8 Responses to Analyzing why the dark triad traits are attractive in context with God’s intended creation of attraction and marriage

  1. jorgen b says:

    Because the Old Testament.

    Jesus failed to recreate female nature to match the New Testament. So females still run on an Old Testament model of what a man should be.

  2. @ jorgen b

    Because the Old Testament.

    Jesus failed to recreate female nature to match the New Testament. So females still run on an Old Testament model of what a man should be.

    Not following you there. This post is examining why the dark triad can trigger attraction from the underlying PSALM and masculinity traits.

    If God created the world then He created marriage and attraction from the very beginning… before the fall, after the fall, the OT, and the NT it’s always been the same.

    In this regard, it’s good to examine why evil things can trigger attraction to counsel Christians to stay away from then and what good things can trigger attraction so we can help Christians get married and those in dead bedrooms.

  3. jorgen b says:

    I mean there was no alteration to change women to like men who turn the other cheek. Women still want genocidal conquerors like Moses, Joshua, and Caleb, Saul (genocided the Amalakites), David (genocided the Jebusites) whether they will admit it out loud or not. Women find genocide hot which is why they worship those who are genociding whitey.

  4. Jack says:

    DS,
    About the Benjamin Franklin effect…
    A while back, I did a study of marital conflict and satisfaction.
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/conflict-structure-and-marital-satisfaction/
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/2018/02/27/pushing-the-line/
    Gottman found that the Benjamin Franklin effect was a commonality of successful marriages. He concluded that it is a vital component and that couples should be trying to get the other to do more for ones self because this increases feelings of love and closeness.

    Your essay could be improved if you added a brief description of the “reciprocal rule” (Or if it is complex, you could add a link to an earlier post that describes it.)

    “Family instability appears to be a stronger predictor than family socioeconomic status for a child’s life trajectory.”

    This is not surprising to me. Marital quality vs. divorce has much bigger consequences on children than anyone suspects.
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/2021/02/24/parental-divorce-ruins-daughters-future-marital-commitment-and-confidence/

    “…it’s good to examine why evil things can trigger attraction to counsel Christians to stay away from then and what good things can trigger attraction so we can help Christians get married and those in dead bedrooms.”

    The nature of attraction is also a question I’ve been thinking about for the past few months. The Manosphere has offered us a good understanding of the physical traits that create attraction, and some psychology about that as well. But there is more to it than that. I believe there are metaphysical forces of attraction that are not well understood. This might explain why some men have “game” (charisma) while others do not.
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/2019/11/03/on-the-spiritual-significance-and-social-value-of-game/
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/2019/12/09/why-does-game-work/
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/2020/09/14/a-revised-understanding-of-game/
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/2020/10/16/mood-can-be-hypnotizing/
    https://sigmaframe.wordpress.com/2020/10/26/birds-of-one-feather-flock-together/
    Christian pastors like to claim that godliness is attractive, yet Dalrock and other CRP writers have said this is simply not true. I do think there are certain elements of godliness that are attractive. What has been said about this is complex and our understanding of it is confused. This needs to be sorted out. I’m working on a post (or maybe two) about this.

    Sorry about all the links in this comment, but I think it’s important that we pool our understanding of these topics.

  5. @ Jack

    Re: Ben Franklin

    Good to know that’s backed up by researched now too. Unfortunately, it also works those with high Machiavellianism so something to watch out for there, but definitely can be used successfully to strengthen a marriage.

    Re: reciprocal rule

    https://deepstrength.wordpress.com/2015/08/20/the-law-of-reciprocal/

    Added to the OP as well.

    The nature of attraction is also a question I’ve been thinking about for the past few months. The Manosphere has offered us a good understanding of the physical traits that create attraction, and some psychology about that as well. But there is more to it than that. I believe there are metaphysical forces of attraction that are not well understood. This might explain why some men have “game” (charisma) while others do not.

    If you’re talking about pure ‘charisma’ where someone is very good at engaging and getting to know others, there’s tons of non-pickup videos online about how to engaged in good listening and effective conversation. I feel like that’s a big part of what’s missing now that we’re 20+ years into the technological age where we have lost a ton of that staring at screens all the time. Given I;m not contending to be someone who has mastered such things, but I have improved a ton over time from the teenager that was scared to talk on a phone. Like any skill it takes practice.

    Christian pastors like to claim that godliness is attractive, yet Dalrock and other CRP writers have said this is simply not true. I do think there are certain elements of godliness that are attractive. What has been said about this is complex and our understanding of it is confused. This needs to be sorted out. I’m working on a post (or maybe two) about this.

    I think I’ve explained this effectively with the pastor and worship band leader vs the parking lot coordinator and janitor. All of them can be wholeheartedly doing it for God, but one position or status is definitely more attractive than the other.

    In general, it’s not godliness itself that is attractive, it’s either the underlying position of status or leadership OR the way in which something is done which is attractive. In terms of the latter, doing something with a shy vs a confident body language and attitude is going to leave two different impressions on someone.

    I also think the example in the previous paragraph may explain some of the differences where men are asking out women on dates and never responding. Their body language and attitude is sabotaging them and they don’t even know it. The way you hold yourself and the way you act is important in conjunction with PSALM/masculininty as well.

  6. Anonymous Reader says:

    Jack
    <Gottman found that the Benjamin Franklin effect was a commonality of successful marriages.

    Be cautious with John Gottman. His early work was very good and careful, but since he remarried to a feminist there has been a decline in quality.

  7. Anonymous Reader says:

    Related. “Promise keepers” has huge rally in Cowboy Stadium.

    https://www.faithwire.com/2021/07/21/thousands-of-men-on-their-knees-crying-out-to-god-promise-keepers-returns-with-massive-response/

    The problem with PK is the same old “servant leader” approach. It’s all very well to claim to teach men to be Christ-like leaders, but who is teaching women to be obedient followers?

  8. Sharkly says:

    Most “Christian” churches are beta-male factories run by false-teaching liars and excuse makers who hate the Bible’s truth. They are not called and taught by God’s Spirit but are churned out by money-grifting emasculating seminaries that train them in church growth industry tactics and how to remain culturally acceptable to this present world.

    God’s word teaches us that only men are images of our patriarchal male Father & Son Godhead,(1Corinthians 11:7) that women were the first defilers and are still the natural defilers of men,(Revelation 14:4) that men are gods,(John 10:34, Psalm 82:6-7) and that men have been given dominion and rule over all the creatures on this earth including women.

    In light of all that, it is only natural for a woman to desire a man who acts like he knows he is a god, acts like he knows that he is to rule over and subjugate his woman by divine mandate and never to “obey” her instead, and who is clearly aware of and able to direct her fleshly defiling nature, knowing she most likely does not possess the self-determined and rigid character of a fully self-actualized God-fearing man like himself.

    Such a well grounded man might seem to this generation like a Narcissistic self-centered master-manipulator, but he is really just a man who knows that he is a god, the image and glory of God Most High, created to take dominion over his wife and not to hearken unto her, and that his purpose and being are created superior to hers, and that the inferior and weaker vessel was not intended to image God, but is created to be in subjection, having been expressly made to serve her superior according to God’s divine order for the nature.

    And despite Feminists incessant bellyaching about all these “toxic” characteristics, the woman’s heart still wants an image of God to reverence. And if she is not continually made to reverence him, (Ephesians 5:33) she blames him for her lack of reverence and begins to think he is a substandard man and that she should have found a man she would naturally reverence. But yet their mother Eve disdained the rule of the perfect man in a perfectly sinless paradise where she lacked nothing. And they are truly her daughters wanting to usurp the glorious one ruling over them like envious Lucifer who also wanted to usurp and be like the Most High. Envious Eve took the fruit having been told that she might become knowledgeable “as a god”, because Adam, who was not deceived, already was the image and likeness of God.

    It really isn’t that complicated. Even though things have been corrupted, all of creation groans and subconsciously yearns to be restored to its intended purpose. Hypergamy is the basis for female attraction to men. It works great when a patriarchal society teaches all women from birth that they are inferior, defilers, and to be shamefaced and slow to speak in the presence of all men who are by creation their superiors. Women were observed to be the more sexually insatiable sex by the earliest church fathers. But false-teaching ruined that by elevating women into the image of God around 400-AD in Rome. And over the centuries that false theological basis for equality has gradually eroded the prevailing knowledge of men’s natural superiority, to where women are now finally treated as equals despite their glaring inferiority. Marxist Feminism teaches women to envy men’s natural position. Marxism and Feminism are both based upon envy, the woman’s most natural defiling sin. Envy is implacable. It just must be overruled, there is no satisfying envy. Convincing women that they are equal to men is the worst sort of deceptive evil,(Feminism) it sets them up for a lifetime of discontentment and implacable malice. Since nothing can ever truly make a woman the equal of a man, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God.(1 Corinthians 11:7) The truth would set us all free to be more accepting of who we were truly created to be. And women were created to be the helper and mate of a man, not to pursue their own conflicting agenda in accordance with falsely presumed equality.

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