A reader writes in:
I want to ask regarding the subject of Hypergamy. Is it possible that a woman’s Hypergamy can be detrimental to their pursuit of marriage? Can women be too hypergamous for their own good? For example, if a woman really wants a husband and states that she wants to be in a job that makes six figures. She mentioned that she still wants someone to make more money than her and wouldn’t settle for less. What would be your response to that kind of situation?
Yes, of course. Hypergamy itself is a good thing as that’s how God created women. However, it can be easily twisted into a bad thing.
The Bible has constant warnings to men about the traps and pitfalls of beauty — what is sexually attractive to men. Beauty in women without godliness, character, and the fruit of the Spirit is often wayward leading to things like prostitution and the grave as the Bible puts it often in Proverbs. Solomon was led astray to foreign gods. Although we don’t worship literal foreign gods nowadays, our society’s foreign gods are pre-marital sex, hedonism, porn, chasing / idolizing / pedestalizing sex and many others.
Similarly, hypergamy was created to be good by God. It’s natural for a woman want to marry up and therefore respect her husband. However, hypergamy is easily twisted. Women pursue their hypergamy — what is sexually attractive to women — at the expense of similar traits that men can go awry with beauty such as godliness, character, fruit of the Spirit, and so on. This is why you have women chasing after PSALM – power, status, athleticism, looks, money – at the expense of morality.
You see this all the time. Women chasing after and cheating with professional athletes, Hollywood stars, politicians, and even some women send love letters to mass murders for the power and status. They turn down the so-called 80% of below average men and flock to the top 20% to spread their legs even though they know those men won’t be with them and are just using them for sex for chasing after athleticism/muscles, and looks. Gold digging for women has also been one of the oldest ways women chase after men to their detriment.
God makes it clear that sexual attraction for both men and women should be constrained. Men are warned constantly about falling for beauty and ignoring godliness. Women were (and are) supposed to be under the authority of their fathers and taught to not fall for or be seduced by attraction and ignore good character. Ignoring the constraints on sexual attraction leads to derangement as we can all see in society.
Simply put, it’s better to marry the “7” who adores you and follows your lead than to marry the “9” who has terrible character, gaslights you, and is probably going to divorce you because she’s contentious and rebellious. The same is true for woman to marry the “7” man they can be happy with and who would be a great husband and father rather than the “9” womanizing athlete who would cheat on her and divorce her and treat her like crap. Obviously, this are made up examples and life is not always a dichotomy, but it should help drive home the point.
Now, to come back to the question:
- A woman seeking to earn say 6 figures is neither a good or bad thing. Money is a tool that can be used for the Kingdom, but it is also very easy to fall in love with money which is the root of all evil (1 Tim 6).
- Likewise, a woman seeking a man earning more than her is neither a good or bad thing. However, it vastly constrains the amount of potential men that are marriageable to her. If she’s OK with that then she can have any constraints she wants on her prospective mate choices, just like any man can have whatever traits he wants (e.g. debt free, no tattoo virgins).
In general, a woman that makes 6-figs and requires her man to make more than 6 figs is likely going to be in statistical trouble. For instance, we have the female delusion calculator which is based on US census data. Given the following constraints…
- 6 figs
- Exclude married
- Any race
- Include obese
Only 4.5% of the population fit into that category.
Typically, a woman who makes 6 figs has advanced in her career and is probably at least late 20s, so she wouldn’t want to marry someone younger than her. She might have race preferences or might not. We’ll leave that the same. And then clearly 5’0″ is usually not a woman’s choice. We’ll be generous and say above 5’9″ which is approximately 6 inches taller than the average woman. And most women do not want to marry an obese man, so we’ll exclude obese.
Given the following constraints…
- 6 figs
- Exclude married
- Any race
- Exclude obese
Only 1.3% of the population fit into that category.
If you include the 6 figs and 6 foot height then you get down to .44% of the population having that.
This does not also include the fact that any men in this small percentage might not have the best looks, personality, or even any of the traits that are good for being a husband or father. Once you start to add those on the percentages drop even further.
Thus, as we can see a woman that has specific immutable requirements on sexual attraction — hypergamy via PSALMS + masculinity — is going to have huge statistical problems on her potential dating pool. It’s generally very unwise for women to do this.
For the vast majority of men and women there’s no woman or man that is going to fit 100% of the criteria you are looking for. That’s why it’s important to narrow down “needs” versus “wants.”
What I look for in a potential wife was a general exercise for me as a man to determine the main things I wanted to look for. Most of the requirements were around being a solid Christian, and obviously you want someone attractive to you but it does not necessarily have to be someone who is the most attractive person you’ve ever seen. This is where most people get tripped up. As long as they are attractive to you then they’re a solid potential candidate as long as they meet Christian criteria. Women’s expectations in general have been inflated much more than men’s but some men’s are too.
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There is another element to think about. A lot of a woman’s hypergamy can also be satisfied by BELIEVING, BUILDING up and ENCOURAGING her husband – being a genuine helpmate to him.
A lot of LAMPS category can be built up in a man with right encouragement from his wife –
L, A- Helping him dress better; cooking nutrtitious food and encouraging him to weight train
M. P, S – Supporting his career; researching his business ideas; being hospitable to his business contacts; creating a calm environment for him to come home to; massaging his feet when he is tired; respecting him in public and in front of kids; not making a fuss when he needs male companionship or male only spaces; being a good manager with finances etc.
A man can build himself up on his own. But with right support from wife it can happen FASTER – especially if he already has template and goals in place and she follows instructions. And as he grows in his SMV – that can satisfy his wife’s hypergamy. Investing in your husband is the most profitable investment there is and is the best way to deal with hypergamy. That and I Timothy 6:6 – Godliness with contentment is great gain
“A lot of a woman’s hypergamy can also be satisfied by BELIEVING, BUILDING up and ENCOURAGING her husband”
That is a tall ask. The number of churchgoing women I have seen who seem to have no problem tearing down their husbands right in front of them is truly sad.
Gotta call it out when you see it.