Sunday, March 14, 2021

Is love a concept invented by losers ? Now 80% of men are not marriage material !

I continue to be haunted by the ghosts of the past. 

During the interview with MissFITFI, she mentioned the article I wrote in 2007 about why 70% of men are not marriage material. This article was dated 1st July 2007, which was the day I went to ROM. It sparked so much controversy that I was questioned by journalists on the Chinese press. In those days, evolutionary psychology has not become popular yet and I was quite proud of my thought leadership regarding that topic 14 years ago. Now we have a lot of experts who use it to provide advice for men i.e Jordan Peterson.  

We will never know whether psychological research conforms to real life. The field has been known to be plagued by problems of replicability. Nevertheless, my assessment is that situation has possibly gone worse. My cousin was forwarding me some discussion about Sugar Baby websites in Malaysia and I reproduce some snippets here :

First, we have a 2015 study on Tinder with regards to how the men and women were liking each other's profiles to determine the dating economy. 

"It was determined that the bottom 80% of men (in terms of attractiveness) are competing for the bottom 22% of women and the top 78% of women are competing for the top 20% of men." (1) "

The introduction of dating platforms like Tinder and Sugarbook have the effect of commoditizing relationships and we're starting to see a shift towards the Pareto principle or 80/20 rule as markets become more efficient. So it comes as no surprise to see that the top 78% of women are competing for just 20% of men.

Unfortunately, I don't have access to where this research on Tinder comes from, but the idea that only 20% of men are marriage material can have a huge impact on income requirements to be eligible for marriage for dudes who do not look like a BTS band member.

The median income for a Singaporean worker is about $4,534 in 2020. Household income at 71st-80th percentile is approximately double that of household income at 41th-50th percentile. So if we can estimate the monthly threshold of a guy who is marriage material, it would be in the region of $9,068!

Commoditization of relationships would ultimately be damaging to single men. 

Imagine you are a single guy on campus with no income and some vague notion of your earning potential based on salary data of university degrees and our thought experiment supposes we normalise dating websites like Sugarbook. If a female undergrad knows that she can fetch a tidy sum from a dating app, why would she consider spending time on you when there are wealthier men who are willing to pay a fee for her company?

This can have damaging consequences for the emotional development of single men. For one thing, the campus will not be a training ground to learn how to relate to women emotionally. If they are lucky, maybe they will get to work on a few academic projects with women. 

(Good luck my juniors in engineering school!)

Many of them will join the working world with a lot of bitterness and will aggressively climb the corporate ladder so that they can get a Sugar Baby of their own. Of course, given that our Women's Charter will not allow men to take on more than one wife, so these women in commodified relationships may find themselves sidelined as they lose their physical beauty. 

But there is good news.

We're probably not at this extreme state of commodified relationships in Singapore yet because women do look at men holistically and many have a high degree of financial independence. But I think Singaporean men live in a precarious state with huge questions about industrial relevance and stable employment. If you want a guy to settle down, he needs a good stable job.

This may the real reason why I tell guys to emphasize pay over passion when choosing their first degree.

Still, I think there is nothing wrong if a guy makes the assumption that the age of commodified relationships is already upon us, so dudes need to buck up and focus on achieving greatness in the economic sphere. Even if women don't expect it, it may give their future wives more latitude to choose between career or family later on.