Why Young Women Are Stupid (If They Are): A Scientific Inquiry.

The Victoria’s Secret catalog mailing list is several tens of thousand times longer than the mailing list of the National Organization For Women. The feminist wheel has turned enough for brave male social scientists like me finally to consider from a scientific viewpoint an issue that has been with us forever.

Here is the issue: Anyone who has ever tried to win an argument with a reasonably well-informed eleven-year old girl and lost knows that something pretty bad must happen – on the mental front – to the females of our species shortly after they reach that age. (A lexicographic irony is that “front” is the French word for “forehead.” )

I won’t affirm that young women tend to be stupid, for two reasons. First, it would offend my young Indian niece, back in Calcutta. (The parenthetical part of the title is in deference to her feelings.) Second, as my super-intelligent wife often states in a an accusatory tone of voice, I am still a kind of closet liberal. This is the same wife who suspects Attila the Hun was kind of a big softie with his silly cut-off heads of his enemies hanging from his saddle. Incidentally, I owe my wife many of my late-life insights about womanhood.

As so often happens in a the Verstehen school of sociological philosophy, my first grasp of the problem came to me during a moment of idleness. I was contemplating my twelve-year old son watching television with his index finger in his nose up to the elbow. The incongruous thought hit me: “In two or three years at most, some pretty young woman is going to think him irresistible!” I started chuckling when the double thought crossed my mind that I was facing a veritable scientific quandary and possibly the seeds of its solution.

Now, to get a handle on the problem, we need to go back a few thousand years, a few hundreds of thousands of years actually. Let’s remember that we, humans, have only known agriculture and animal husbandry for about 10,000 years. Both were discovered or invented in the Middle-East, widely defined, or in India. (An Indian friend of mine keeps telling me that India already had advanced agriculture when my European ancestors were still trying to figure out how to come down from the trees. That is pure slander; my ancestors walked from East Africa; they did not brachiate.) Before that, for as long as there have been humans, and proto-humans, they led a precarious existence.

At the center of this precariousness lied the cave bear. Imagine a carnivorous creature with ten inch-canines standing ten feet tall when irritated and weighing in at one thousands pounds. (That would be the smaller ones.) Our ancestors hanged out near cave bears much of the time for two reasons. First, they used the same caves as the bears to protect themselves from the elements. Second, they soon discovered in themselves a predilection for the carrion cave bears left lying around, like all predators.

With this propinquity, meals where our ancestors were themselves the main course, and close-calls, unavoidably occurred frequently. That we survived as a species nevertheless calls for an explanation. Here it is below. Although it’s somewhat speculative, it’s in full accordance with what we know of the more general forms of human behavior and with evolutionary theory both.

Grandpa and Grandma Caveperson most likely lived in small extended family groups of fifteen and to fifty people. There are good technical reasons for this explanation centered around what semi-nomadic humans can carry and, especially, the number of babies and small children. In close encounters with cave bears, you can be sure there were young males, teen-age boys, who stayed behind to throw stones at the monsters. Probably no one could lob rocks heavy enough, or with enough force, to do serious damage to any bear. Yet, an avalanche of rocks could delay the bear long enough to allow many, or some, women with small children, and pregnant women to scamper away.

This survival strategy poses one problem though: The young rock throwers must have suffered a high rate of mortality. Thus, the very traits of brashness, courage, and accuracy that saved the group at Time 1 were in constant danger of disappearing with those who bore those traits and thus to be unavailable at Time 2.

Something had to compensate for the high mortality among the young rock throwers. That something is obvious: They had to be able to reproduce disproportionately. Do the arithmetic: If one in ten of the wimpy youths dies before siring offspring but one in two of the tough ones, after a short while, the propensity to stay behind and taunt the bears will disappear in the population. That is, unless the surviving rock artists manage somehow to have more than twice more children that their timid brothers and cousins. It turns out that the best solution to this quandary, widely observed in many species, including humans, is female mating choice.

If young human females actively wanted to mate with rock throwers, the right traits could be transmitted down the generations forever. But of course, intelligent young women wanted to have nothing to do with the morons. Accordingly, they reproduced, and their children survived, at an inferior rate. Thus, the traits supporting simple good judgment had a tendency to thin out in the relevant populations.

Female air-heads, who were hot for the delinquents, passed on their genes in large numbers to both their female and their male children. And so on, to this day where we encounter few cave bears. These things are hard-wired. It takes a while for a trait that was useful previously to vanish from a population because it has lost its usefulness. The trait may never disappears if it does not become dysfunctional in the current situation. And this, my friends is why young women would be stupid (if they were stupid).

Scientific note: One condition that would hasten the demise of female stupidity would be if intelligent women had more children surviving to reproductive age than stupid women. There is no reason to believe that they do, overall. By the way, that’s what the phrase “survival of the fittest” means: Having children who themselves have children.

If you are of the female persuasion, Dear Reader, and if my sage observations make you livid, or red with anger, as the case may be, stop and ask yourselves: How many of your girlfriends actively demonstrate their erotic attraction to bad boys?



About Jacques Delacroix

I am a sociologist, a short-story writer, and a blogger (Facts Matter and Notes On Liberty) in Santa Cruz, California.
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8 Responses to Why Young Women Are Stupid (If They Are): A Scientific Inquiry.

  1. Nick Craig says:

    a ha! I have decided why I like president Obama. I have always figured, and tell me if I am being silly (which I probably am) but the president positision to me seems to be that of a glorified cheerleader. So In that regard I think he is doing a great job. and I do believe it is up to the rest of America to solve its problems and not think that Obama is going to be a “white light” or whatever. Anyways, thats all I got this morning 🙂
    oh, and non relatedly we must have sunday soup day!

    I think he is more of an actor. He learns his lines well and delivers them very well. The problem is that he thinks he is the real thing. He is a man who has never accomplished anything, in any field. I know he did pass the bar exame but. it’s just an exam. (JD)

  2. First, hello, Jacques! As they say, long time reader, first time writer. I’ve been enjoying your short stories and other commentary. You have a gift for creative, entertaining writing and verbal argument.

    I am of the female persuasion, but your speculations don’t make me livid, or red with anger, but impressed enough to respond to your post. It’s very interesting how you begin with an assumption which is not a given but is controversial — obviously effective at drawing some readers!, decline to affirm it in an amusingly unconvincing way that hints that you might not really be serious, but then go on to speculate *scientifically* on how evolution might lead to such an outcome. By concealing your location with regard to your own argument, and knowing that *defensive* (vs. offensive) approaches to this kind of argument cannot win, you have created a Chinese knot of an argument that puts any who might engage it at a disadvantage. I mean this admiringly — I am no match!

    Going back to the initial question, it looks like you are wondering about why some young girls are attracted to “bad boys” and speculating that it is because “girls are stupid.” Personally, I would look for the answer in psychology vs. evolution. If, as it has often been asserted, heterosexual women tend to be attracted to powerful men, perhaps the rumored attraction to “bad boys” relates to economic and social power and confidence — qualities that women aren’t culturally encouraged to develop in male dominated cultures, but as human beings never-the-less need to be pscyhologically whole. In such a cultural context, the father is likely to be perceived as the more powerful parental figure, and early parental relationships inevitably color our relationships with the other sex. My guess is that, adjusting for factors such as the role that economic class plays in women’s and men’s choice of erotic relationships, attraction to “bad boys” would be positively correlated with male dominance in the home of origin and inversely correlated with female economic and social power, and confidence.

    All the best,

    • jacquesdelacroix says:

      Hi, Lisa. My argument is that if women were stupid, that would be why. Another way to put it is that to the extent that young women are stupid, that’s why. Alternatively: Stupid women are stupid because of this. The argument is useful, even if it applies only to a handful of young women. It’s obvious to me it does not apply only to a handful.

      In this connection, your counter-argument seems to me much too sophisticated and therefore, contorted. We agree that hetero women are attracted to powerful men. That’ s for reasons that have everything to do with evolution. “Powerful,” under primitive conditions, overlaps much with “rash,” or “mindlessly rash.” In support of this interpretation: very young women are visibly attracted to boys who are only bad, have had no chance to be powerful in modern terms and indeed, have little chance of ever becoming powerful except in jail.

      My story is tongue-in-cheek, of course but I think it contains a boulder of truth.


      • jacquesdelacroix says:

        PS “male-dominated cultures” is largely a politically correct feminist neo-myth. Women raise both girls and boys, seldom with any interference from any males at all.

        Write a full rebuttal and I will publish it (without editing, of course).

  3. Thank you, I may 🙂

  4. Erik says:

    Hey, tried to search for some sexist remarks regarding the stupidity of women in general and why they are naturally weaker as a product of evolution and survival for the “group”. Stumbled upon this. I like this kind of point of view on dilemmas in this day and age, being that you looking back to our origins (which I pretty much always do when i need an objective answer). You’re thoughts on the subjects are good indeed but not quite what i had in mind; I think we should compare ourself to other animals regarding the gender discussion in this day an age due to the fact that women after ww2 really have gotten their time to shine in the public room (which makes me mad personally, because the competition for work etc changes dramatically when you have a whole new gender to deal with). Anyways back to my point regarding finding reasonable answers to our questions nowadays by seeking our roots. This is in my opinion the best way to understand the HUMAN psychology which can be a bit tricky being that humans are so versatile and complex. But i am of the opinion that behind every complex question there is a simple answer, and the simple answer can be required by seeking out our roots. PS Im not really writing in a coordinated way now being that im writing out loud (did i just make that up?!) hold on!

    the problem is see nowadays regarding this subject is the fact that we are too decadent to realise the fact that once we lived a simpler time where each gender were born into doing one thing for each other, thus humans had not yet realised their strength of adapting in the sense that sivilazations had yet to be created, and you got to remember that sivilisations has only been around for some thousand years in others words the simple life where huamns lived alongside neanderthals and other sub-humans species, genders played an important role in other words the act of men dominating was for the greater good, in other words feminism is due to women’s selfishness and stupidity by not being in the kitchen. sorry this is mostly just a bunch of bs… but regarding sexism, i have an answer , it is all about the big picture: after the ww2 women has gotten more self-aware and what does that mean? well basically they realise their potential and then jumps into a society that has yet to adapt. Now the real question isn’t about women being weaker than men (we all have are strengths and weaknesses, men is just the naturals leader within primates, and women obey creating a perfect circle of life). the real question is: has our capitalist society adapted to women being such a big part of society, in my personal and fairly ignorant opinion: NO. in and objective scientific manner : I do not know

  5. Pingback: Mr and Mrs Rice Slaughtered on the Bloody Altar of Silly Feminism | FACTS MATTER

  6. Jerry says:

    They always were. At least most of them are today.

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