How Female Attraction to Status Developed Human Intelligence

by Eric Disco
Nov 4

Jordan Peterson discusses how female choice led to the evolution of greatness in humankind:

Peterson says:

Chimpanzee females are non-discriminant maters. They will mate with any male. When they go into heat, which human females don’t, then any male is allowed access. The dominant males chase the subordinate males away. So the dominant males are more likely to leave offspring. But it’s not because of female choice.

Here Jordan Peterson seems to be referring to ‘agonic’ social structure, i.e. threat-based hierarchy which I’ve discussed before. The dominant individual, the one at the top of the hierarchy, is there because he is the most threatening. He is physically the toughest and can harm other individuals.

Humans evolved to a ‘hedonic’ social structure, a social structure based on contribution rather than threat. In this hierarchy, the top individual is the one that contributes the most to society.

Human society is hedonic in structure. The top individuals are the ones that contribute most: rock stars, athletes, nobel prize winners, politicians who ostensibly contribute, etc.

Peterson says:

Human females engage in hypergamy. Women mate across and up dominance hierarchies, men mate across and down. (If one goes up, the other has to go down). The socio-economic status of a woman determines almost zero her attractiveness to a man where as the socio-economic status of a man is a major determinant of his attractiveness to a woman. And it isn’t his wealth. It’s his capacity to generate and be productive and to share.

Because women engaged in hypergamy, we diverged quite rapidly because the selection pressure that women placed on men developed the entire species. The men competed for competence. The male hierarchy is a mechanism that pushes the best man to the top. The effect of that is multiplied by the fact women who are hypergamous peel from the top and so that the males who are the most competent are much more likely to leave offspring. That seems to be what drove our cortical expansion. That happened very very rapidly over the course of evolutionary time.


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1 response
Dalaila says:

I have to point out that Female chimps also sneak off to mate with some of the “lesser” males, too. & that not all “alpha” chimps got their position from being the biggest & the strongest. If the alpha is too violent, chimps have been known to band together to kill him, & his replacement might be more cooperative than violent. (Shockingly, a Psych Prof doesn’t have detailed knowledge about evolutionary biology :P)

Sexual selection, particularly female choice, drives much of evolution for most species. You weren’t doing this, of course, but I’ve read so many comments from bitter young men lamenting that because women can choose who to have sex with, they control the future of human evolution! As though that’s some new concept, & not a common occurrence across the entire animal kingdom.

But it is refreshing that you (& even Peterson!) are using the correct definition of hypergamy (marrying someone of the same or higher status), instead of the unscientific manosphere definition of hypergamy (women are constantly looking for a better, more “alpha” male to leave her current mate for.) One is an anthropological term, while the other was invented by the white nationalist F. Roger Devlin. I appreciate it 🙂