chris Prat 1

The Importance of Novelty and Critical Mass

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It should come as no surprise to anyone with the least bit of objective observational skills, that people are attracted to novelty. The more scarce the novelty generally speaking, the more highly it is sought. This phenomenon can apply to a variety of situations from the latest hard to come by high tech gadget, to a rare baseball card, or even a designer handbag. Though not often discussed, this tendency also applies to mate selection among humans. Traits that vary among the urban populations of the USA and Europe such as hair, eye, skin color and certain facial characteristics, are often seen as more attractive if they are a novelty and in short supply. This phenomenon is also present in virtually every species of sexually reproducing animal. All things being equal some characteristics are more sought after than others, due to a biological preference for bright eye catching colors. Perhaps the only bright side of a declining ratio of white males in society will be there increased value to women.

Yes Internalized preferences can also come into play, if social status or value is placed on a particular trait or set of traits by a culture. However culture or not white males of the fairer variety with light eyes, light hair or simply and of the facial features unique to white males such as a prominent dimpled chin are truly unique. Perhaps your only consolation upon becoming a minority will be you increased value to all races and ethnics groups of women. This will come in spite on how much Hollywood and mass media try and convince white women otherwise.
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Anyone who travels between countries or even areas within countries like the USA, can see that when a certain race or ethnic group is small or non-existent there is a natural curiosity towards an individual of this group. This curiosity is usually exaggerated if the racial or ethnic novelty is of the opposite sex. Women put much more emphasis on cultural norms and what their peers think than men. As such what men find attractive tends to remain relatively constant regardless of changing cultural pressures. However men have a strong attraction to sexual novelty. Men will always prefer paedomorphic (youthful) or neotonous features. Neotony meaning the retention of juvenile features into adulthood such as small noses, soft skin, hairlessness, and large eyes.

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This mode of selection intensifies when one sex outnumbers the other. The sex in excess supply has to compete for a mate and resorts to the same strategies that advertisers use to grab attention such as the use of eye catching or rare colors. Color polymorphisms or rare color variations that do not give a survival advantage in a species thus evolve to catch the attention of the opposite sex. However as soon as one color polymorphism becomes too common it loses its novelty and sexual selection for this trait ceases reverting back to the rarer color. American researcher Tomas Thelen demonstrated this phenomenon in humans through an experiment using varying percentages in hair color among models. Thelen prepared three series of slides featuring attractive women. The first one with 6 brunettes, another with 1 brunette and 5 blondes, and a third with 1 brunette and 11 blondes.  Male subjects then had to select the woman in each series they would most prefer to marry. For the same brunette, preference increased significantly from the first to the third series, increasing in proportion to the rarity of the brunettes.

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In most species the selection is on males. As can be seen with male song birds, peacocks and lions with their brightly colored feathers and manes. Rare color advantages have been studied most extensively in shorter lived species like guppies and fruit flies. The method of selection for such novel colors remains unclear. It might stem from the selection for beneficial mutations in a population. 90-99% of mutations are detrimental to an organisms survival.(Nicholas Wade 2014) If an organism in a population was to survive with such a mutation and not be picked off by predators or succumb to disease, it probably conveys a survival advantage in that particular environment. Color polymorphisms are also selected against when there is the presence of a related species or subspecies within the same geographic range, apparently because too much intraspecific variability makes it harder to recognize one’s own species and leads to hybridization and the extinction of the population or unique genetic group.

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These tendencies can be observed increasingly in the current situation of the Western Countries such as the United States and Europe. In earlier generations there was a strong attraction by native European descended women to exotic men as they were a novelty. However in recent decades the nonwhite male population of the west have increased to a point where they are no longer the exception but the norm.

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In the USA currently the majority of males born each year are nonwhite and they are the majority of the under 18 male population. As it should be obvious white males are the only ones who exhibit diversity in hair and eye color polymorphisms. If we track a color polymorphism like blue eyes in men from 1900 thru 2006, we can see just how novel “white features” are becoming. In 1900 when 80% of people married within their ethnic group, more than 50% of men in the USA of all races, African Americans included, had blue eyes. In 1950 due to an increase in intermarriage between European ethnic groups in the USA, this proportion fell to 1/3 of all American Men including all races. Blue eyes are a recessive trait and only perpetuate themselves if a blue eyed individual mates with another individual processing at least one allele for blue eyes. Yes, eye color is polygenetic but being homozygous for the gene OCA2 confers a 90% chance of having blue eyes. (“Eye color and the prediction of complex phenotypes from genotypes. Current Biology. 19) Homozygous means that you poses two identical copies of the gene for a particular trait. As out-marriage and nontraditional immigration increased since the 1970s, blue eyes continued to become scarcer. As of 2006 only one in 6 American men had blue eyes. (Boston Globe October 2006, Don’t It make My Blue Eyes Brown)

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As one would imagine if blue eyes were to become scarce in the men of a population there would be an increased desire for males with this characteristic. The same goes for any of the stereotypically “white” features such as green eyes, blonde or red hair. This tendency would be increased if the females came from a group where light eyes and light hair were rare to nonexistent. With this being said it should come as no surprise that recent statistics published by the dating site OK Cupid have drawn attention to the overwhelming preference of Asian and Hispanic women for white men. The data showed the response rates to messages of various heterosexual users by race to members of the opposite sex based on the race of their sender. The data was tracked between 2009 and 2014 and held relatively constant from year to year, with a slight increase in attraction to white men by Asian and Hispanic women, over the years cited. White women also preferred white men over other groups but not as much as Asian and Hispanic women. The only group that did not prefer white men were black women. Explaining this exception could be a self-selecting tendency of black female OK Cupid users. Since there are far more educated black females in white color fields than black males, an overwhelming number of black females online are probably searching for equally accredited black males as so few exist in their immediate vicinity. Black female college graduates outnumber black males by 2 to 1 and black females with graduate degrees outnumber black males 3 to 5 as of 2008. (Department of Education 2009) Strangely enough the lowest response rates to white women were from white males, while the highest response rates from white males were to Asian women. Additionally, all males with the notable exception of Asian males, responded to Asian women in the greatest percentage. Asian males showed the highest response rates to Hispanic females. Just what explains the attraction of Asian males to Hispanic females I have no theory for.

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The fact that this data is drawn from the online dating world could skew the results, as online dating self-selects for certain individuals who may not be looking for the same thing as those who meet in person, the traditional way. That being said proportionally far less women are going to nightclubs and bars in comparison to earlier eras. It has gotten to the point where a record number of establishments have had to close down due to lack of patronage. Men in general will only spend money at a nightclub if they have the promise of meeting a woman, and with virtually every major nightclub now in the USA having a higher ratio of men than women, many men are dropping out of nightlife as well. To see this point illustrated, you need only use any number of Smartphone Apps that track the sex ratio of various night time establishments and report them back in real time. Scene Tap is the most well-known. Some like the blogger Ram Z Paul, have theorized the fall off is due to increasing proportions of more aggressive nonwhite males at establishments, who in turn drive away women from more high trust ethnicities. The real answer can probably be found in the use of hook up apps like Tinder which give young women a never ending supply of male suitors to keep them entertained without the cost of going out. Since Tinder appeared in 2012 there has been a growing trend in night club closings. The city of Boston which I traverse regularly, is now littered with unused bars and clubs that have closed up shop. So the data Ok Cupid reports is most likely a very accurate picture of today’s 21-35 crowd in America.

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But what does all this mean if you are a European descended male, especially one with fairer features? Well if trends persist, as the attraction to novel eye catching features does in the animal world, it means that white men with light hair and light eyes will become ever more sought after by women of all races and no amount of Hollywood or media demonization will be able to undo that. This trend seems to have already taken hold in the USA, with its nonwhite majority looming. As for Europe there has traditionally been a high miscegenation rate for nonwhite men coupling with indigenous European females. Current scenes coming out of Europe during this migrant crisis is creating a different scenario. With the exploding number of aggressive, rape prone Arab and African men reaching critical mass, European women have cease to find them exotic. In these progressive times dark and handsome has given way to dark and scary.

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