Why female hypergamy is more important the male polygamy.

So I written a lot about how women are evolutionarily hypergamous and what that means in terms of dating and relationships, but I’ve ignored the other side of the story, which is that men are evolutionarily polygamous.

What do I mean? Here you go:

Hypergamy–women, absent social and/or legal consequences, will choose the highest value male they have access to and WILL NOT mate with men who have lower value than themselves.

Polygamy–men, absent social and/or legal consequences, will mate with more than one woman.

Note: this is what men and women will do ABSENT SOCIAL AND/OR LEGAL CONSEQUENCES.

The reason I’ve written more about female hypergamy is that it has a much greater impact on dating and relationships than male polygamy.


Because a woman can go from a lower value man to a higher value man these days without encountering much in the way of social or legal consequences. For example, if it’s just a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship there are almost no consequences–after all, sometimes relationships just don’t work. NBD. But even in the context of a marriage, there are far less social and legal consequences than in previous eras for getting divorced–especially for women, who are on orders of magnitude more likely to retain custody of any children and receive an ongoing financial benefit in the form of child support and alimony than men.

On the other hand, being a polygamous male is pretty much universally frowned upon. Is it illegal? No. But because our society still views relationships through the lens of monogamy, a man who expresses his polygamous instincts is going to receive scorn and condemnation unless he keeps it a secret.

He’s also likely to lose his woman if he has one, whether girlfriend or wife, when and if she finds out.

Now as we know some men cheat anyway, and this instinct to be polygamous, I would submit, is almost always why they do: because they can. But whereas we view a man cheating as a moral failing (and if the tacit agreement in his relationship is that it’s monogamous, then it is), it’s rare we apply the same judgment of a woman who leaves her partner for a man of higher status. In that case, it’s usually: you go girl!

So it’s not that men don’t have an evolutionary sexual strategy that’s amoral–it’s just that they’re not able to act on it in the same manner as female hypergamy. A final note: I don’t judge or blame women for being hypergamous any more than I judge or blame men for liking pretty girls.

It’s just how we’re wired ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

And that’s all I have to say about that.


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