2011 February 22 Tuesday
Chateau: Cultural Products As Emotional Pornography

Over at Le Chateau de Roissy a commenter makes the point that just as pornographic pictures make some males less interested in real life females cultural products for women serve as emotional pornography that makes them less willing to form relationships with the men within their reach.

But thankfully the world is blessed with the wit and wisdom ó and the sadism to tell it like it is ó of the Chateau. So you come here for the full truth, because you think you can handle it. And the truth is that modern women have been gluttonously absorbing their own version of expectation-raising and niceguy-desensitizing pornÖ

Emotional pornography.

A commenter writes:

Women do have problems with false expectations of romance. Emotional pornography has really screwed with their heads.

Think Lifetime channel movies.

Bingo. Biologically, women donít get off on visual porn the way men do. But that doesnít mean they donít have their own outlets for electrifying the beaver, or that they donít avail themselves of these female-centric outlets with the same gusto that men do of theirs.

Letís get right to it. Women masturbate to words. To stories. Stories as told in movies, books and TV. These stories share common themes, often featuring the hard-to-get, aloof alpha male preselected by tons of attractive women, and the maladroit beta male to play the foil. The alpha male in womenís fantasies is outsized. His kind exists in extraordinarily tiny numbers in the real world. Which makes his grudgingly surrendered love that much the sweeter.

A few years back (can't remember where) I read a version of this argument applied to Japanese women who in large numbers have lost interest in marrying the kinds of Japanese men who are within their range to attract. I think this is a real phenomenon. They've been fed books and media images that raise their expectations for men that exceed the sorts of men they can attract. Result? Birth dearth. At the same time the men are spending many hours playing video games, gambling with pachinko, or reading cartoon fantasies involving half-Japanese heroes (really).

We are no longer in what evolutionary psychologists call our environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA). Both males and females have cognitive processes selected for to make them reproductively fit in an EEA. But now we see pictures, videos, books that send us signals that make us maladapted.

Getting messed up by porn or Lifetime movies? Just say no.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2011 February 22 07:32 PM  Human Nature Mating

Michael L said at February 23, 2011 9:00 PM:

Devlin's "Home Economics" argued, among other things, that "romance novels" are the female variant of porn back in 2008. The short and very readable book / collection of articles is here http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/devlin_contents.htm

Quequeg said at March 1, 2011 12:47 PM:

I recall a standup comedian remarking on how women sometimes leave the theater asking "why can't you be more like Denzel Washington".

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