A British person living in Finland quickly gets to know lots of other people in the same situation: Britons and other native English-speakers, such as Americans, who have married or are otherwise partnered with Finns and moved to Finland. If you ignore the War On Noticing, then something is likely to strike you. The woman in the pair is almost always Finnish. Yet if you see an intercultural relationship in which the man is Finnish, the woman will almost always be East Asian or East European. The reason: Hypergamy. Women want to marry or partner with men of higher social status and earning power. But the phenomenon goes deeper than that. They also disprove the fashionable nonsense that “gender is a social construct.”
I was so fascinated by hypergamy in Finland that I decided to test whether my eyes deceived me. Psychology professor Guy Madison, at Sweden’s University of Umeå, joined me to look at every marriage in Finland between a Finn and a foreigner during 2013. We coded every country in the world for national status, such as Gross Domestic Product, national average income, and other markers.
We were not surprised by our results. They were precisely as we expected and predicted. Even controlling for geographic closeness and other important factors, Finnish women disproportionately married men from countries that were wealthier than Finland. Finnish men disproportionately married women from countries that were poorer than Finland. We published our findings in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science [Why do Finnish men marry Thai women but Finnish women marry British men? Cross-National Marriages in a Modern Industrialized society exhibit sex-dimorphic sexual selection according to primordial selection pressures, by Edward Dutton and Guy Madison, Evolutionary Psychological Science, 2017].
What we learned, at bottom, is that nationality is a kind of status. Men from high-status countries have access, on average, to greater resources than men from low-status countries. If you are from a high-status country, something is highly adaptive about “your people,” and as one of them, you may somehow share in the qualities that breed success.
The Evolutionary Psychology view: Generally speaking, men have nothing to lose from a sexual encounter. Indeed, it is in their interest to have sex with as many fertile women as possible, investing nothing in the females or any offspring and instead looking for the next “pump and dump.” Men tend to select for youth, a proxy for fertility, and beauty, which implies genetic health. By extension, those qualities suggest the woman will give birth to healthy children who survive to adulthood.
In contrast, women generally have a great deal to lose from a sexual encounter because they can become pregnant. That will leave them unable to do much physical work for some time, and they will now have a baby needing continuing care. Because mother and child are more likely to survive if the father invests resources in them, it makes sense for a woman to pick a man who has high socioeconomic status and resources to invest. So she marries hypergamously or “upward.” The man’s high status bespeaks intelligence and perhaps physical strength, signs of genetic health that the child will inherit. Even if the man pumps and dumps, it still makes sense for women to sexually select for status. Thus, the title of my encyclopedia article on the subject, Women Marry Up [Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science, 2018].
The only outliers in our study were places like Japan. Japan is richer than Finland, but Japanese women marry Finnish men. The likely reason is that Finns are white and reasonably wealthy. For Japanese women, a white, wealthy Finn accords high status and outweighs Japan’s greater wealth.
More recently, Prof. A.J. Figueredo and his colleagues at the University of Arizona have replicated what they call “Dutton’s Rule” by exploring genetic data from Latin America and from the Caribbean [Exchanging fluids: The sociocultural implications of microbial, cultural, and ethnic admixture in Latin America, by Tomas Cabeza de Baca et al., Politics and the Life Sciences, 2020]. In the female line these people are black or Mesoamerican, the authors found, but in the male line they are white.
From an evolutionary psychological perspective—and following our analysis of Finns—this makes perfect sense. The whites were the invaders or the otherwise high-status men in Latin America. They had conquered the black and Mesoamerican men and, manifestly, had greater access to resources. Conquering men are attractive; hypergamous relationships with them make evolutionary sense.
Another example: Occupied France during World War II. Contrary to what people might think because of post-war Germanophobic propaganda, German soldiers didn’t need to rape women to enjoy their companionship. French women willingly had sex with the successful invaders—collaboration horizontale. As far as young French women were concerned, German soldiers were the high status, Alpha males; French men were Beta losers, defeated by these Alpha males and so unworthy of the women’s gametes. After D-Day, Frenchmen vented their fury against the women collaborators by shaving their heads and exiling them and any children born of those dalliances.
One of the conclusions one can draw from our work: “gender” is not a “social construct,” as we are led to believe by the Woke Guardians of Science like, for example, the University of New Haven’s Felicia McSweeney. They argue, essentially, that men are big women and women are little men, but that other than a few physical differences, the “genders” are the same [Gender is a social construct and there are not just two, by Felicia McSweeney, CT Mirror, April 29, 2021].
Well, our work suggests that “gender” is certainly not a “social construct” because our findings fit perfectly with the predictions evolutionary psychologists would make; i.e., even in industrialized countries, where women can and do become lawyers and doctors, women marry up.
Bottom line: Sex differences are deeply hardwired, biological reality. It’s a fact, and it doesn’t care about Felicia McSweeney’s feelings.
Edward Dutton (email him | Tweet him) is Professor of Evolutionary Psychology at Asbiro University, Łódź, Poland. You can see him on his Jolly Heretic video channels on YouTube and Bitchute. His books are available on his home page here.