Several hurdles prevent Red Pill theories from being taken seriously by the wider populace.
Author’s Note: Thanks to Jack for picking apart and expanding my previous post at Treasure State Psychological Services: Self Correcting Mechanisms (2020-02-06).
Length: 1,200 words
Reading Time: 4 minutes
The Manosphere has been around for over 13 years now, but in spite of the impact on individual men, it is still a fringe group within larger society. Red Pill theories have not gone mainstream, except as a topic of casual discussion. Why is this?
One of my guesses is that Red Pill theories are not taken to be “credible science”.
As early as 2008 I was floating balloons with my colleagues in the academic world, wondering if certain research questions might have traction. Back then I was wondering, if it is OK to worry about how sexual objectification of women in the media effects girls self-esteem, then why couldn’t we look into the impact of the way men are portrayed as stupid, bullying idiots might be impacting boys view of themselves. The silence was deafening, and that problem has not changed.
The question does not even register as a serious one, because the conventional wisdom is so startlingly anti-male that the notion of boys needing different role models in the media is ridiculous on its face. That has naturally progressed to the bold faced assertion that masculinity itself is a pathology, and this view is slowly becoming the official APA doctrine.
This essay will dive into this issue further.
Dr. Shawn Smith: Hypergamy (2020 February 2) Length: 42:50
Dr. Shawn Smith draws an interesting analogy between the way mainstream academia is an echo chamber and the Red Pill having the potential to do the same. He uses the topic of hypergamy to demonstrate.
0:00 An introduction to the Red Pill and Hypergamy
2:02 A review of 20th century psychology
8:58 How the Red Pill fills in the gaps
13:45 A historical review of Hypergamy
18:14 A brief review of key Red Pill ideas; hypergamy, ovulatory cycle, branch swinging, the “back up man”, and female initiated divorce.
19:41 A critique of key Red Pill ideas: Do Red Pill theories about hypergamy and/or ovulatory cycle predict female infidelity and divorce?
32:48 The problem of Replication Crisis
35:00 Implicit Cognition Theory cannot predict behavior, but it fits a narrative.
My Commentary on Smith’s video
Shawn Smith does a great job of tracing the history of hypergamy through the Indian caste system, and describing Hypergamy as a Red Pill construct.
I have a few disagreements with Smith’s assessments. At the 29 minute mark, he cites one paper that says,
“Ovulatory shift might nudge a woman toward Mr. Alpha for a one-night-stand, but their hormonal shifts don’t seem to affect their long term relationship decisions.”
Actually, having a one-night-stand IS a long term relationship decision, because this one experience will change the way she views all men from then after. Remember what CH said, “5 minutes of Alpha = 50 years of pining.”
At 29:30, he dismisses the ovulatory shift as being too circumstantial to affect behavior, saying,
“That certainly undermines the Red Pill prediction that hormonal shift compels women to bang Chad while Dad is home watching the kids.”
Actually, this is exactly how it happens. But we can’t nail down hormonal shift as being the cause, because there are too many other cofactors, one of the most preeminent being opportunity. He makes several other related statements to this effect, and then concludes at 30:14,
“Ovulatory shift appears to affect women’s desires, but not necessarily their behaviors.”
Anyone who has lived with a woman for any length of time knows that a woman’s desires have a direct impact on her behavior. This effect only evaporates after she’s old enough to have fully outgrown her desires.
He disregards mate-switching hypothesis and sperm competition as unimportant and uncompelling.
Despite his doubts about the authenticity of many Red Pill precepts, in the end, Smith concludes that the Red Pill does have value to men, because it helps them face difficult truths about life that they would not otherwise have the chance to realize.
Problems surrounding the creation of an aura of authenticity around Red Pill concepts
Smith’s video brought up several reasons why Red Pill concepts are largely confined to Men’s spaces on the internet. I talked about this problem in a video I made last year.
Self-Correcting Mechanisms (2020 February 5) Length: 13:44
I’ll go over Smith’s reasons here and add some of my own.
1. The Null-Hypothesis
The way scientific research is structured poses some problems. Most reproducible research experiments are based on a null hypothesis. This means that you make an assumption, and then try to prove that it’s wrong in some way. When the results of the experiment lead to a confirmation of the null-hypothesis, it means that “there’s nothing to see here”. In effect, it makes the research worthless (from the perspective of the individual researchers ego investment*). A rejection of the null hypothesis only comes after you can safely conclude that something has statistical significance, meaning that there is some kind of correlation which we did not expect to see.
For example, Dr. Smith’s video had an unstated null hypothesis, which would be something like, “Red Pill theories about hypergamy and/or ovulatory cycle predict female infidelity and divorce.” Then the latter half of his video tried to discredit this claim. As you can see, it was hard to do, and his conclusions were indeed thought provoking, but not very convincing.
To give another example, if I did a study of male privilege, then I would have to choose a hypothesis something like, “Male privilege exists”, and then try to prove that it doesn’t. But how can you prove such a thing? Even if it could somehow be proven, it may not stand through a peer review hosted by Woke psychologists.
* Research that accepts the null hypothesis is not entirely “worthless” because it can close a door that needed to be closed. But since everyone doing research wants to “discover” the next new thing (like male privilege) it is worthless to their professional reputation and careers.
2. The Replication Crisis
Towards the end of his video, Smith talked about the Replication Crisis. Put simply, this is when others cannot reproduce the same results that researchers obtained through clinical studies. He states that there is a lack of academic rigor within the Manosphere. This is definitely true. Academic rigor and a peer review system is needed to establish authenticity through repeatable procedures, but the Manosphere does not have the institutional framework to allow this.
3. An Echo Chamber Based on Personal Anecdotes
Smith mentioned that a lot of Red Pill theories came about through a crowd sourced discussion of abstract ideas. Confirmation bias amplifies these ideas until they take on a life of its own. But that doesn’t mean that those ideas are justifiably true, nor that they are replicable in other men’s circumstances.
4. The Personality Cult
A lot of Red Pill ideas are largely centered around individual personalities. Their personality is a confounding effect because it sells the ideas, it becomes popular, but the results that they get tend to be unreproducible for most other men.
5. Unique Human Factors
Behind the reproducibility crisis is a number of factors unique to the human condition. For example, some men have natural charisma, while others don’t. Peacocking might draw positive female attention for one man, but for another man, it comes off as clownish. How then can such behaviors be replicated well enough to withstand a critical review?
6. Lack of Support
Dr. Smith and I are qualified to discuss these things, and even write a scientific research paper about it. But if Dr. Smith and I ever tried to publish a peer reviewed paper about any Red Pill ideas, then it would be met with strong, immediate resistance, not only from within the academic world, but from the larger society as well. Another problem for me is that I don’t have a long history of research and publications that would make my work convincing to a team of reviewers. I’m also not willing to spend my precious time working on something that would only bring backlash upon myself and my family.
In this essay, I’ve assumed that a lack of scientific basis is a significant reason why Red Pill theories have not been taken seriously and have not spread beyond the Manosphere, and I have offered several reasons why this is could be the case. Overall, the lack of academic rigor and the lack of authentic reproducibility stands out as the most limiting hurdles that prevent some of the better and more useful Red Pill concepts from being taken seriously and going mainstream.
- Σ Frame (Jack): The Dispensation of the Red Pill (2018-04-07)
- Σ Frame (Dante Emerson): How Social Media Algorithms Fuel Political Division (2018-12-15)
- Σ Frame (Blair Naso) Red Pill Political Correctness (2019-03-17)
- Σ Frame (Scott): What would the world be like if everyone was Red Pilled? (2021-03-13)
- Σ Frame (Lexet): Charting the Red Pill World (2021-03-26)
- Σ Frame (Lexet): Red Pill Grifters (2021-04-07)