Science Daily has an interesting press release from new research about pick-up artistry. Turns out that pick-up techniques do work… on sexist women.
Hall and Canterberry set out to understand the characteristics of men who use aggressive court-ship strategies, based on speed seduction techniques described in the US bestseller “The Game” by Neil Strauss and the popular cable TV program “The Pickup Artist.” They also studied the characteristics of women who find such strategies appealing…
The results showed that men who were keen on ‘one-night stands’ were more likely to use aggressive strategies [i.e. pickup artist strategies] when flirting with women, and women who were also open to casual sex were more likely to respond to this type of aggressive courtship. In addition, men with negative, sexist attitudes towards women, justifying male privilege, were more likely to use assertive strategies, which may serve to ‘put women in their place’ in a submissive or yielding role during courtship. Women with sexist attitudes towards members of their own gender were more likely to be responsive to men’s assertive strategies. This suggests that they find men who treat them in a dominant way during courtship more desirable, because it is consistent with their sexist ideology.
Of course, a study of about a thousand Americans is hardly The Scientific Consensus For Now And Forever. However, this is, to my knowledge, the first time PUA techniques themselves were studied in a scientific context. I’m really happy with these results, of course, because they confirm my pet theory about how pickup works. (If only science were always so cooperative…)
Essentially, this piece provides some evidence for the theory of assortative mating– that is, that people tend want to date people who are like them, or who display certain behavior that signals that that person is like you (such as a geeky man with a thing for women in glasses, or a sexist woman who wants a dominant man). Pickup artistry is successful because it mimics the aggregate dating desires of a particular set of women– sexist women– well enough that the practitioner can become more sexually successful among this group. On the other hand, if the average pick-up artist were dropped in the middle of a munch, negs and fuzzy hat and all, the women would probably decide he was an asshole and go fuck Noah Brand.
For some interesting masculist analysis of the results, LabRat at Atomic Nerds has a post.