Kay Hymowitz has another fine piece on mate selection in City Journal, "Dating in a Time of Darwinism." She gives their due to single men who have been burned and become jaded about dating. They try to be nice guys, but get dumped for bad boys. They try to be chivalrous, but get attacked as sexist. Or try to be egalitarian, and get scorned as inconsiderate. So some men turn to a brutal Darwinian calculus that they will be more successful in their sexual conquests if they are more callous to women. As women's biological clock ticks louder, men can get away with even less consideration. And the saddest part is that many of them are right.
Hymowitz rightly notes that what a Darwinian approach to sexual relations misses the fact that human beings can be cultivated and civilized past their merely biological desires. This goes for women just as much as it does for men. There is a short-term sexual advantage to men in being jerks. Today there are more women with the freedom to do the same. But they are both still being jerks.
What strikes me about this sad state of affairs, which might affect as many as a fifth of single young men and women, is that it is so short-sighted. Most people do want to marry and have kids and stay that way. Nearly all of the pleasure-seeking young women of the New Girl Order harbor the desire for real marriage and a family, and most of the single young men now studying up to be Pick-Up Artists will want that, too.
The smart young men and women, like most of the students I teach, can figure out that if they want something eventually, they will be better off is they start seeking it now. The happiest group of grownups are likely to have married in their mid-twenties and gotten on with a solid, building-up life.