Social constructivism is a theory that says society forms most humans' interests and characteristics.
If you ask a social constructivist why women prefer men with a steady income over one close to bankruptcy, he may say television brainwashed women. But, in reality, no one but serial killers would prefer a life of eating the salty plastic taste of instant noodles over, well, food.
According to evolutionary psychologist Gad Saad, men and women are born with mating preferences irrespective of time, culture, religion, ethnic factor, and financial state. So whether in the 1184 B.C. Trojan war, or in the 2004 Troy film, men and women are attracted to the same traits—e.g., men prefer women with large eyes and an hourglass figure, and women prefer tall, athletic men.
Men, specifically, risk their well-being to charm women with these traits, with the most notable example being the male simp.
Male simps are men that do anything to draw females' attention. Often, these actions fall in the same level of nonsense as when Homer Simpson got obese to work from home legally.
But as absurd as their actions may seem, three evolutionary preconditions might explain why male simps exist.
Men value beauty more than intelligence and status.
Men across the world value beauty over intelligence and status when choosing a mating partner. The reason behind this preference, says Saad, is that beauty indicates youth and fertility.
Anthropologist John Marshall ran a study that shows this reality.
He studied how likely men and women were to start one of six types of relationships (e.g., casual conversation, sex, marriage) with people based on their looks and socioeconomic status.
In the end, Marshall found men don't care about a women's status while deciding who to be with. Instead, men chose women based on how they looked. They cared about looks, not goods.
In another study, Clinical Psychologist Robert Searle studied if men rated a woman's beauty differently based on the car she drove. First, a woman had a high-status Bently Continental G.T., and then she drove a neutral-status Ford Fiesta S.T. Like Marshall, Searle found men chose women based on women's appearance.
This instinct to focus on beauty may explain why male simps forget about a woman's red flags, like aggressiveness or severe alcoholism issues, and drool over her as long as she's pretty.
These men will go as far as going out with a female stranger instead of cracking a cold one with the boys. Or even worse, they'll take the money they saved to travel with the boys and give it to a bikini-wearing young female chatting from a Hot Tub on Twitch—yes, that's a thing.
Men take risks to separate from other men
Men have always done dangerous activities to appear braver, wealthier, and more boyfriend material than other men. Because of men's efforts to appear "better" than other men, says Saad, women prefer men that take risks successfully.
Examples of male physical risk-taking
Male teenagers and adults of the Vanuatu tribe jump off a wooden tower—with their feet tied—to prove their masculinity.
Unlike bungee jumping, the tower is unstable, made from wood, and on top of the ground instead of water. These men land a few centimeters (cm) above the ground. So they'll die if they land 1 cm beyond judged.
But, if they survive, they prove boldness: a balanced trade-off if you ask them.
Rituals from the Mawé people also show men's life-threatening attempts to impress women.
While most women can pick between millions of male Tinder profiles shirtless, lifting weights, or at the bathroom, women from the Mawé tribe only date men that withstand the constant stings from a glove of bullet ants on 20 separate occasions.
One sting, says Entomologist Justin Schmidt, feels "like walking over flaming charcoal with a 3-inch nail embedded in your heel."
The worse part is that men can't shred a tear, yet I'm weeping just by thinking about going through this.
The "modern" men also take risks to impress women. For example, men are the majority of parkour practitioners, skydivers, mountain climbers, and bungee jumping in crocodile-infested water.
According to evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, these sports make status differences between males public—they show which men are fitter, braver, have more energy. And thus help women choose men.
Examples of male financial risk-taking
Irrespective of cultural setting, says Gaad, men have always been the sex more inclined to gamble.
When men gamble, they show women their zeal to earn money—a desirable trait as long as they can keep the money. But they also send a (literally) costly message to women: "I have enough financial resources that I don't care if I lose 10k betting on red."
Moreover, a woman's mere indirect (photo) or direct (physical) presence makes men take more significant risks.
For instance, Economist Patrick Mcalvanah showed that men who see a photo of a woman before being asked to make a financial decision take more risks than those who don't see the photo.
Companies profit from men's "simping" tendencies
Companies don't know the Darwinian roots of men's simping behaviors. Albeit, through trial and error, they've profited from men's likeliness to be more impulsive and take more risks when around women.
During a chat with Jordan Peterson, Rob Henderson, a Ph.D. student in evolutionary and social psychology, said dating apps create fake profiles of beautiful women that "like" the profiles of new male accounts. These robot women will interact with these accounts, asking men the ol'reliable, "how's it going." But then they won't message men anymore. They'll ghost them.
Prey to their "simping" tendencies, men will use and even upgrade their plan to interact with more beautiful women.
"It's like drugs," says Henderson, "you give them a hit, and now they are hooked."
Like companies, some females suspect how to make men sacrifice their rationality, especially the male simp.
In 2019, 19-year-old Twitch streamer Belle Delphine put on a bathing suit,
entered her bathtub, and then bottled the water around her on small jars likely bought on Wish. "I am now selling my BATH WATER," she said, "for all you THIRSTY gamer boys."
She sold 500 of these jars in less than three days, proving gamer boys were indeed very thirsty.
Men are more likely to seek immediate rewards
Professor of psychology Irwin Silverman showed men are more likely to seek immediate rewards than women.
"Homo sapiens," say researchers from McMaster University, "evolved under conditions in which maternal care of young was obligatory but paternal care was not." As a result, men evolved as the gender more exposed to death, impatient, and physically fit.
For example, men risk their money and their life gambling, jumping from buildings, hugging crocodiles, doing dumb Tik Tok challenges, and using almost all illicit drugs more often than women because men are worse at foreseeing consequences.
Casinos know men's greater impulsiveness, especially around women. So they hire gorgeous women so men can ignore the future and focus on the potential short-term outcomes: awing women, getting rich, and showing other men who the boss is.
Of course, 99.9% of men mourn over wasting their savings on impressing a female stranger.
Embrace your inner simp
Don't blame social media for "imposing" beauty standards. Instead, blame the Homo Habilis, one of our 2.4 million-year-old ancestors.
Because of his choices, men's objectiveness fades when they think about a woman or see her.
But while every man tends simp, not every man is one. Men can remind themselves of these tendencies when women are close by and question if their choice would vary if women weren't involved.
Hopefully, the choice doesn't vary.