Dating, Relationships, & Sex, Theory & Essay

If Women Ruled The Dating World, Would Monogamy Still Exist?

There were a ton of very insightful, articulate, and even soul-bearing comments left in yesterday’s “Where’s The Love?: Making sense of our dating and mating malaise”, but one reply in particular stayed with me for the rest of the day.

From Scipio Africanus:

“When women are free to date as they wish, they wind up all gravitating to the same 3 – 7% of the male population. If they can’t get those guys, they just drop out of the dating market altogether.

This is why monogamy was even created by societies in the first place.

When women have their way, the vast majority of people, male and female, get completely left out in the cold. Monogamous marriage essentially forces women to accede to some dude, somewhere out there. If a dude can’t pull a woman, he’s going to drop out of society too. Work hard and innovate to make money? What for? He ain’t got no kids. Take up arms to defend his homeland from threats? Yeah right – he’s not vested in it in the first place.

Like you mentioned yesterday, most women are completely underwhelmed by the vast majority of guys they encounter or know. I’m still uncertain as to why that is, but it’s the root of everything.

While I don’t agree with the numbers he cited –I think 7% to 10% is a bit more accurate than 3 to 7% — and the moral arbiter/monogamy promoter in me doesn’t want to believe what Scipio said is true, proof of this phenomenon’s existence can be seen on any college campus; the perfect control group as it’s the only place in America where groups of sexually viable people are forced to live together, have no real concerns about food, shelter, or safety, and have a relatively large amount of sexual freedom and choice.

And, as anyone who’s ever lived on campus will tell you, regardless of what school you’re at, the campus sexual dynamics usually play out the exact same way: a small percentage of the men (10%?)¹ have sole access to a much larger percent of the women (35%?), 40% of the men and 40% of the women are in monogamous relationships with each other, and the remaining 25% of women completely drop out of the dating game, leaving the remaining 50% of men to take out their sexual frustrations on gaming message boards and intramural ultimate frisbee tournaments.

Once these people leave the college universe and are forced to enter the real world, though, monogamy and marriage pressure starts to enter the fray. This finally gives Dragon Ball Z Zachary a realistic chance at finding a mate, which is absolutely fantastic for all of us because there’s absolutely nothing more damaging to the well-being of a society than an abundance of perpetually sexually frustrated men. (Why? Well, perpetually sexually frustrated men kill random people, and occasionally kill random people in bulk)

I wonder, though: if women had complete sexual choice autonomy and weren’t constrained by moral and societal pressure to be in monogamous relationships, would the “real” world be exactly like a college campus — with more relationship and family-minded women making the conscious decision to be in a polygamist relationship/marriage with a high status/high earning man instead of a monogamous relationship with a “mediocre to below-average” joe? I know it’s a hard concept to wrap your mind around, but while I know all women don’t feel this way, there are many women who value security (for themselves and their offspring) a bit more than they value the idea of having a man all to themselves. In this sense, one seven figure earning man can support 10 women easier than one $50,000 a year guy can support one.


¹Although these numbers were pulled directly out of my ass, I do think they’re accurate rough assessments

—The Champ

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at Or don't. Whatever.

  • Maximillian

    One, one, one, one! *diddy bops*

    In one of those black consciousness books that I read in the 90s– either ‘Black men, Single? Obsolete? Dangerous?’ or ‘In Search of Goodpu**y,’ I can’t remember which– polygamy was offered as a solution to save the race, so this is not without some credibility, as far as that goes.

    It would work in theory, like communism. In practice, however, greed works better. Someone will eventually get tired of sharing. Everything.

  • juicyjui

    Hmm… interesting post. Anyway I’m going to go ahead and upgrade your 7 – 10% to 15 – 20%. Now, that that’s corrected, on to your questions, forgive the ramblings, I’m on a finals study break.

    I don’t think if the real world = college women would automatically go into polygamist relationships. You have to have a certain mindset to be in a polygamous relationship and most people just don’t have it. You have to be willing to share and that not something most people are good at. In general I feel like the only thing that could probably transfer from college world to the real world would be the willingness to have casual and/or friends w/benefits relationships.

    I feel like sometimes women only have high standards but in reality they end up ‘settling’ all the time. While I agree with some parts of Scorpio’s statement, in the end I just don’t think the main problem with dating is that women have stopped settling. I think the problem is that people don’t really prioritize finding a partner as much as they did before.

    In the past, it seemed like it was more about finding someone compatible and then sticking with them. Now we have choices, women have school and work to think about and so the amount of focus on dating has decreased. Although we read about it about dating/relationships all the time, the fact is women aren’t being raised solely for marriage/children anymore and so that immense focus on finding someone has been lost.

  • Marriage and all that isn’t very high on my ‘To-Do List of Life’ in the first place so I’m probably not the one to answer this question but I will anyway… I’m done with finals, I got some times on my hands lol.

    (I have my own reservations about marriage but I won’t go into that here.)

    Being a college student and having friends in college I know a good amount who plan on getting married and starting a family but of course they want someone on the same level as them, or rather with the same mindset and on the same track.
    I find it frustrating that it seems as if women have to settle in order to find ‘happiness’ because they’re supposed to marry and have children blah blah blah (so says society).

    I’ll step down from my feminist soap box.

    All I’m saying is, our focus has shifted. We’s equals now (for the most part) ! So now instead of focusing on being pregnant and barefoot we’re focusing on MBA’s and CFA’s and being the CEO or CFO. We traded marriage and kids for degree’s and careers.

    I think if the mindset of college women were transferred over to the real world, there would be a lot less monogamous relationships. At least that’s how I feel.

  • Naomi

    if the real world were college, there better not be papers or finals! Regular tests I can deal with. Anywhooo I wouldn’t mind cuz I’d be one of the women in the 40%(though I think the number should be like 29% based on my campus life) that are in monogamous relationships. And some of the men in this group would still be sexually frustrated.

    I think a socialist approach to dating/relationships is better doe.

  • “would the “real” world be exactly like a college campus”?

    Nope. Because those women who participated in polyamory in college grow up and find Beta Boys more and more attractive. I’m one of those women, and I wouldn’t touch those suckas I dated in college [most of em are still out here trying to stunt on h*es, *yawn*]

    An innate female yearning {for most} is to have a family…a by product of that is that communities are built. Society/moral rules don’t determine that, that’s basic biology.

    But, if women were only looking for ‘high-status’ dudes then your original question/argument would probably hold?

    But if a woman is looking for companionship, friendship, love, and family…she’ll open her love life to more possibilities and society would probably be more family oriented.

  • ooh la la

    If I ruled the world. Imagine that. I’d free all my sons.

  • nubinkween

    Darn it, I m way too socialized by societal morals and pressures to provide a real honest to God answer…

  • I’m reminded of watching the show “Sister Wives” with my best friend and us looking at each other and saying, “Hey…that might actually work out.”

    I know that I am in a monogamous relationship and I truly love having my boyfriend all to myself, but I have to concede that comes from the societal implication of “love” being someone who puts you above EVERYTHING but God. I’m not sure that this is necessary as much as I just want to be able to say he’s all mine.

    The monogamy thing is more prescriptive than a natural inclination for me, I think. I’m happy in the situation I’m in, but I see how polygamy could work, and how, if I’m really honest, with the right people, it could work for me too.

  • nubiankween

    I have a question about the math, if 40% of the women are in relationships with 40% of the men ad the world represented a college campus, then wouldn’t that show that a majority of the men and women from your sample are inclined to be monogamous?

  • legitimate_soul

    I guess I’m the eternal optimist. The answer to your question is a “no” and I respectfully reject the same people liking 3-7%, 7-10%, or 15-20%because everyone does not like the same thing. The Infinite Wisdom of the Creator made variety the spice of life and people don’t even like the same kind of beverage let alone someone they want to be in a relationship or marriage with. Sure we may all accept a brand of soda, or water, but if given the option of sweet tea, fresh juice, wine, etc. we may prefer the many other options. Yes, there are some folks that a large group of people may find attaractive, but that is very different than relationship compatibility or spark. Plus, for every person who may be the measure of attractiveness and discussed on these very boards, there is always a dissenter who prefers the exact opposite of that person.

    I totally get the college campus metaphor, but “the big man on campus” may not be your type, is a jerk, has some idiosyncracy that totally turns you off, or you probably prefer the athletic and “sweet and smart” 2nd string guy in your Ethnic Studies class. Plus, what about those who rejected the incestous nature (for lack of a better word) of some college campuses and decides to date folks who went to a different school? It’s a lot of factors that make the pickings not as slim as many may perceive.

    I know I can’t be the only one who have seen a guy who was physically not my type or even “aesthetically belligerent” (VSB term) have spark or that “it” factor that made him most desirable and chexy! The fact that that even happens may puzzle the ‘ish out of you. Adversely, I know I can’t be the only one who have seen someone who was SOOOOO FOINE…..that is until they opened their mouth. I also know we have seen some couples who don’t even seem like they would physically mesh or match-up, but somehow it works.

    Sidenote: Did anyone see Cam Newton do the Top 10 on Letterman last night? Ooooooo weeeeee! (He’s over 18, so no R. Kelly, but I gotta give that youngsta’ his props!) Even Dave said if he “looked like that guy, folks could kiss his a$$”. Now even as I say that some might feel me, and some might not think he’s all that. But just in case you do, here ya go! :P

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