The idea in 60 seconds.
- Men are valued for what they produce.
- Women are hypergamous and highly selective in choosing mates.
- Some men don’t make ‘the cut’ (find a mate).
- Failing in this way is painful for some young men.
- Some affected young men will externalise the anger associated with that failure.
- Around 2 million boys go to school in the USA.
- Even a small proportion of a big number is a significant number of disaffected people.
- Add to that the fact that it’s easy to get guns in the USA.
- And these things may constitute the reasons some young men become mass shooters.
Introduction – Mass shootings are increasing in frequency. Why?
The USA is experiencing more than one mass shooting per day in 2022. My wife and I recently moved to Texas. One of the more recent mass shootings happened at a school in a town not far from here – Uvalde. As a result, we’re exposed to ongoing media discussions of mass shootings.
The culture here in Texas is very different from what we’re used to in Sydney, Australia, where we live most of the time.
For instance, I spoke to a Dallas barman recently. I told him I was surprised that I hadn’t seen any guns since I got here. He said it’s because Texas is a conceal-carry state, which worried me. They’re there – you just can’t see them.
He also didn’t know that in other countries like the UK and Australia, they’ve dealt with guns after a single mass shooting event.
All of this has left me wondering – what creates a person who would perpetrate a mass shooting?
Men are valued for what they produce.
Chris Rock has an interesting point of view. He says that only women, children and dogs are loved unconditionally. Men, he suggests, are loved when they provide.
There’s some evidence to support what Mr Rock says. Research says women are choosier than men when looking for partners, tend to go for older men, and search for someone with resources. Women are
Women are far pickier about their partners than men, for obvious reasons. Research from online dating company Tinder, which has close to 50 million active users, suggests men swipe right 42% of the time, compared to women’s 14%. In other words, men are three times less choosy than women regarding the partners they will consider.
- Looking for older men with resources:
Additionally, the research indicates that women are considered most ‘valuable’ by their users at age 18. Men are most valuable at age 50, presumably because they’re more likely to have resources when older.
Evolutionary psychologist Raab Saad says that across all societies, women mate across and up social hierarchies – they are ‘hypergamous’. Colloquially, they ‘marry up’ – and prefer men who earn more than they do.
Some men don’t make the cut.
I’ve heard it said that the US Army wouldn’t hire anyone with an IQ less than about 72. People with this intelligence level or below do more harm than good. That’s About 10% of the population.
It seems to me that intelligence is a good example. Whatever the threshold or criteria that women have, if they are hypergamous, a proportion of men constitute the bottom of the pile – the lowest levels of the hierarchy. These are the men who are ignored and whose attempts to secure a mate are fruitless.
Given the Tinder research, it seems that being left behind is especially likely for younger men.
Failing to meet the social standards required of a mate in this way is painful.
Social rejection can lead to anger. Research says this social rejection is as painful as a broken arm. Additionally, men are generally more aggressive than women, and they tend to externalise their anger and blame others. And when they see someone else act this way, they tend to replicate it.
The law of large numbers
In the USA, a typical year will see about 4 million kids enter high school across public and private schools.
What if we added some of those factors together? Start with all young men (no resources), and let’s say that’s 50% of the population.
- Pick those that make up the bottom 10% of intelligence (using the army figures) = 200,000
- Of them, choose the 10% who are most aggressive. = 20,000
- Of those, pick the 10% who had the ‘worst’ families = 2,000
- Of those, pick the ones who had been treated most cruelly by their peers = 200?
How would those young men feel? They might feel like they have nothing to lose, and they might be right. There are certainly examples of people with this sort of feeling. Some join Incel communities and express their point of view there. Some live in their parents’ basement and play video games. I am sure many do, even in the USA.
A proportion of these young men will become disenfranchised, bitter and angry. Some of them will externalise their anger and pain. And then, some of them live in a country where you can buy assault rifles on a whim and turn some of the perceived hate back.
I think they are your mass shooters.
Most people know the expression ‘It takes a village to raise a child’. I heard an interesting variant a while ago – ‘The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.’
Of course, none of this explains why most mass shooters are white.
I can’t help but think sex robots will be the thing which resolves this issue, but that’s a different blog subject.