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Reproductive skew

From, the largest incel encyclopedia

Reproductive skew is the difference in reproductive success between members of the same gender. A "high male reproductive skew", for a species, would mean there is a wide gap of reproductive success among males.

A high skew creates severe inceldom. Numerous academic studies suggest a high skew is severely socially unstable, leading to concessions on the part of the 'alpha male', or societal compromises.[1]

Relevant human studies[edit]

  • doi:10.1002/ajhb.22785 Ellsworth, R. M., Shenk, M. K., Bailey, D. H., & Walker, R. S. (2015). Comparative study of reproductive skew and pair-bond stability using genealogies from 80 small-scale human societies. American Journal of Human Biology, 28(3), 335–342.
  • doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.09.001 Summers, K. (2005). The evolutionary ecology of despotism. Evolution and Human Behavior, 26(1), 106–135.
  • doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019066 Walker, R. S., Hill, K. R., Flinn, M. V., & Ellsworth, R. M. (2011). Evolutionary History of Hunter-Gatherer Marriage Practices. PLoS ONE, 6(4), e19066.
  • doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2008.08.025 Lenton, A. P., Fasolo, B., & Todd, P. M. (2009). The relationship between number of potential mates and mating skew in humans. Animal Behaviour, 77(1), 55–60.
  • doi:10.1007/s12110-013-9186-8 Betzig, L. (2014). Eusociality in history. Human Nature, 25(1), 80–99.Betzig, L. (2014).

Skew models[edit]

There are different theories of how chads arise in animals. The world can thank Joonghwan Jeon[2] for the summary of these theories.

The theories mainly consist of the: "transaction model", the near opposite "compromise model", "synthesis models", as well as "human models", The human models sometimes borrow from the other models.[3]

Transactional models / "Classical Optimal Skew"[edit]

One person maintains control over reproduction in social group, but 'yields' some reproduction to incels for group stability. The incel threatens leaving group to get sex from individual hoarding reproduction. Incentives for incel to stay in the group decreases as the group is more productive/wealthy, or as the incel becomes more incel.

  • doi:10.1016/s0003-3472(83)80222-x Vehrencamp, S. L. (1983). A model for the evolution of despotic versus egalitarian societies. Animal Behaviour, 31(3), 667–682.
  • (book section) Reeve HK, Ratnieks FLW, 1993. Queen-queen conflicts in polygynous societies: mutual tolerance and reproductive skew. In: Queen number and sociality in insects (Keller L, ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press; 45-85.

Although most of the studies reaching this conclusion appear to be of insects, many in the PUA community adopt this line of thinking with regards to reproduction in humans. Particularly, their conception of an all-powerful human alpha male who needs to appease beta males with his sexual crumbs in order to stay in power.

Compromise models[edit]

Each person competes selfishly for reproduction to the detriment of the group. Individuals do not leave the group and no one monopolizes production. Individuals, in the end, compromise in mate access, and thus stave off group dissolution.

Tug-of-war model[edit]

Most sexually successful animals are that way by virtue of being more competitive within a compromise model.

  • doi:10.1093/beheco/9.3.267 Reeve, H. K., Emlen, S. T., & Keller, L. (1998). Reproductive sharing in animal societies: reproductive incentives or incomplete control by dominant breeders? Behavioral Ecology, 9(3), 267–278.

Transactional/Compromise Synthesis models[edit]

Individuals offer incels incentives to stay in group, but individuals still compete for remaining reproduction after incentives are paid.

  • doi:10.1046/j.1439-0310.2000.00529.x Johnstone, R. A. (2000). Models of reproductive skew: A review and synthesis (Invited Article). Ethology, 106(1), 5–26.
  • doi:10.1073/pnas.0603005103 Reeve, H. K., & Shen, S.-F. (2006). A missing model in reproductive skew theory: The bordered tug-of-war. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103(22), 8430–8434.


  1. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_2710-1 Skew Theory Joonghwan Jeon
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Jeon

See also[edit]