Women Who Love Pickup Artists Hate Women, Too

What woman would actually sleep with a pickup artist? One who hates other women.

The pursuit of heterosexual sex has always relied on a bit of low-grade sexism. Gender roles influence the traits that men and women code as attractive; they guide them through the first date ritual; they determine who will initiate sex and who will be branded a "slut" if she suggests it first. One group of men discovered that this delicate process could be accelerated if they stepped up the misogyny. These men call themselves "pickup artists," and their exploits have since been detailed in bestselling books, reality television programs, and extensive online forums.

Less is known about the women who will agree to have sex with them. Now, a new study hopes to shine a light on the pickup artist's "target"—and what she sees in him.

Traditional courtship is marked by "ambivalent sexism"—a mix of both hostile and benevolent attitudes toward the ladies. While hostile sexism is marked by "negative attitudes toward women and an overt justification of male privilege," benevolent sexism is "seemingly more positive toward women, but is paternalistic and views women as lovable but helpless."

Pickup artistry puts a renewed emphasis on the "hostile" part, encouraging men to pair sexist manipulation with stupid hats to ensnare women into sex at the first possible opportunity. Their "speed seduction" strategy directs a man to compete aggressively for a woman's attention, lightly insult her, then isolate her before steering her to bed. In the study, "Sexism and Assertive Courtship Strategies," Jeffrey A. Hall and Melanie Canterberry researched these techniques, then surveyed hundreds of Midwestern college students and a wider internet sample of adult volunteers in an attempt to smoke out the women who are into them.

According to their research, pickup artist techniques are strongly linked to "men who have negative attitudes toward women and believe women are a threat to male dominance," guys who get off on "putting women in their place." As it turns out, women who respond positively to these attitudes tend to hate women, too. "Women who have negative attitudes about members of their own gender find men who treat them in a dominant way during courtship more desirable because it is consistent with their sexist ideology," Hall and Canterberry found. Apparently both "men and women who believe women can be isolated and teased into sex have a low regard for women in general."

And when these sexist beliefs are present in people who are also into "short-term mating"—my new favorite scientific euphemism for being down to do it—a beautiful fleeting relationship between a pickup artist and his target can blossom.

But as you might have guessed by the frothy mix of misogyny and self-loathing stirred up here, this fortuitous meeting of the minds is not without its risks. The researchers note that hostile sexism is linked to "sexual coercion by men" while benevolent sexism "is related to higher rape myth acceptance for both men and women." That means that the "matching of men who use such strategies and women who are receptive to them would be a potentially dangerous combination in terms of unwanted sexual advances and the possibility of date rape." It turns out that hanging around men and women who despise women isn't just a quick and easy path to getting laid—it's also a pretty effective way to rape someone.

photo via (cc) Flickr user russelljsmith\n
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

Keep Reading Show less

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less