Lion of the Blogosphere

Women lack the urge to win

Commenter “toomanymice” writes in a comment:

My sister is something of a math whiz, but her career ambition was close to zero. I think lion is grossly underestimating the role female lack of competitiveness plays in these statistical differences. Even the ambitious women aren’t all that ambitious by male standards.

Wanting to be best, the drive to be high earning will have a snowball effect on all kinds of life choices. And conversely having little interest in either will have an anti-snowball effect.

I’m not denying men (at least at the top end) are smarter than women, just that the ambition disparity is a huge factor in life trajectory.

I don’t think I’m underestimating anything. Many times I’ve brought up what John Tierney wrote 14 years ago in the New York Times, that women lack the urge to win.

I’ve also repeatedly cited the boringness factor as the primary reason it’s so hard to find women coders. Even though higher male intelligence at the top-end would mean that the best coders would be men, there are a lot of women smart enough to code if they wanted to, but they don’t want to because they find it boring.

I don’t think that either of these things has anything to do with males outperforming females on the SAT. Girls do better in high school, even in math and science classes, so I would assume that they would also bring those same qualities to the SAT which everyone knows is very important, so I don’t believe that males are outperforming females on the SAT because they are studying harder for it.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 29, 2019 at 2:01 PM

26 Responses

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  1. A woman who can make herself look above average in attractiveness can always find an older guy with more money to finance her life and reproduction.

    Why work hard?

    Justice Duvall

    August 29, 2019 at 2:26 PM

    • You mean why work hard to make money when it’s more profitable to work hard to look pretty and snag a rich husband?

      Good question, perhaps female readers will answer.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 29, 2019 at 2:34 PM

      • Not all women are gold digger. The vast majority are not interested in marrying for money. You have been hanging around with the wrong type of women.


        August 29, 2019 at 3:25 PM

      • “The vast majority are not interested in marrying for money.”

        The vast majority of middles and above want both money and looks. If they can’t get that they will settle for one or the other, probably leaning towards looks but not always. If things are equal in the looks department they will lean towards the guy with money.

        Prole girls definitely prefer the looks. Plenty of prole military guys have cute prole wives.


        August 29, 2019 at 11:09 PM

      • You have to work hard if you’re ugly or if you are lesbian or asexual. Unless you have rich parents, of course.


        August 31, 2019 at 5:02 PM

    • Some women think this way but a lot don’t, especially not in our culture.

      Remember that women respond to social proof / social messaging more strongly than men. Plus they’re more conscientious. Our culture tells them to work and self-actualize via career, that they can’t and shouldn’t rely on a man, so this is generally what they seek to do.


      August 29, 2019 at 3:15 PM

    • Relatively few women will be considered truly beautiful.

      Even fewer are sustainably beautiful (past ‘the wall’).

      And even fewer will be savvy enough to, or even interested in, scamming a rich old guy into marriage.

      How many rich unmarried old guys are there to go around? It has to be a fraction of a fraction of a percent.

      The more common scenario is a woman pressures a regular schmuck into marriage for her own purposes- children, some degree of financial stability (but not ‘rich’) then discards him emotionally once he’s served his purpose. I believe this is what the mansophere calls the beta provider scenario.


      August 29, 2019 at 6:44 PM

    • It is not even work hard. Men don’t take the SAT or go to college in the same numbers as women because guys more often do the basic cost benefit calculation that makes it obvious that if they aren’t somewhere above average in their field, it costs a lot to go to school but not make more money because you aren’t good enough. Guys get that. Women go ahead and go but don’t make much more and have debt and quit working and stay home because they make a different cost benefit calculation. Women will compete for what they want, like a guy. But they won’t compete so hard for stuff they don’t really want like having to work 40 years at some career they find less fulfilling than their home life. So, yes, women are far less competitive in work related stuff. Most aren’t full on gold diggers, but want someone faithful that has some visible means of support aka not a bum. Everyone is competing for the best mate they can get. That means different things to different people, sure.

      not too late

      September 2, 2019 at 6:55 PM

  2. My daughter wanted to win every game at all costs; her brothers were much more mellow. I stopped playing games like Candyland with her, because she was so MAD when she lost. She would throw down the board and stomp off. She seemed to be born this way. I think that female competitiveness is very real.

    Amused Observer

    August 29, 2019 at 3:12 PM

    • How old is she? I have a daughter like this- she was viciously competitive on WoW pvp for example – but once she hit 16, 17 she lost all interest in dominance or anything leadership related.


      August 29, 2019 at 6:46 PM

      • “she lost all interest in dominance”

        Why dominate when you can entice?


        August 29, 2019 at 11:00 PM

    • You mean like the ping pong scene in “Goodbye Columbus”?


      August 30, 2019 at 1:03 AM

  3. To toomanymice’s comment, I also knew a girl who was exceptionally good at math. Perfect score on SAT Math without really trying or thinking about it sort of smarts. She ended up pursuing a humdrum corporate career, never really leveraging her talent.

    But I think she still outperformed my extraordinarily intelligent male friend who chose to stay at parents’ home, smoke weed, and play video games. By the way, he’s one of two guys I know who have taken this path, though the other one isn’t as intelligent.

    While men are surely more ambitious than women in general, a lot of men seem to lack ambition. Due to their low conscientiousness, unambitious men will seek to drop out of the workforce and mooch, while unambitious women will more likely take the first job available to them that seems OK and decide to make that their whole career.

    By the way, those basement-dwelling fellas are still playing online multiplayer games at a high degree of competitiveness. Male ambition and competitive killer instinct — “urge to win” — are not the same thing.


    August 29, 2019 at 3:26 PM

    • Videogames are a better outlet for male ambition in a society where being a man is penalized. At least in videogames male characters aren’t penalized.

      Panther of the Blogocube

      August 29, 2019 at 8:51 PM

  4. From that Tierny column:

    Evolutionary psychologists see two kinds of payoffs that traditionally went (and often still go) to victorious men. Women have long been drawn to men at the top of a hierarchy (a clan leader, Donald Trump) who have the resources to support children.

    Oh the prophetic irony of it all.


    August 29, 2019 at 3:28 PM

  5. I think women often have other priorities besides competing in the workforce. If most women didn’t have a strong instinct to get pregnant and care for babies, the human race would have died out. Apparently some women don’t have this instinct very strongly. Often women who have very successful careers are childless.


    August 29, 2019 at 3:31 PM

    • I’ve assumed that successful career women simply put off childbearing until it was too late to actually have children. I don’t know how much they actually wanted kids but I’ve read innumerable articles of career oriented women who would go from one years long relationship to another, hoping for Mr Right, then boom, she’s 40, and it’s IVF and single or nothing.

      Mike Street Station

      August 31, 2019 at 9:24 AM

      • Okay, but who was Mr. Right? If you have absurd expectations, it’s little surprise when they aren’t met.

        not too late

        September 2, 2019 at 6:58 PM

      • Mr Right is always the next guy.

        Mike Street Station

        September 2, 2019 at 9:48 PM

  6. I once read a study that the one context in which women will be aggressively competitive is when it involves the well being of their children.

    I know you’ve touched on the issue but I don’t think you’re considering how pervasive the ramifications are. If women make a trillion+ slightly less aggressive decisions and choices over a lifetime it will add up.

    I wasn’t really referencing SAT scores, which I agree are a decently pure assessment of cognitive ability, though the competitiveness factor probably does influence score disparity ‘slightly.’


    August 29, 2019 at 6:36 PM

  7. Here’s a story about a girl who apparently was pretty competitive – about drinking. She left a Berkeley bar at 2:00 a.m., then went somewhere else to continue, then at 2:30 got into an Uber driven by an ex-con from a certain ethnic group, who raped her.

    And here’s the guy trespassing in the neighborhood.


    August 29, 2019 at 8:20 PM

  8. There is something beyond the will to win, men have more obsessive traits when it comes to their interests or profession, it is not because they want to win, it is because they want deepen their understanding and skills, they want to climb mountains because they are there, not necessarily get there first.
    Women seems to care less about those things. They will come to do their job but won’t invest any extra time or effort just out of curiosity or obsessiveness to the subject.
    When there is a system in place that force them to be obsessive they will do it, you can see it especially in classical arts like ballet or classical music, but when they left to their own devices they don’t have the drive, that’s why you don’t see many girl bands or song writers or virtuosic guitar players in modern music.


    August 29, 2019 at 8:28 PM

    • Except for the Bangles!

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 29, 2019 at 11:03 PM

      • Carole King, Cynthia Weil, Ellie Greenwich, Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell and Roseanne Cash are better examples.


        August 29, 2019 at 11:17 PM

      • Those are some good songwriters. When women do show up in popular music, they are usually singers or songwriters or both.


        August 30, 2019 at 4:17 AM

  9. OT:

    MEH 0910

    September 5, 2019 at 11:49 AM

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