Friday, September 24, 2010

Cockiness has its appeal

Late the other night, I was flicking through my social psychology textbook hoping to find within its worn, yellowing pages some mind-stirring fact that I could translate into popular knowledge. My eyes eagerly scattered over the black ink, ready to pounce on any words that suggested my prey of information had meekly come forth. I did come across various interesting little anecdotes but I discovered somewhat a tad disconcertedly that this was a book about intimate relationships (as the name suggests, and how I had failed to grasp that after a semester of staring at it is beyond me). Now, there is nothing wrong with intimate relationships or any other relationship for that matter especially when the analysis surrounding these forms of human interaction tap into primitive, visceral human longings and follies. However... however, nothing in my welcome message suggests that this blog will be purely about relationships and sexual attraction and fearing that I have falsely advertised I do in advance apologise if I bombard this humble blog with many heart-warming illustrations of human mating behaviour. Believe me, these studies are truly the most fascinating jewels of psychological literature although I will by no means restrict myself to them. Anything my mind and heart has feasted on will be generously delivered to your plate, minus all the drab scientific dribble! Ok, now that the path has been cleared I think we can immerse ourselves in the assignment of the week; An intimate glance into attraction, flirtation and arrogant, cocky men.

I’m sure ‘cocky’ and ‘arrogant’ are two words that do not often appear on those hopeless, extensive lists some females torture themselves by writing in the hope that those flowery adjectives will leap out of the page and attach themselves to a potential mate. The pensive female spends precious hours scrutinising the list, nurturing its growing length with maternal affection, gloating over the genius of her vocabulary until finally, wistfully she sighs over the whole foolish endeavour realising that such desires cannot possibly be encapsulated by a lone homo sapien male; one that has quite frankly originated from a brute known for beating his chest with vehement dedication. Most charming male readers, do not take offense; this is only my humble, shy attempt at humour and though it lends some ancestral flavouring to this piece I of course have a slightly higher opinion of the male sex.

To revert back to the heart of the matter, the point (and there is a point to all this rambling) is that females should very seriously consider the inclusion of such vulgar qualities like cockiness and arrogance when sketching the ideal man with the passionate scribbles of their pen. I know, your eyebrow is rising cynically, a quite hiss is inching its way from the back of your throat and your upper lip is curled in a distinct imitation of distaste. However, gentle readers I would like to remind you that my blasphemous suggestion has the backing of the scientific community and that I, like you, who was not in a position to examine the delicate changes of our bodily whims was at first glance shocked. Now let me ease you into a less heretic argument.

It is not the case that women like those cocky, arrogant creatures per se; it is more that for a few days each month females are more attracted to ‘assertive’ males. For those who are less inclined to pick up hints, this means that for the few days of the month that a female is fertile she is more attracted to arrogant, bolder men with deeper voices and masculine faces (Gangestad and colleagues, 2007). Those of you with boyish looks and softer vocal chords do not despair, the rest of the 27 days women prefer warmer, kinder and less pushy men. So then, it would appear that something in the cocky male suggests reproductive success. Perhaps their arrogance is mistaken for a sign of virility? Whatever the case, it is an issue best left for the nosy scientist to investigate.

What has been unveiled (note the clever keeping with the title of the blog) can be used for personal benefit. However, to fully utilise these scientific findings so charitably bestowed upon you curious folks, one needs to cultivate the art of observant attention. This is especially sound advice for men. According to Schwarz and Hassebrauck (2008) women strip away tedious layers of clothing, dressing more provocatively and revealing more flesh for those few, enchanted days of fertility. This can be understood as a presumably unconscious, hormonal-driven attempt at seduction. Now, if keeping attentive to the manipulation of cloth and skin proves to be too laborious a task, then pray, if suddenly you find yourself the centre of your darling’s flirtatious attacks, rise to the hint and adopt, by whatever means a more masculine tone, a slightly more arrogant attitude. For, according to Haselton and Gangestad (2006) a more flirtatious demeanour also accompanies the state of fertility. If you need any more convincing, Miller and his colleagues (2007), who I’m sure are all sensible, scholarly prudes discovered that strippers earn considerably more money when they’re fertile than at other times of the month!


  1. It's a funny feeling when you read scientific research/theories that confirm the things you often think about, I suddenly feel clever.

    I would've loved to have seen those stiff academics doing their research for that haha

  2. It's a case of the ovaries overriding the brain. Male gorillas don't need these subtle cues, they just look for an engorged vulva.

  3. Indeed.. the whims of those ovaries lead females to make all sorts of fatal mistakes..
    haha and it appears that male gorillas have it easy... i'm sure many human males would be very envious

  4. you know what kind of cockiness I can't stand? The one which comes without justification. You know - when an unintelligent or morally questionable person is also arrogant and overly self-confident.

    I totally agree that ladies rather go for ‘assertive’ males than for quiet ones, even though they tend to claim otherwise :))

  5. Yes cockiness can be quite repulsive coming from the wrong people.. even those who have a reason to be cocky should tone it down.. quiet confidence speaks for itself :)