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article imageFor The Love Of A Bad Guy - How Anti-Social Behaviour Rules The World

By Michelle Duffy     Jun 20, 2008 in Lifestyle
A new report featured in the online version of the New Scientist this week focuses on one of life's notorious dilemmas: why do nice guys lose to love when bad guys get all the girls? Is this the reason behind the growing trend in antisocial behaviour?
It may sound like a tongue in cheek look at why so many women end up with men who just don't call when they're supposed to and pay for dinner at least once a week, yet the darker side of this answer to why "some guys have all the luck" could well be behind the disturbing rise of anti-social behaviour, crime and abuse against women.
We ask the question, is it then nature of nurture which draws a man to behave in a certain way against not just society, but towards women? We understand, and certain don't need yet another new report to tell us that bad men produce bad men. If a boy is born to a couple where the father is being abusive to towards the mother, the chances of that boy then abusing women as he grows older is frighteningly high. It would appear that there is only a small percentage of men who recognise these behaviour patterns as children, and then have the sense to break the mould in their own relationships.
So what are we then to discover from this new report which we do not yet already know? Well, the report primarily focuses on what is described as "the traits of self obsession." These are described as fundamental narcissism. Men under this category will compulsively seek out impulsive events or situations which are dangerous to a degree, yet at the same time, a thrill. This may sound to you like the common traits of a common or garden psychopath, but in subtle tones, they can be found in anyone leading a fairly normal existence, yet in extreme circumstances, these people (and we are talking primarily about men) are mostly likely to be deceitful and exploitative towards their own partners and loved ones. It it, according to the report, "nature of Machiavellianism." These people find making simple relationships painfully difficult, adding uncomfortable issues in their own communities, where they find themselves ostracised, meaning they then continue through life with little or no human contact, no chance of finding a mate, preying on contact which brushes passed them, forcing this contact to become victim to this abnormal and deprived behaviour.
Okay, so this all sounds to the extreme, and it certainly does not mean to say that every man walking down the street is some deprived individual who is so close to the wild, they need to be chained around the ankles and locked away in a padded cell, in fact, quite the opposite. What the report suggests is that in today's society, there are subtle elements of these traits living amongst us. We all face difficulties in our lives to fit in with our community, yet some young men, who show stronger signs of being anti-social find themselves in situations which are not only dangerous for themselves (drug abuse, knife and gun crime, gangs etc) but also a danger to others (rape, aggressive behaviour, fights, violence.)
Not so tongue in cheek now...
Yet it also suggests that the findings are not all doom and gloom (hard to imagine so far) yet according to Peter Jonason from the New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, he says that if we look at the way people, especially young men, view sex, for example, what in fact happens, is they find women fall over themselves to get to them.
"We have some evidence that the three traits are really the same thing and may represent a successful evolutionary strategy."
In the study, 200 young college students were asked a selection of questions each about their views on relationships and sex. These questions were carefully asked to determine personality traits and especially to look out for "dark triad traits," which cause extreme anti-social behaviour.
The study found that, “High 'dark triad' scorers are more likely to try to poach other people's partners for a brief affair..."
These high scorers naturally had higher numbers of partners, and had no desires to form long term relationships with either sex. The report and it's results was discussed at this years Human Behavior and Evolution Society meeting in Kyoto, Japan, earlier this month.
On the cooler side of this woman eating, vampire like man who appears to be lurking around every corner is surprisingly, James Bond. He is the calmer, more controlled version of the man discussed here - doesn't sound so bad now does he?
Yet, let's go back here for a moment, there is a word of warning in amongst this study, and we mustn't be fooled, James Bond is the exception, as Jonason says,
"He's clearly disagreeable, very extroverted and likes trying new things - killing people, new women. Just as Bond seduces woman after woman, people with dark triad traits may be more successful with a quantity-style or shotgun approach to reproduction, even if they don't stick around for parenting. The strategy seems to have worked. We still have these traits."
Yet there is no escape. One can stop thinking that by running off to another country, you can escape from the one night stand and find Mr Right. According to the study, after spanning the test across 57 countries and different cultures, 35,000 men really are all the same.
David Schmitt of Bradley University found that these dark triad men are more likely to have children than the nice guys. He said,
"It is universal across cultures for high dark triad scorers to be more active in short-term mating," Schmitt says. "They are more likely to try and poach other people's partners for a brief affair."
Thus meaning that if women don't become stronger towards these men and prove to their offspring that this is not the way to treat and behave, anti-social behaviour and crimes against women will continue to rise.
It's up to us, girls.
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