Monogamy, polygamy, bigamy – these are all terms that have always been on my radar. The -gamy suffix comes from the Greek for “marriage.” I had never heard of hypergamy, though, until a month or so ago when I started to browse sites written by men about the modern dating scene. Basically hypergamy is marrying up – in status, wealth, prestige. Pick-up artists insist that women are innately hypergamous, that in terms of evolutionary psychology, many women will fight over one alpha male, often accepting fleeting or polygamous relationships rather than mate with men they deem less impressive. Marriage as a social institution evolved in order to more fairly assign mates, increase population, and protect and raise progeny to adulthood – or so goes the theory.
My first reaction was to scoff. After all, I know lots of married people and most [actually none of them] are not married to alphas. So where is all the alpha scrambling? The scuffles between women?