Strategic pluralism is a theory in evolutionary biology refers to the fact that there are different strategies that increase women's fitness: investment in the offspring vs getting high quality genes from a high quality male who is often high status and can hence protect. Both help spreading a woman's genes in future generations (a.k.a. increase fitness), but aiming too high means getting no investment (i.e. being pumped and dumped), aiming too low guarantees investment (betabuxx), but is often accompanied by worse genes.
Dual mating strategy[edit | edit source]
Some have suggested this might mean women naturally engage in a dual mating strategy where they get genes and investment from different partners (from a high quality alpha male and a betabuxx respectively). One UCLA study stated that, “a great deal of the evidence indicates two overlapping suites of psychological adaptations in women: those for securing long-term, cooperative social partnerships for rearing children and those for pursuing a dual-mating strategy in which women secure a social partner and engage in selective sexual affairs to gain access to good genes for offspring”. The lack of loyalty with a dual-mating strategy begets the feminine imperative.
More recently, the dual-mating strategy fell in disfavor in the scientific community for a number of reasons. One reason is that non-paternity rates are globally very low, even though contraceptives and relaxed marital norms should make AF/BB occur much more often if it was natural. E.g. only 3% of all children in the U.S. live with a step father. This means the vast majority obtains both genes and resources from the same man. Nonetheless, the strategic pluralism highlights a trade-off that especially beta women face between conspicuously advertising themselves to obtain good genes (whoring) vs. getting long-term investment from a man of equal SMV. It is a trade-off because very high quality men have plenty of other options and are thus often less inclined to invest their resources into a female of lower SMV, but highly interested in getting her pregnant (or enjoying the causal sex). One can regard the entire system of state funded single moms (who are singles due to being pumped and dumped by a high quality male) as an instance of a large scale dual mating strategy with the provider mate not being a particular male but the state itself.