Briffault's law holds that women only associate with men when they can personally benefit from doing so. In other words, that females exhibit non-altruism and are by default cold-hearted toward males. Buxton and Briffault (1927) defined it as follows:
“”The female, not the male, determines all the conditions of the animal family. Where the female can derive no benefit from association with the male, no such association takes place.
Briffault's law was defined in 1927 by Dudley Buxton and was widely known in biological, sociological, and gender studies circles during the 20th century. In the 21st century the term became mainly relegated to the manosphere. The concept is related to the principle of least interest.
Explanation[edit | edit source]
Briffault's law is a consequence of Bateman's principle which states women are choosier due to greater parental investment. Being more choosy, women are overall less interested in any sexual contact. This, in turn, means men have fewer dating opportunities on average, so men more likely make compromises out of sexual frustration (principle of least interest). This allows women substantial decision power in sexual matters, which they can exploit by strategically withholding sex. The principle of least interest is one cause of hypergamy, i.e. the tendency that women date up because making compromises means dating down.
Evidence[edit | edit source]
If sex is a female resource, then it will ultimately be up to the woman to decide when and whether sexual relations commence. This view of women as sexual gate-keepers was supported by Cohen and Shotland (1996), who computed correlations between when people thought sex should start in a given relationship and when they actually began having sex. For the hapless men, the correlation was not even significant (r = .19), indicating that their wishes and preferences were essentially irrelevant, whereas for women the correlation was very high (r = .88), indicating that sex occurred when they preferred. This study also found that men wanted sex to commence earlier than the women. Thus, women decide when sex commences, and the man’s role is to invest time, money, attention, commitment, and other resources until the woman is sufficiently satisfied.
References[edit | edit source]
- Briffault R, Buxton LHD. 1927. The Mothers: A Study of the Origins of Sentiments and Institutions. Vol. I, p. 191 [Book]
- Buxton LHD. 1927. The mothers: a study of the origins of sentiments and institutions. [Abstract]
- Baumeister RF, Vohs KD. 2004. Sexual Economics: Sex as Female Resource for Social Exchange in Heterosexual Interactions. Personality and Social Psychology. Vol. 8, No. 4, 339–363. [FullText]
See also[edit | edit source]
- Principle of least interest
- Juggernaut law
- Female solipsism
- Sexual selector
- Fisherian runaway
- Sexual conflict
- Sexual economics theory
- Women As Sex Vendors (book)