Causes of inceldom

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There are many causes of inceldom, e.g. any flaw that negatively impacts sexual market value or any socio-cultural, economic or personal circumstance that hinders marriage or more generally pair formation. There is also a recent trend toward more incels. This article discusses both causes of inceldom and causes of the recent increase in inceldom.

Potential causes of inceldom[edit | edit source]

Potential causes of the recent increase in inceldom[edit | edit source]

Feminist and/or related policies may increase male and female inceldom by decreasing marriage rates (r = .5, p < .0001).

As summarized in the demographics article, there is a trend towards less sex that appears to have accelerated recently. The trend towards having less sex can be traced back to 1930-born cohorts, is not attributable to increased pornography use or working hours and is present in both the married and unmarried.[4]

  • Evolutionary mismatch: Circumstances are so different from natural human nature that they adversely affect human sexuality, i.e. that our adaptation mismatch out environment.
    • Hyper-individualism: Historically, marriages were predominantly arranged, so people may be confused with the entire notion of finding a partner without guidance by the parents etc. or community, especially since communities are increasingly deteriorating (possibly due to an aging population).[5] This may e.g. express in a decline of enforced monogamy, causing people to be married every later, a trend that really started to gain traction with the rise of political correctness in the mid 1990s.[6] People may have an expectation to be married rather than making their own choices as arranged marriage was a very common occurrence in human's past, affecting around 70% of marriages in a large sample of contemporary foraging societies[7][8] and arranged marriage were also prevalent in Medieval Europe.[9] As people less likely own land and are more replaceable and have less responsibility, there is a decreased need for arranging marriages the as concepts like lineage and inheritance lose their meaning (in addition to liberalism, an overemphasis on personal freedom, destroying such institutions).
    • Emancipation and affirmative action: Women's status inflation and affirmative action driven by a push for greater female workplace participation together with the sexual revolution, creating an evolutionary novel situation in which many women occupy higher status than men.[10] This results in demotivation of men, but in combination with hypergamy and women's preference to be dominated, it also leads women to be unsatisfied with most men.
    • Women's economic independence: As women decreasingly depend on men's resources, they have less incentives to pair up with them, especially with men of lower SMV, so they can afford to be more choosy about looks and other factors, exaggerating female hypergamy and choosiness.
    • Secularization: Decline of religions and tradition, which usually strongly promote procreation and enforce monogamy. Humans have been much more religious in the past. The decline of tradition and gender roles (driven by a push towards higher female workforce participation) and hypergamy may decrease marriage rates and thereby increase sexlessness. This is accompanied by a decline in communities, with loneliness rates skyrocketing among millennials (see demographics), changing the dating landscape to one that does not cater to shy men interested in long-term relationships, i.e. with slow life history.
    • Corruption of the natural role of women: The evolutionary unusual role of women often occupying higher status than men may be confusing to men who are naturally sensitive about these roles and thus become reclusive.[11] In fact, women have always depended on men's resources and they did most of the cooking, also men's and women's lives used to be much more segregated.[12]
  • Weak men: The overall inhibition of men by a culture that does not cultivate masculinity and shames natural male preferences, such as for young women, and generally suspects men are bad and rapists (apex fallacy) may lead to more inceldom. In fact, the only male personality traits that do seem to matter during courtship are dark personality traits such as psychopathy.[13] Feminist Camille Paglia claimed that "woman's flirtatious arts of self-concealment mean man's approach must take the form of rape."[14] This notion is corroborated by research by Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt who concluded that there exists a male dominate/female surrender pattern in human sexuality which may be a remnant of ancient courtship adaptations in which pair formation only succeeds when the male is able to dominate the female, a behavior that can be observed in many reptiles, birds, and mammals.[15] These tendencies also seem to reflect in female scelerophilia, hybristophilia, rape fantasies, hypergamy as well as historical and cross-cultural evidence of female subordination. Excessively discouraging men from reacting towards women's testing, coyness and nastiness with any force or confidence should predict more male incels. Blackpillers respond to the redpill-y advice to simply be more dominant that this is impossible without real status or reinstating subordination of women because dominance and confidence are hard to fake and one risks ridicule. Sneaky and nice guys may also contribute to spoiling the women, inflating their self-worth and thus adopting higher standards, e.g. with regards to how expensive the courtship display should be.
    • Anti-harassment and anti-rape legislation: Feminism, MeToo, lack of gender segregation leading to absurd laws that stifle male-female interactions, contradicting women's preferences for being subordinated and manned around.
    • Desexualization: Society's incessant promotion of desexualization and degenderization including the degenitalization of dolls by toy companies promoting prudery.
    • Gynoncentrism: Apathy to male problems caused by a mixture of androphobia and gynocentrism.
  • Lack of dating opportunities: Some incels appear to lack opportunities to even meet individuals of the opposite sex[16] which may a wide variety of reasons from unmaintained communities to aging populations.
  • Stagnation: Economic stagnation, pessimism, environmentalism, increasing economic inequality, lack of new exploitable industry sectors, lack of geographical expansion etc. Millennials only have a fraction of the wealth boomers had at their age. As systems hit limits of growth, economies stagnate and social networks allow for social comparison with more people, people also may become more competitive,[17][18][19][20] narcissistic[21] and choosy in fear of missing out (FOMO).[22][23] The result is a low birth rate, few coddled children who are prepared for late marriage and higher education,[24] and women save themselves up for the ideal mate.
    • Helicopter parenting: Hysterical parents in times of harsher economical realities may instill a sense of hedonophobia in the youth (fear of obtaining pleasure), eventually culminating in an inhibition in people going for what they want.
    • Ableism: With stagnation arguably also the standards rise for people's ability, looks etc.
    • Corruption: Stagnation may lead to more ideological and material corruption allowing ideologies like feminism to flourish as there is a reduced overall need for an effective economy.
    • Pessimism: A poor economic outlook and ecological crises like pollution, global warming and overpopulation make people less willing to have offspring, hence reluctant to date.
    • Centralization: Globalism, steep hierarchies, social comparison with a greater number of people leading to inability to secure high status and confidence etc. for an increasing number of men. Leading to stagnation in local economies, being superseded by global ones.
    • Similar points about centralization, economic stagnation and resulting competitiveness as causes of inceldom, late or no marriage and low birth rates have been raised by journalist Walter M. Gallichan in his 1915 book The Great Unmarried. Gallichan also lamented a negativity about marriage as well as declining relationship between the sexes expressing as misandry and misogyny. Significantly later marriages have been observed in economic crises in mid 17th century England where women saved up their virginity to attract high-earning men.[25] Lower income makes men unattractive to women, especially when it is lower than women's (see hypergamy), and the increasing rate of millennials living with their parents makes signaling of status and independence and hence dating possibly harder for men.
  • Inflation of women's ego and status: Due to the rise of online dating and more opportunities for social comparisons, women may also show decision fatigue from having "too many options," the comparison effect from swipe-based dating systems, creating impossible to fulfill expectations, with women also mainly obtaining validation from the online apps rather than actual dates.[26]
    • White knights and simps: This in combination with feminism forcing men to be nice arguably also spoils women as men may engage in whiteknighting to get sex, only inflating their expectations even more, forming a feedback loop with even more decision fatigue on part of women causing even more sexual frustration and niceness on part of men.
    • Hypergamy & affirmative action: With women's increased status, more incels (both male and female) are to be expected because women prefer to date up. For example, aversion to having the wife earn more than the husband explains 29% of the decline in marriage rates over the last thirty years.[27]
    • Lookism: Many in the blackpill primarily blame the raise of lookism. Physical ugliness decreases SMV and hence increases chances of inceldom, but according to some anecdotal evidence, incels often do not look particularly ugly,[28] but these claims remain somewhat dubious as it could have been selection bias of the sort that only good looking people seek help from female sex therapists and are inclined to participate in a TV show. Lookism only seems to be a secondary cause in that female liberation and economic independence, as well as less strictly enforced monogamy may allow women to be extra choosy about looks, a point that was also raised by the Norwegian sexologist and feminist Kristin Spitznogle. The rise of social media being highly organized around profile photos and related aesthetic self-representation may also exaggerate the importance of physical appearance.
    • SMV overestimation and status uncertainty: Economic uncertainty, "coddled" millennials[29] and the lack of strict hierarchies, as well as the narcissistic notion that every child needs to be highly successful, caused by a low birth rate, liberalism, greater competitiveness and more social comparisons through social networks and globalization as discussed above, may result in both men and women to have too high standards. Women's standards might be especially high due to the immense sexual attention they receive in social media and online dating, forming a positive-feedback loop with men becoming even more frustrated and promiscuous.[30]
  • Fear of intimacy & social judgement: The feeling of being observed by social media has been suggested to explain some of the reluctance to date and a rising fear of intimacy.[31]
  • Developmental insults, mutants & social epistasis amplification: Increased mutational load mainly due to milder living conditions and modern medicine drastically reducing infant mortality,[32] as well as pollution (e.g. xenoestrogens), and/or changes in diet may have lead to a decline of masculine features, such as robust mandible, compact midface,[33] and also reduced testosterone levels and hence reduced muscle mass, but also to a higher incident rate of all kinds of diseases (obesity, underweight) and mental conditions, e.g. autism. Likewise, sperm count has reduced as much as 50% in the past decades. Such changes should predict that more men now fall below what is objectively deemed as lowest bar for physical attractiveness by most women, and also more men fail to intimidate any other men in dominance contests, leading to increased incel rates. Others have proposed a feedback loop of mutants disrupting society and the thereby degraded society disrupting mutant's and other peoples' social lives, including sex lives (social epistasis amplification).[11][34][35] Counter evidence to mutational load being a major cause of inceldom is e.g. extremely inbred regions in the world, where people continue to mate regardless.

Evidence from LoveNotAnger[edit | edit source]

In June 2019, as part of Alana's LoveNotAnger project, a survey was conducted researching inceldom and singledom.[36] Out of 713 respondents (64% male), only 8% had no dating experience.

The participants reported causes of their dating difficulties, however lumping together answers of both sexes even though it is known the sexual strategies of men and women are very different with women's strategy being much more passive.

Reason %
self-confidence 79%
social skills 66%
mental health 62%
physical appearance 47%
social support 45%
availability of partners 39%
economic issues 28%
autism 19%
questioning gender or sexuality 16%
discrimination 7%
physical disability 6%

Evidence from the Donnelly study[edit | edit source]

In the Donnelly study, they asked 60 men and 22 women to take a survey on their past or present inceldom or singledom. The sample is very small.

Sexual status of participants
  Virgin Single Partnered Total
% N % N % N % N
Male 76 26 80 20 61 14 73 60
Female 24 8 20 5 39 9 27 22

They asked the participants to report barriers explaining 'off time' in their sexual trajectories. The key answers are listed in the table below.

Reason Virgins Singles Partnered
Shyness 94% 84% 20%
Inability to relate to others 41% 23%
Body image problems (weight, appearance) 47% 56% 9%
Living arrangements, work arrangements and lack of transportation 20% 28%

Evidence from[edit | edit source]

In October 2019, conducted a survey of their user base and received N = 546 responses. They asked "Select all factors that you believe are significantly preventing you from finding a partner". The results are presented in the table below. These results may not be representative of all incels. Some users of this forum may also suffer from body dysmorphia or otherwise overestimate the importance of looks or misattribute other flaws to it, e.g. autism.

Cause N %
Physical Appearance 473 86.6%
Self-confidence, social anxiety, etc. 395 72.3%
Lifestyle (e.g., too much time indoors) 266 67.0%
Physique (i.e., weight/muscle) 310 56.8%
Status (e.g., wealth, job, perceived "power") 306 56.0%
Height 281 51.5%
Personality 225 41.2%
Location 206 37.7%
Race 163 29.9%
Style (e.g., haircut, fashion) 154 28.2%
Hair Loss/Balding 136 24.9%
Age 126 23.1%
Religion 41 7.5%

Evidence from Reddit[edit | edit source]

Apostolou (2018) analyzed an AskReddit thread[37] for identified 6794 responses which were classified in 43 categories depicted in the table below.[38] The answers suggest the reasons for singledom are diverse. One response could be classified in multiple categories at once. Notably, these responses do not only contain incels, but also transitory/temporary singles.

Classified responses
Factor Number % Examples
Poor looks. 662 9.74% Cause I am ugly as fuck and have been cursed with awful genetics. Being under 6′0″ means I am invisible to women.
Low self-esteem/confidence. 544 8.01% Because I have massive self-esteem issues, I think I’m worthless, and I don’t do social things because I don’t want to inflict my stupid, worthless presence on other people. Confidence is the key, and I'm locked out….
Low effort. 514 7.57% I don’t put any effort or make any moves. I’ve never been really all that into actively seeking out a relationship. I’ve always believed relationships come and go on their own.
Not interested in relationships. 424 6.24% And no, I’m not saying that I can’t get anybody. I actively don’t want to be in a relationship. I like my freedom and privacy.
Poor flirting skills. 421 6.20% I’m completely fine talking to people I have 0 interest in, but if I remotely have a crush on you I’m probably gonna be really fucking awkward. Any semblance of social skills I have go out the window if I have a crush on you. My IQ drops to about 40 whenever I talk to women.
Introverted. 411 6.05% My days are spent at work/sleeping/working on projects around the house. The only way I am going to find someone new is if they break into my home while I’m there. Not many women on my way from my room to a kitchen and back.
Recently broke up. 363 5.34% My girlfriend just broke up with me…. Because I broke up with my girlfriend 3 hours ago.
Bad experiences from previous. 330 4.86% My last relationship ended so badly I never want to be in one again. relationships Because my last relationship was toxic as hell and now I avoid relationships to prevent being hurt that badly again.
No available women. 319 4.70% I have no avenues for meeting women. While being a mechanical engineering contractor is a pretty attractive job to have, you aren’t exactly surrounded by women.
Overweight. 315 4.64% Honestly, as my username suggests-too fat. [username twofat] Cause I’m fugly!
Different priorities. 309 4.55% I’m focusing on building my career, so I don’t have the luxury of dedicating enough time to a relationship right now. Grades before babes.
Shyness. 300 4.42% Shy. That’s pretty much it. Cause I’m too shy to ask anyone out.
Too picky. 294 4.33% My standards are too high for what I bring to the table. To be fair I tend to chase near impossibilities.
Anxiety. 283 4.17% I get terrible anxiety around women. Overwhelming anxiety whenever I try to speak with any woman I′ m interested in.
Lack of time. 256 3.77% Because I work 6 days a week and on Saturdays I play video games and sleep. Between two jobs is hard to find any time for dating.
Socially awkward. 249 3.66% I’m too awkward Awkward as fuck.
Enjoying being single. 217 3.19% I don’t value the things that a relationship brings, I value the things that casually dating brings. I usually date girls casually for a month or so then find someone new. Keeps things fresh and exciting for me. I’m lucky enough to be good looking enough to have random women sleep with me. So I’m pretty much going to stay single until my buying power declines and I’m forced to settle down.
Depression. 204 3.00% Depression kept me from going out and meeting new people for years. Crippling depression.
Poor character. 188 2.77% My personality is radioactive. I suffered from anger management and also being a huge narcissist.
Difficult to find women to. 171 2.52% Have yet to meet a girl who shares my interests who wasn’t already with someone else. match It is hard to find a woman my age who enjoys the same things, and doesn’t have kids already.
Poor mental health. 154 2.27% I am a high-functioning autist and feel deeply uncomfortable of physical contact.
Lack of achievements. 146 2.15% Because I’m a 41-year-old with all the qualifications and achievements of a 19-year-old. Being a 31-year-old grocery store drone doesn’t exactly drop the panties.
Stuck with one girl. 138 2.03% I’m in love with my best friend, who’s had a long distance boyfriend for a few years, and I can’t get over her. I want to be with a certain girl so bad that I’m either ignoring my other options or just not taking them seriously.
Lack of social skills. 137 2.02% Because I have the social skills of a dead goldfish. Zero social skills.
Have not got over previous. 134 1.97% Still kind of in love with a girl who broke my heart nearly 3 years ago. relationship I’m currently mentally addicted to my ex and I can’t imagine myself with anyone else.
Don’t know how to start/be in a. 133 1.96% I quite literally do not know how to be in a relationship. relationship I don’t know shit about dating and flirting.
Lack of money. 131 1.93% I don’t have money for dates, I barely pay my gas bill. Money…I don’t have a lot of it to treat a lady.
I do not trust women. 125 1.84% I have trust issues and made the decision to avoid relationships. I’m single because I can’t trust women for now.
Not picking up clues of interest. 124 1.83% I cant tell the difference if a girl is just nice to me or she is in to me. So I kinda let everything slip away. I’m terrible at picking up on signals.
Sexual issue. 114 1.68% What it lacks in girth, it also lacks in length. I’m asexual and afraid that people with leave when they find out.
Fear of relationships. 113 1.66% Because women tend to make me very domesticate, fat, and lazy whenever I put a name on it (girlfriend). Because the pain is inevitable. Relationships wear you down and crush your soul.
I am not interesting. 103 1.52% I am the most thoroughly boring person I know. Dull job (to most people). Dull interests, unremarkable body, unremarkable personality. I’m not exactly the kind of person who interests people.
Fear of rejection. 96 1.41% The crippling fear of the girl saying no. My fear of rejection stops me in all tracks of wanting to ask any girl out in person.
I will not be a good partner. 95 1.40% I am scared that maybe I’ll not be a good boyfriend since I don’t know anything about romantic stuff and what girls like. Because I don’t want to bring some poor girl into the depressing pit that is my life.
Attracted to wrong women. 87 1.28% Every woman who captures my interest is either taken, insane, or both. I have an uncanny knack for being attracted only to girls who aren’t single.
Homosexual. 86 1.27% Because I’m gay and 99 per-cent of the people I become attracted to aren’t. Gay and in the closet.
Given up. 85 1.25% Many rounds of rejection. Just gave up after a while. I’ll be fine on my own.
Is not worth the effort. 82 1.21% You get tired of being turned down after a while. Relationships take a lot of work, I’m not willing to put the effort in. Not worth the immense effort that you need to put in order to even find out if they’re interested or not.
Fear of commitment. 73 1.07% Don’t like the commitment a relationship entails Commitment is hard.
Health – disability issue. 72 1.06% I’m disabled and confined to a wheelchair. Not many girls will settle for that. Because I’m HIV positive.
Difficult to keep a relationship. 67 0.99% I somehow became unable to maintain any kind of relationship My relationships never last over 3 months. Girls break up with me without ever telling me the real reason.
Addictions. 58 0.85% I’m young and an alcoholic and no one wants to date an alcoholic. I am single because of my alcoholism.
Other. 807 11.88% I am not ready Just damn clingy.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  8. 3.3.3. Does female choice drive male dominance competition?
  11. 11.0 11.1 Dutton—Explaining the Rise of the Incel
  15. Eibl-Eibesfeldt I. 1989. Pair Formation, Courtship, Sexual Love. In: Human Ethology. Rougtledge. [Excerpt]
  35. The social-epistasis amplification model in mice and men
  38. Apostolou M. 2018. Why Men Stay Single? Evidence from Reddit. Evolutionary Psychological Science. [Abstract]



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