Pinhole theory describes the concept that women's current perception of men as toxic, manipulative, and selfish is reinforced by their heavy weighting of physical criteria in partner selection. Moreover, the theory claims that this selectivity, also called "pinholing," actively incentivizes advantaged subsets of men to adopt negative traits by lowering the significance of personality on their overall worth in the dating market.
Clumped Selection in Dating[edit | edit source]
The existence of incels, men who are selected in the dating market never or very infrequently, proves the existence of clumped selection in the dating market. The existence of chads, who conversely get much more success than average, also confirms this; in other words, it is evident that a specific subset of men, characterized by factors such as race, height, canthal tilt, etc., do extremely well in getting sex or relationships from women. In essence, this is the opposite statement to "there's someone for everyone," claiming that most women's preferences and valued characteristics in men are very similar. The 80/20 rule or rather the whole of incel ideology is based on this assumption. Pinhole theory highlights the fact that giving heavier weight to physical factors in selecting sexual or romantic partners naturally prevents one from prioritizing personality traits such as compassion or loyalty to an equal degree without dramatically reducing their selection of potentially "acceptable" partners.
Pinholing[edit | edit source]
"Pinholing" refers to women's perceptions of men as abusive, emotionally unavailable, or manipulative, which is affected significantly by their method of sampling.
An archetype in men that women take issue about is the asshole; because a high proportion of the men that she has been in a relationship or had sex with fulfill the stereotype of selfish or narcissistic, a woman often comes to believe that this behavior is common of all men. However, pinhole theory is the idea that there is significant sampling bias in this judgement, as a woman's primary and most intimate interactions with men is not a random sample but the aforementioned subset of physically attractive men. Thus, a perception of men constructed through men that a women has dated is fundamentally flawed due to better success in dating correlating with traits like dark triad traits.
In addition, building off the statement that the most direct way to select for a desirable trait in a partner is to use it as the primary, or only, selecting criteria, it follows that selecting for physical factors at a higher rate deprioritizes a good "personality." In other words, the importance of not being selfish or manipulative automatically decreases when a woman prioritizes height or race. The taller or more physically advantaged a man is, the more willing a woman is to "overlook" deficiencies which may very well be narcissism or machiavellianism.
For instance, middle blockers in volleyball are chosen primarily based on height and reach, which often deprioritizes receiving ability; selecting for specific traits to the extreme causes neglect of other factors. In the case of a volleyball player whose only job is to jump high in front of the net repeatedly, this may be fine; but one can easily how this might lead to negative results when selecting an entire person to be a partner.
Negative Reinforcement[edit | edit source]
In short, selecting for physically good-looking individuals incentivizes the same individuals to forego necessarily being understanding, kind, or empathetic, as they observe high levels of success even while exercising these negative traits. The benefits that they themselves receive from this(such as having more sexual partners from cheating, often ghosting simply because they are bored, etc.) outweigh the small amount of negative change in sexual "value" they will experience- again, having a "good personality" is heavily deprioritized as a criterion in women's selection and thus has little impact on a male's value in the dating market.
In less formal words, "guys who are good looking learn quickly that they don't have to try as hard in the relationship, because girls will be throwing themselves at them regardless if they're a good boyfriend or not."
In conclusion, pinholing not only biases women's perception of men's capabilities as a partner, but implies the existence of active encouragement and development of negative personality traits.