Readers' Submissions

Adverse Selection

  • Written by Anonymous
  • February 11th, 2011
  • 8 min read


I was reading one of the many “Marriage Strike” blogs recently. I do this to help me advise my sons on the risks inherent in being a male in the US today. The advice comes too late to help me; I’ve already made every mistake possible (some several times). One entry really captured what marriage in the US is today. A mid 30’s bachelor (never married) was being harassed by a woman for not “manning up” and getting married. Somehow she felt that any “real man” would just love signing a contract where he gives up all rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in exchange for the woman committing to nothing. (It is a commonly held belief among US women that all men are stupid. There is evidence to support this view. However, I would like to believe that it is ignorance rather than stupidity. Some men are starting to wake up from their ignorance.) His response was that women today were like hand grenades, and marriage was like holding one in your hand, pulling the pin, and waiting to see what happens. Her response to him was that not all women are like that (NAWALT); this is a typical I am a feminist, but not that kind of feminist, response.

I tend to agree with the woman above, that NAWALT. Yes, the bin from which you are selecting women does have some proportion of inert training rounds which will do you no harm mixed in with the ones that will explode taking your life. The question is how do you tell in advance which type of woman you are dealing with, and what are the odds of getting it right? This depends more on the population from which you are selecting than you might think.

Recently, Stick’s response to “Generalizations” was, “Yes, women outside the bar industry probably are better marriage material and probably make better life partners. Just as you take exception to the generalizations that better women can be found elsewhere so some women who have never stepped foot in the bar industry might be a nightmare for a lifelong partner.” This led me to consider Adverse Selection. An example of this is when you are selling health insurance and you price the same to everyone, with no limits on prior existing conditions. You base your price on the average incidence and cost of illnesses for the entire population in your market. The sickest people will be the vast majority of those wishing to buy your insurance, and you will lose a bundle. Adverse Selection is when the population available to select from is much worse than the one on which you based your business model. This applies to seeking a suitable girlfriend or wife from BGs instead of from average, middle class, college educated Thais, or from western women instead of from a similar pool of Asian women. I will need to lecture a bit here to bring this concept and its impact on selecting that hand grenade from the bin into clear understanding for the readers.

You can not prove anything in science; you can only propose a theory and then run tests trying to disprove it. This is called hypothesis testing. The method is as follows:

Let us start by making our null hypothesis that all the women you find attractive are good girlfriend or wife material. Optimism is a failed behavioral mode for me, but let us at least start there before turning to the much more reliable cynicism. Let us further assume, initially, that about 90% of the general populations of women from which we are making this selection were good girlfriend/wife material (assumed true state of nature). This may be true in some populations, but I do not believe it is true for US women, or in BGs working in Pattaya. We all try to evaluate the women we meet. We try to screen out the explosive ones. We have to admit that no system for doing this is perfect. (If you have a perfect system, please contact me, and we can go into business giving desperately needed self help seminars for young men.) So, Type I (reject good a woman) and Type II (marry a bitch) errors will be made. Let us further assume that you are just as likely to reject a good woman as you are to accept a bad one. I don’t believe this is true, but I will deal with that later. The assumed error rate for discussion will be 10%. You can run the numbers with your own assumptions using this template. The issue to you is; “What is the probability I will make a Type II error, and marry a bitch that will take me for every thing I have or ever will earn in the future?” The answer is not 10%. Here are the results:

This was the divorce rate in my father’s time and maybe for most of you in your grandfather’s time. They were no better or worse at screening out bad women than we men are today. They just had a much better pool of candidates from which to choose. Today, over 70% of divorces in the US are initiated by the woman. Some studies have shown that up to an additional 20% of divorces are forced by the woman by their behavior. My first divorce fell in that category; my wife had multiple affairs and abandoned the marriage except for the part where she spent my money. So how does this look in an adverse environment? Let us reverse the proportions of good and bad women.

This is the divorce rate in the US today. Note that the divorce rate does not include the case where the bitch does not divorce you, but merely makes your life a living hell. So, maybe, the actual pool of women in the US is even worse than assumed here. I would also posit that the true state of nature proportion for good girlfriend/wife material in the population of BGs (anywhere) is even worse than assumed here. To quote Dirty Harry, “Do you feel lucky?” Especially “do you feel lucky” when the price for being wrong is a life in tatters, staring into the black abyss of despair.

I will now posit that the ability of bad women to hide that fact far out strips the male ability to detect their subterfuge. Neurobiologists and biological anthropologist think the development of the female brain in Homo sapiens has developed for the sole purpose of manipulating the male of the species. If you think you can beat them at their own game, then I want to talk to you about a bridge in Brooklyn that I want to sell you. I will assume that the Type II error rate is 40% (i.e. you will think 40% of the bad women you find attractive are good girlfriend/wife material). Good women have no need to hide anything, so the Type I error rate stays the same. What are your odds now?

This does not seem that bad, but let us look at the case in the Adverse Selection environment.

Now we are talking real life. Do you still want to reach into that bin of hand grenades, when you have an 80% chance of getting it wrong? Probably not, but a lot of men are still getting married when the odds are all against them; the triumph of eternal optimism over bitter experience. Let us assume you’ve been burned. You have survived one grenade exploding in your hand. Once bitten twice shy. So you think, “I’ll just up my rejection rate to give me better odds.” Now, this means you will reject more good women (who cares) while accepting fewer (but not zero) bad women. Let us assume a Type I error rate of 70%, and a Type II error rate of only 20%. Those bad women are still wilier than you; their life depends on fooling you. The following is the result:

So, if you are in an adverse selection environment, I hold that you can not do much to improve your odds. Without generalizing that all BGs/western women are bad, or that all non-BGs/non-western women are good, I think the above has built the case that your interests are served by going elsewhere for any long term relationship (LTR). Let me say that again. It is in your best interest to search for a life partner where the pool of candidates is better for you. You should be completely selfish in making this decision. It is the most important one you will ever make. Do not think you are going to be a white knight and ride in to save some girl from a fate worse than death. First it is not a fate worse than death to her, and secondly she is much more likely to drag you to hell than you are to save her. By all means, continue to enjoy Pattaya and the P4P scene in Bangkok (or elsewhere) for what they are, but, when it comes to a LTR, don’t try fishing in the sands of a desert, even if there is an infinitely small chance of catching a fish there. To those of you who have caught a fish there, my hat is off to you and I wish you continued good fortune.


Stickman's thoughts:

For sure, when a guy is going to get married, he should do everything possible to make sure he is not going to be up against it from the outset. Unfortunately though, there are still many guys who get involved with bargirls (or anyone woman where there is a known or implied issue) who seemingly disregard that as not important.