• Wed, Aug 24 2011

Study Sheds Light On Who Keeps Having Sex With ‘Pickup Artists’

When reading about self-proclaimed “master pickup artist” Mystery’s “fool-proof” method of seducing women, I often wonder who, exactly, is having sex with him and his acolytes. I don’t think I know any woman who’d react well to some clown with a soul patch and a ridiculous hat coming up to her in a bar and delivering a backhanded compliment, disrespecting her personal boundaries, and generally treating her like a recalcitrant animal.

Apparently, I’m not the only one. Jeffrey Hall and Melanie Canterberry from the University of Kansas recently performed a sociological study to determine which types of women respond positively to aggressive courtship strategies, and found that women who hold sexist attitudes about their own sex are much more likely than women with more egalitarian views to go for it. For this study, they asked people a bunch of questions to determine their level of “ambivalent sexism,” which basically means any sexist attitude that falls short of explicit misogyny. Here are some examples of said questions:

Many women are actually seeking special favors, such as hiring policies that favor them over men, under the guise of asking for ‘equality.’ (Agree/Disagree)

Women seek to gain power by getting control over men. (Agree/Disagree)

They also asked the male respondents what kind of pickup tactics they used, and the female respondents which ones they responded to. Unsurprisingly enough, the men who held the most traditionally sexist attitudes were most likely to use aggressive and/or degrading seduction tactics (is there any other kind of “seduction tactic”?), while the women who held sexist attitudes were most likely to respond to them.

Via Good:

According to their research, pickup artist techniques are strongly linked to ”men who have negative attitudes toward women and believe women are a threat to male dominance,” guys who get off on “putting women in their place.” As it turns out, women who respond positively to these attitudes tend to hate women, too. “Women who have negative attitudes about members of their own gender find men who treat them in a dominant way during courtship more desirable because it is consistent with their sexist ideology,” Hall and Canterberry found. Apparently both “men and women who believe women can be isolated and teased into sex have a low regard for women in general.”

So that settles that, I guess.

Then again, what’s the harm in people coming together over their mutual belief that male-female relations are a bizarre power game in which sex is a thing that women have, and men want? People bond over all sorts of cockamamie beliefs, no?

Well, as Anna North points out, one possible downside to this is that if the women in question are sexually assaulted, they are likely to blame themselves. When men and women buy into this “battle of the sexes” nonsense, it’s usually women who suffer the most.

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  • Anna

    i actually worked on a film set with the winner of the first season of “the pick-up artist.” he’s an actor. who looks, acts, and dresses totally different than on that show, and has a hot girlfriend. so yeah, no…they’re actors.

  • Ashley Cardiff

    although this study is fascinating, i fear reading any more would depress me.

  • denny

    @Anna, they’re not all actors. I’ve known one of the season 1 contestants for years, and he was the real deal. Also, I (embarrassingly) dated a guy who paid thousands of dollars to go to Mystery’s seminars (this was before the show). I liked him DESPITE the negs, lines, and lack of boundaries… I just assumed that he had poor social skills. Ironically, when he revealed that he followed this method (he couldn’t hid it forever), he said that he turned to the Mystery Method BECAUSE he had poor social skills and thought he needed help relating to women. Needless to say, the more I found out about it, the more disgusted I was, until finally I dumped him… even though in his case, I think he was just misguided. I actually think it’s egregious that the whole Mystery corporation preys on men who are so insecure and lonely that they’ll sink money into learning this.

  • Maris

    True story: I once SLAMMED a guy in a bar for using a Pickup Artist line on me. Of course, I had to admit that I watched the show…but it was all for the greater good.

    • denny

      Ha, I’ve done the same thing! It really knocks the wind out of their sails.

    • Rachi

      I think you were quite ignorant there. The guy only wanted a chance to show you he can be nice and attractive, he could easily show to be a very good guy who just wanted to look interesting for a random girl, so that he could know her better.

  • Rachi

    I must disagree, honestly. Pick-up artist tactics are a lot more about making the guy be able to show his good sides than turning him into something he isn’t so that he can have sex. .-. There are many pick-up artists who teach men who can barely look at a womans eyes how to show interest without being too agressive or looking stupid. Btw, negs are made ONLY for women who are too used to be hit all night long, just so that she knows she does have bad points in her and put her in the same level as the guy (or are you a sexist who thinks that one of the genres should be put in a pedestal?). There are many “”"”seduction”"” tactics that are used not to get sex for a day, but to show your good side and become social and used to people, so that you can get a girlfriend and marry her. Many good and nice guys are out there but you can’t see them, because they are too afraid of talking to women.
    Most of seduction artists nowadays work with this kind of man, so that the guy don’t have to die without ever even touching a women’s lips.
    So please, just because you have seem some stupid show on television, don’t think you know that much about the seduction community. Not all of us are trying to “live like a rockstar”, having sex everyday with different women. Nor do all of us are sexist jerks, most of us just want to have a chance.
    Mistery maybe have turned into a jerk after all the attention people gave him, but he had a very difficult family and for most of his life he could barely talk to women as well. Besides, the women who go out with him are not unconfortable with his attitude, nobody is really getting hurt by it, so what’s your point?
    Mistery’s best apprentice of all time (Style) tried to live the “rockstar life” for a long time, but even he gave up the game and settled down with a good girlfriend. Mistery has issues, I think the whole comunity understand that. He wasn’t just the boy who couldn’t talk to girls, he was the boy who hated his family, wanted to kill himself, and tried to make a whole new world in his head. That’s the way he found out to “compensate” it.
    I don’t know if you hate pick-up artists because you think they are trying to control you into liking them, if you are afraid, or if you hate them because of what SOME of them think about women, but most guys who use pick-up lines are just trying to get your attention so they can show you their good side, so that they won’t be anymore the nerdy guy who has so much to offer but can’t even start a conversation to show you all that.
    Please, stop judging us just because we wanna have a chance.

  • Jimm

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  • okiujhygtfre

    No serious player does any of this nonsense!
    You don’t need to insult a woman if you have confidence! You don’t need to use canned lines or any of the other nonsense these so-called “artists” use. These idiots should really stick to watercolors and teenage girls, cause in the real world, with intelligent women, they would fail so miserably!