The 80 – 20 Rule

The Situation Snooki


Ever feel like roughly 20% of men are having roughly 80% of the sex? As it turns out, you’re quite right.


The 80 / 20 Rule

Sometimes called the Pareto Principle, the 80 / 20 rule applies to many areas of life, arguing that more or less 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. That generally speaking, things aren’t distributed evenly.

In other words: life just isn’t fair.

For some time it’s generally been held that the 80/20 rule also applies to dating, to hook-ups. And now new data from American college studies seems to confirm this, that a disproportionately small number of men are getting a disproportionately large amount of the action.



The Situation

Yeah. We don’t get it either.


So how does this work, exactly? Are Beta males doomed to spending their twenties and early thirties consigned to the outskirts of the dating game?


Alpha Males Get the Gals

Theories are divided. Some experts contend that non-Alpha males can expect less success with women earlier in life, with the tide turning a little sometime in their mid to late thirties when worldly success and financial stability start to count for more.

Others have argued that the 80/20 rule can be explained more easily: that alpha males are generally more than willing to lower their standards when it comes to casual sex, and hook up with women they perceive to be below their level. Thus, in the end, they simply have a much bigger sea to fish from.


Feminist Success? Douche-Bag Effect?

Some have also attributed this to the success of the feminist movement over the last few decades: women now feel less pressure to marry at earlier ages, and feel there is less stigma associated with having multiple sexual ‘hook-ups’.

Another explanation is the so-called ‘douchebag effect’: that the more of a lothario a guy is, the more likely he is to brag around about his conquests too.


What do you think though? Do 80% of men really get 20% of the women? Or is it just that these men tend to go out of their way to broadcast their sexual exploits?


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One comment

  • Lower standards likely have a lot to do with the 80/20 result. It seems pretty clear that some guys (and gals) have more sexual partners simply because they care more about quantity than quality. Whether that can be defined as “success” is debatable. The study you linked to concluded that a small minority of promiscuous men and women are having sex with each other, but that most people (male and female) are sexually conservative and that “marriage is the most effective way of getting regular access to frequent sex”.

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