Virgin vs. Chad: On Enforced Monogamy as a Solution to the Incel Problem

In David Boonin (ed.), The Palgrave Handbook of Sexual Ethics. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 155-175 (2022)
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Controversially, psychologist and public intellectual Jordan Peterson advises “enforced monogamy” for societies with high percentages of “incels.” As Peterson’s proposal resonates in manosphere circles, this chapter reconstructs and briefly evaluates the argument for it. Premised on the moral importance of civilizational sustainability, advocates argue that both polygamous and socially monogamous but sexually liberal mating patterns result in unsustainable proportions of unattached young men. Given the premises, monogamous societies are probably justified in maintaining their anti-polygamist social and legal norms. The case for imposing stricter sexual norms on socially monogamous but sexually liberal societies is weaker, however, as male involuntary celibacy in those places isn’t as directly caused by male intrasexual competition, and since less intrusive social interventions are more likely to ameliorate “the incel problem.”
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