The gold digger-debate seems to reach new heights nowadays, with endless articles illustrating how to 'spot a gold digger', including the JP Morgan banker’s response to ”Pretty girl looking for rich husband” and the popular ”Doc Love”, encouraging his readers to be as cheap as possible on their first dates with women in order to ”filter out the potential opportunists”.
Today, a man's fear of encountering a female gold digger seems to be bigger than meeting a hungry Great White Shark while out on a swim. Has this fear reached exaggerated measures, or are men correct in becoming more cautious? Do women have a right to demand concrete assets for the exchange of sex?
The biological aspect
It’s interesting and amusing to compare with nature, when trying to explain social behavior between men and women. Believe it or not, but the gold digger exists in the animal kingdom as well. Mecoptera, or also known as the hanging fly, has a particular way of courting and mating. The male approaches the female with a gift in the form of larvae, which she carefully examines. If the gift is rejected, the female flies away. If the gift is accepted, the male fly will gain sexual access to the female, who will lower herself until she hangs upside down. Studies have even shown that the bigger the gift offered, the longer the female accepts the copulation to endure, up to half an hour for exceptionally nice gifts.
Nature is extremely sophisticated, and has thought of everything for reproduction and its outcome to be as successful as possible, both when it comes to genes and environment. The male gender, unconsciously perhaps, focuses primarily on the quality of the offspring by generally paying attention to women in their most fertile age (18-32) with big breasts, curvy forms, good skin and other features that communicate a healthy bearer for their children. It is thus not surprising that those traits correspond to our society’s beauty ideal, and there is no moral issue by announcing one’s love for a woman and her beauty.
Women, on the other hand, focus on the environment where to raise that offspring, and therefore concentrate if her partner is compatible with her expectations of a future home and means to deliver all that is necessary for herself and the family. In other words: women want men who can provide stability for the nest, which in our modern society doesn’t mean a safe cave and protection from bears. It means money, and obviously the more the better. However, and unfortunately for women, there is a great moral issue by openly loving a man for his wealth.
The sociological aspect
During the years of the 1950-60s, when welfare in the U.S was at its peak, gold diggers were glorified and common in popular culture. Movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s portrayed the classy and princess-like Holly Golightly, who dreams of a rich husband. In Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the audience was seduced by the witty and sexy Lorelei Lee who innocently asked: Don't you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn't marry a girl just because she's pretty, but my goodness, doesn't it help? Both Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe have been endlessly praised for their role depictions.
At the time, they represented the ideal women, and their characters where celebrated by millions of men all over the world. Scholar and fellow researcher at LSE (London School of Economics) Catherine Hakim who has conducted extensive research on the social exchange between the female and male sex presented in her book “Money Honey”, agrees with Marilyn Monroe. She claims.
studies of marriage and mating show that men trade their economic strengths for women’s good looks and sex appeal whenever they can”. Further, she argues “as affluence rises, more men can afford a so called “trophy-wife” who distinguishes herself for her beauty, sexual skills, charming personality, and status symbol in herself.
In other words, when societies are wealthy, more men can afford gold diggers.
Today, as Europe and the U.S are struggling in a seemingly endless recession, men claim to reject any kind of gold digger, and provoking media banning Holly and Lorelei-types seems to be exploding. However, this shift in mindset undeniably provokes the question whether this hostility to the female opportunist is just a result of the current financial slowdown, rather than timeless morals.
The psychological aspect
In the U.S and Europe, women and men seem to think differently on the money-for-sex exchange. Women, who are dressed provocatively in a nightclub, are seldom surprised by the number of suitors that immediately approach. In fact, most of them enjoy the attention and are rarely offended by the compliments on figure, dress or character that follow. On very rare occasions, does a woman feel insulted by the fact that the suitor in deed wants to have sex with her.
However, for men, the psychology is different. Some men arrive to the club in a Porsche Cayenne or Bentley. Dressed in a Brioni-suit they pull back their back-slicked hair, showing off a golden Daytona and indiscreetly tip the bouncer a fresh $ 100-bill before entering the establishment. Yet they are surprised, offended and disgusted when being approached by women who fall for these attributes, immediately writing them off as malicious gold diggers. In our Western society, it has become socially acceptable to openly desire sex from the opposite gender, but not money and gifts.
The cultural aspect
The Western way of thinking is not universal, it’s peculiar. In Eastern, affluent societies, we can clearly follow a different mentality. In Russia, having an obvious gold digger on your side is perceived as a status symbol, proving that the man is rich enough to be able to provide for a woman with such needs (this mentality of bling-bling and showing off wealth to extreme measures, also stems from the Eastern-European liberation from communism, which prior made it impossible to own any kind of private wealth).
Asian countries show a similar pattern; on Chinese dating sites, young women openly request what they refer to as si you or the “four must-haves”: a house, a car, a prestigious job and a high salary. As many Chinese cities nowadays are dominated by a majority of men due to a former male priority in the “one child per family”-policy, these women are highly successful in gaining hundreds of replies from eager, successful businessmen. In Japan, geishas are being taught from young age how to entertain, please and seduce men for money.
Japanese men find this normal and highly respect these women for their work. Talented and prestigious geishas even end up marrying some of the country’s most affluent men in some instances, without anyone finding it inappropriate despite the obvious exchange for money and sex.
This article is obviously not defending women who actively seek to take advantage of men for their wealth, without any intention of awarding generous gestures with love and affection. However, it should serve as an informative wake-up call to men who still haven’t understood or accepted this social exchange between men and women.
No woman finds stinginess sexy. Thus, not surprisingly, the men who understood this are also the ones who have the most success in their love and sex-life. I hope for your sake, that includes you too, dear Elite Daily-reader.
Anna M Madsen | Elite.
For more from Anna M Madsen, visit www.annastasja.com