There has been a notion going around for sometime that throughout the bulk of human evolution there was no possibility to select for female attraction to wealth, because there were no wealthy males.

A post over at Just Be A Man About It titled Hypergamy Is An Illusory Apparition goes so far to say that what we observe as hypergamy can’t really exist, because it doesn’t fit with this theory.

My response:

It’s fine to have a theory about what should be, but we must measure the theories against the real world.

Your theory that wealth in and of itself, independent of the secondary characteristics that it can engender, such as confidence, is not sexually attractive to women, but that only confidence is ultimately attractive does not hold with the measurable and measured facts.

Studies have been done that control for confidence and show that women react with sexual attraction towards wealth. These studies use both measured physiological changes in the women, plus self reporting. For instance you can give a different backstory to the same photograph, and women will measure as being more attracted to the man that is said to be wealthy.

Also your idea that in pre-historic times there was no real wealth is suspect. Even monkeys trade bananas for sex. And if you give monkeys coins that they can trade for bananas, they quickly start trading those coins for sex. Humans have had specialized small industries far back into prehistory, such as copper smelting, spear head making, weaving, etc. Bear claws and other talismans have been symbols of proto-wealth since pre-antiquity. Plus social power translates into control over labor which is a form of proto-wealth. There was never a time of relatively equal distribution of resources where society was “egalitarian by nature and relatively non-hierarchical”. Money and status and wealth goes back into our past to before we had any language for the concept of money.

Females have been skilled at picking up on cues of power over labor and resources since forever.

And on top of this, it does not take long for genetic traits to make their way through a population. We have new traits in humans that have arrived since the advent of farming, and we continue to select for new traits. The selective pressures on the ashkenazi Jews for instance has been studied to have raised their average I.Q.s in a time measured in just hundreds of years.

It should also be mentioned that many of the “researchers” who purport that pre-history lacked status differences are radical feminists with a pro-communist agenda. They are pretty open about it.