If you have been reading around the manosphere for a bit you would have come across the terms”rabbits”, “wolves”, “K-selected” and “r-selected”. They reference an interesting theory that is used to model and a fair bit of sciological behaviours in humans and their political, social and mating behaviours.
The theory in question is r/K Selection theory, which refers to various traits in organisms in regards to their reproductive strategy, mainly in the tradeoffs between the quality and quantity of their offspring. Some species invest more resources in having fewer offspring while others invest less in each of their progeny but focus on having as many as possible.
Species using an r-selected reproductive strategy tend to have more offspring and invest less in them, a good example is the rabbit. K-selected species have less offspring but invest much more in them, such as the wolf. You can read up more on them, it’s interesting stuff.
In general, r-selected species tend to:
- sexualise earlier (earlier reproduction)
- exhibit cowardice (individually run instead of fight)
- have lower in-group loyalty
- have lower parental investment in offspring
- be anti-competitive
K-selected species tend to:
- sexualise later
- have higher parental investment in offspring
- be competitive
- have high in-group loyalty
- exhibit courage, but limit potential risk in combat (ritualised combat)
Humans in general are a K-selected species, we have offspring relatively late and in lower numbers, invest a lot in them, and are a competitive species. This is why we are the apex predators on our planet.
But the interesting part is that within a species groups and individuals can exhibit K-selected or r-selected traits. r/K selection is a continuum and different groups, cultures and individuals can fall anywhere in it. r/K selection can be used to describe many different value and belief systems.
Some groups are r-selected than others, they have values that support early sexualisation, loose sexual moors, have higher birth rates, low parental investment, and are generally low-trust societies where there isn’t very strong societal cohesion. In such societies we tend to see more individualistic values emerge and there isn’t a belief in a fair set of rules that everyone needs to play by. Universal values considered “good” are the ones that tend to be anti-competitive and maximally benefit the individual who can draw on it (welfarism).
Others are K-selected. They have lower birth rates and late sexualisation but put a lot of resources into each child. They are cohesive, high-trust societies that are competitive where everyone is expected to play to a single set of rules, some sort of value system that usually sorts out the strongest from the weakest.
K-selected strategies tend to come about in places where resources are scarce and the conditions are harsh and difficult and people have to be cohesive and as competitive as possible to generate the most value.
However, r-selected strategies tend to rise in places where resources are abundant and the environment easy, and there is no competitive advantage in being K-selected. If anything K-selection becomes a liability because an overt-focus on high quality offspring detracts from the time that could be spent generating more offspring.
After all a single mom who has 10 kids may not take as good care of them as a couple with 2 who spends a lot of effort on parenting. But from a genetic/memetic perspective she is still the winner if more of her children survive to reproduce, and demographics is destiny.
This has a lot of implications for everything from your social life to the ultimate fate of complex societies. The actual theory and how it is developed in the manosphere is more complex, and it makes for a lot of interesting reading. I will be expounding more in future posts, but this is a good primer. You don’t need to agree with everything, but it’s a useful lens to understand some things at times.
Think about it, do you know any r-selected rabbit people? What about competitive K-selected wolf people? Look at their values and how they behave. How will this affect society as a whole if either side becomes more predominant and their value-set becomes the dominant majority?
Interesting questions indeed.