Urban legend has it that single women in search of intelligent, successful men are having a ball in Silicon Valley, a subset of the Bay Area where women are surrounded by many of the most educated, well paid men in the world.
In reality, the dating scene in the Silicon Valley is worse than anywhere else.
While many would expect women in Silicon Valley to be snatching up geek gods like the latest iPhone upgrade, finding romance here is harder than finding a house for under a half a million dollars. Especially in an area where 64 new millionaires surface a day, single men in Silicon Valley are constantly afraid of gold-diggers who only come to the area to come play the next round of “Who Wants to Meet a Millionaire?” Where the imbalance of men to women in areas like “Man Jose” and “Manta Clara” is painfully clear, the few women who reside in the area have the pick of the litter.
According to evolutionary psychologist Satoshi Kanazawa, a woman’s upper hand in the dating scene can be attributed to the idea that sex and mating is constrained to female choice. Because females invest more of their lives in their children than males do and ultimately decide whether or not sexual intercourse occurs, women are much picker when choosing their mates. They are also the main decision-makers in the progression of a relationship. Thus, women have the power to choose to engage in monogamy, in which she is faithful to one man, or polygyny, where she is with multiple men, to meet conditions that are most favorable for their offspring.
For a woman to have such an upper hand in the dating scene is a male techie’s worst nightmare. Evolutionary psychologists claim that with mate choice centered on reproductive success, an ideal husband must be strong in order to protect one’s offspring, physically attractive to pass on good genes, as well as resourceful to have more to invest in a family. While a stereotypical awkward, unathletic, and immature techie may have the financial prospects to provide for his child, his lacking qualities in the other two areas may lead a woman to search for more. Therefore, a man’s fear of gold-diggers can be attributed to the notion that women can get the best of both worlds through polygyny—secret affairs with handsome men can allow a woman’s children to carry high-quality genes while the parental investment of a clueless but resourceful techie husband.
Moreover, the exceptionally high ratio of men to women in Silicon Valley results in men being even more prone to cuckoldry. Where there is a disproportionately large number of men, there is always someone better around the corner for a woman to meet. Since gold-diggers are not nearly as interested in a relationship than what they can get out of it to provide for their offspring, men may feel easily disposable as women can readily toss them aside for someone with better genes and financial standings. In an article published by The Guardian, a computer engineer named Alan expressed how dating in Silicon Valley made him feel like a “disposable commodity.” “I never thought I would be made to feel poor being a multimillionaire…there is no end to the amount of money people have here,” he stated.
Especially in an area such as Silicon Valley where there is a high degree of resource inequality, women are also better off sharing wealthy men (even 1/10 of a man!) than a whole of a poor man—even more reasons for women to be on the continual search for a side counterpart. As the circumstances in Silicon Valley’s dating scene work in a woman’s favor, it is only natural for men to be kept on constant lookout for unfaithful women who care more about their bank accounts than about the man himself.
The growing fear of a woman’s advantage in the dating world has reached new heights in Silicon Valley. With men growing more and more insecure about their conquest for love, some have even tried to gain back the upper hand, like one who designed an “Automating Tinder” hack aimed to remove women’s liberty to be choosy in swiping left. In today’s world of increasing gender equality, however, men in Silicon Valley should feel less deterred from meeting women in fear of being taken advantage of. If anything, as women become more financially independent, men should aim to have as much EQ as IQ. Love isn’t completely dead in the Silicon Valley; you’ll just have a much harder time here than elsewhere.