Despite being heavily criticised, Maslow's hierarchy of needs serves a rough guide to the needs of the individual in an individualistic society. Love shy males by their very nature suffer physiologically through lack of sex, love and belonging due to the absence of sexual intimacy and also fail to reach self-actualisation due to their issues related to spontaneity, etc. If Maslow's hierarchy was to be believed, love shy males would therefore be at higher risk of personal failure than their non-shy counterparts. Let's see what Gilmartin discovered about the love-shy population and their success in life.
In a study of white, college educated males in 1982, Gilmartin discovered that 3.6% of the non-shy population was unemployed while 16% of the older love-shy males were unemployed at the time of the interview. Basically love-shy males are extremely prone to unemployment, prolonged under-employment and/or part-time employment.
The average income for the older love-shy males in 1979-1981 was only $14,782 despite 93% of these love-shy males having an undergraduate degree and 42% having at least one graduate degree. Despite not giving comparative figures for the non-shy population, Gilmartin states that this number is low and represents an unrewarded and ignored segment of the American population.
Of the 100 older love-shy males interviewed, all were living in small one-bedroom apartments. Gilmartin judges that 73% were living in less than desirable neighbourhoods and their living quarters were often cramped and cluttered.
Gilmartin noticed that based on the reports of the older love-shy males, their socioeconomic status had been reduced in relation to their upbringing. For example, a love-shy male who grew up in a middle class household (which is interestingly true of the majority of love-shy males) is more likely to drift into the lower class in adulthood. This seems counter-intuitive considering love-shy males are more likely to obtain higher education - a term which sociologists call "status inconsistent". These "status inconsistent" people are seldomly happy, content or productive.
If love-shyness leads to low income and career instability then this also has further implications in the ability for the love-shy to overcome their limitations. First of all, in terms of confidence, their financial condition does not allow them to feel in control of their lives. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, society looks down on those earning less, which affects their ability to attract women. For example, OkCupid has tracked the number of messages a man gets in relation to his age and his income and not surprisingly the lower the income, the less messages a man gets, particularly above the age of 23. Women are still attracted to men who bring home the bacon.
Basically, they are stuck in a downwards spiral. Their love-shyness leads to low income, which makes them unable to find a mate, which does not help their confidence, etc, leading to more career instability, and so on.
In a 1977 survey of happiness and income, 46% of people earning >$20,000 were "very happy", compared to 33% for $10,000 to $19,999, and 29% for those earning less than $10,000.
Those love-shy males who do obtain work often struggle with issues of confidence and social networking - critical areas for many jobs. This can lead to a stagnation in the advance of ones career and general distrust from their colleagues.
In a questionnaire developed to measure the attitudes of the love shy and their non love shy counterparts, the following results were obtained.
32% Older Love-Shy
100% Older Love-Shy
Seldomly let ones-self down:
4% Older Love-Shy
Enjoy making decisions:
38% Older Love-Shy
Gilmartin offers the following advice.
THE CHOICE OF A MAJOR IS OF INFINITELY GREATER IMPORTANCE THAN GRADEPOINT AVERAGE. To put it bluntly, A STRAIGHT "C" AVERAGE IN THE RIGHT DISCIPLINE WILL BE OF VASTLY GREATER VALUE TO THE LOVE-SHY THAN A STRAIGHT "A" AVERAGE IN THE WRONG DISCIPLINE.[Yes, it appears as all-caps in the book]
Completion of a major in a technical field with only a "C" average will very likely get a love-shy man a much better career opportunity than will an "A" average in a non-technical discipline that is not clearly related to the job market.This is something I have personally thought about over the past six months or more since I started reading this book. Doing a degree in physics is all well and good from an intellectual point of view, but it doesn't build a foreseeable stable and profitable future, things which most people require to feel confident within themselves. Another problem is the lack of females who are in the field, which decreases the probability of meeting someone who shares similar interests.
Intellectual self-enlightenment or "insight" is now recognized by most psychologists as being quite useless from the standpoint of curing love-shyness.
It can be asserted with considerably certainty that love-shy men who major in technical fields and who develop salable, technical skills, adjust to their adult lives a great deal better than do love-shys who major in the liberal arts, social science, education and humanities disciplines.
Despite my love of physics, I'm not sure I can exactly feel content with the picture of myself being 40 and living alone in a small flat in Germany...I've yet to come up with a reasonable picture as to where my future will take me. There are a million other ancillary issues which complicate things too. They all lead to me having a lack of motivation in finishing my PhD.