In one of his YouTube lecture videos (clip below), Peterson talks about the book, “A Billion Wicked Thoughts” by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam (summary of the book here).
The book is by two scientists who analyzed about a billion internet searches to investigate what genre of porn men and women search for and combined that information with research from evolutionary biology, sexual psychology and other sciences to get a clear picture of what men and women desire.
However, not everything that Peterson said in the video is true. Let’s look at the lessons he shares in clip:
Men search for visuals of pornography
In “A Billion Wicked Thoughts” the authors explain the real reason men are attracted to visual cues such as breasts or butts.
Usually, the larger these parts are, the more gynoid fat they have.
Why is that important? Levels of gynoid fat in breast positively predict all aspects of female lifetime reproductive capacity, including conception probability, probability of successful pregnancy and offspring quality.
Since these body parts are the best indicators of a woman’s long-term reproduction value, it’s no surprise that these ornaments have evolved to become the most potent visual cues for men.
In simple terms: Large boobs = healthy woman who will produce healthy kids.
In fact, men love visual cues so much they are willing to pay for them. About 98% of all porn subscriptions are made by men and only 2% are made by women.
Women search for literary representations of pornography
As a general rule, women prefer to “read porn” instead of watching it.
Why? It’s because women need more information about a partner since women have to consider the long term consequences of sexual intercourse.
Sex for a woman can result in pregnancy, nursing and more than a decade of child raising. These commitments require enormous amounts of time, resources and energy. Sex with the wrong guy can lead to single motherhood, an abusive spouse or a weak father that can’t protect his offspring.
Men, meanwhile, can always have sex and (hypothetically) run away without any consequences.
Since intercourse is more risk than reward for women, they want to find the right mate, not just an attractive one.
If you were going to be with someone for the long term, wouldn’t you want to know more about them? That is why women look for clues regarding the man’s personality, commitment, confidence, social status, wealth and many more traits.
A 5-minute porn video can’t provide women with all this information, but a book that takes several hours or days to read and builds a relationship with the reader can.
“The goal of a romance novel’s heroine is never for sex own its own sake, much less impersonal sex with strangers. The core of a romance novel’s plot is a love story in the course of which the heroine overcomes obstacles to identify, win the heart of, and ultimately marry the one man who is right for her” (pg 19).
There are 5 types of classic male monsters:
Vampire, Werewolf, Billionaire, Pirate, Surgeon
The book actually lists ten of the most common professions of the hero. After looking at over 15,000 Harlequin romance novels, here are the most common male heroes they found:
Surgeon made the list, we can substitute billionaire for boss or king, but no sign of pirate, werewolf or vampire on the top ten (Peterson made the same mistake here).
However, I do know why Peterson said werewolves and vampires were part of the list.
Later in the book, the authors talk about why women love paranormal romance books and films (think Twilight). Are women attracted to men that drink blood or can turn into a wolf? Not exactly.
Women are attracted to paranormal heroes because they are alphas among alphas. Being a doctor or a king is cool and all, but a vampire or werewolf is even better.
Vampires, for instance, are exceptionally strong, often immortal, know how to fight and protect people, usually live in a mansion or castle (meaning they have money) and are usually very physically attractive. Much of the same goes for werewolves.
These paranormal heroes basically have all the alpha male traits women desire, but cranked to the max.
Women want men who are aggressive yet civilized
Surprise, it’s true!
The authors have a section in the book that talks about this called, “The Taming of the Wild Coconut.” Most guys in high school probably remember that the kind, nice and quiet kids didn’t get that many girls while the guys who were often tough, mean or sometimes even bullies, almost always had a girlfriend.
Why is that?
“Women want their romance heroes to be like coconuts: hard and tough on the outside, but soft and sweet on the inside. But the hero’s sweet interior can’t be available to just anyone. Only the heroine gets to crack him open. The hero is granted free reign to be a badass with everyone else, as long as he’s tender and attentive with the heroine” (99).
The authors continue by writing that once a woman finds a guy she likes, “the female brain then sets out on a mission to tame, heal, or soften the alpha hero’s wild heart.”
As Peterson says, for more evidence look no further than the classic Disney film, “Beauty and the Beast.”
As mentioned earlier, this article was not intended to be a hit piece on Dr. Peterson, but rather simply clarifying the lessons Peterson shares about the book “A Billion Wicked Thoughts.”
P.S. I highly recommend reading the book. The combination of evolutionary biology, sexual psychology and modern-day online searches leads to a wide range of fascinating discoveries. Plus, you’ll finally figure out why men are attracted to certain cues while women aren’t and vice-versa.
If you want to check out my list of recommended books, you can find that here.