Cads and dads: the basics
In the PUA circles there is a concept called "cads and dads". The basic idea is that the female reproduction imperative favors the acquisition of quality male genetic material over providing for offspring. But, you still gotta feed those kids. Since guys who fuck around -- cads -- are apt to leave you and your kids to starve, there's a sneaky mechanism (they claim) to trick weak males into providing for offspring that is not their own.
The problem I have with "cads and dads" is the same issue I have with almost any evolutionary biology theory. It's junk science that has nothing to do with how humans evolved. Here's the the thing you have to appreciate about we humans. We evolved in groups that generally numbered between 20 and 200 people. Even after humans settled down into agricultural societies and started forming larger towns, we favored organizing ourselves into extended families units. In short, we were clannish.
Clannish societies are almost always simple, violent and patriarchal. Think of some ass backwards town in rural Syria and that's a solid analog for the environments where modern humans emerged. Families controlled property and trades within a limited range. When conflicts emerged, shit got real very fast. It was a world where disputes ended only when two older men sat down and agreed the kids needed to stop killing each other.
Simply put, we humans did not evolve in an environment that was cad-friendly.
On the flip side, it was a very friendly environment to be an alpha male. Think about the father figure who dominates the average clan unit in a backwards society. He's probably in his thirties or forties, because he has to be able-bodied enough to enforce his will with direct physical violence. He is most certainly married -- in many societies he would have more than one wife. When he speaks, the teens in the clan shut the fuck up.
In other words, he is exactly who we imagine the desirable alpha male to be.
Now, let's consider what happens when a cad make the mistake of treading in this man's backyard. Well, the alpha male has a platoon of able young men at his disposal who are willing to kill. Clannish societies are considered by most students of criminology to be by far the most violent. Clans generally emerge in environments where the government cannot enforce law and order. So, clans just don't fuck around.
The idea that cads have some evolutionary advantage is beyond stupid. Being a cad is simply the worst possible choice in a pre-modern society. It's basically a death sentence.
Women do not want playboys. They want alpha males. Playboys are, by simple virtue of their isolation, not alpha males. An alpha male is anchored in a clan that follows his orders. Order he ranks high enough within such a clan that he only takes orders from a handful of older, more powerful men.
More to the point, you will never hear a woman idealize a cad. Women idealize masculine strength. They idealize success. At the end of the equation they want to be possessed by such a man, not tossed around by some shithead playboy. Women idealize the strong, paternal, masculine provider at the top of the clan, not some thoughtless cad who is going to get himself killed or starve living at the fringe of a clan that hates him.
Modern society creates disjunctions with evolutionOne thing I firmly believe about most problems human beings have is that our issues largely emerge from the fact we live in a world for which we are not evolved.
Think about OCD, for example. An OCD person would have had no problem being productive in a pre-modern society. Hunting, gathering, farming, learning a trade, etc all would have been easier for an OCD person. It's only once you get into the 20th Century that being OCD becomes a crippling "disorder". It's only once some asshole boss wants you to be a brainless cog that your "disorders" are in any way a disruption to people around you.
That same problem emerges in human sexuality, too. The female desire to seek out the strongest male in the group and screw him is perfectly OK in a society rife with violence. Cads and playboys and ne'er-do-wells don't last long in such societies. The problem is that in a modern society, we seem to have a more enlightened view of not killing every useless shithead who comes along.
That introduces a significant problem for women who are seeking the best mate. Simply put, old alpha male signals cease to be reliable. Five thousand years ago, a scoundrel wouldn't last long without a clan to keep him from being killed. At the very least, a scoundrel had to be one crafty motherfucker to survive -- itself a fairly positive sexual signal under the circumstances.
Nowadays, what's a girl to do? How do you find the best mate in a world where a complete wimp can pull down six-figures running an insurance office? How do you weed out the scumbags when the courts simply refuse to put snake oil salesmen to death anymore?
The problem is that we humans are still running on the snap judgments our ancestors relied upon. The basic math of modern society favors sociopaths. It is to a man's advantage to absolutely push the limits of civility and then push them some more. Anyone who has made the mistake of leaving their house in the year 2013 will tell you what a joke simple civility has become. All modern human beings do anymore is engage in a constant game of chicken trying to sucker everyone around them into getting tossed into a jail cell.
The imperative of human female reproduction is to breed and breed well. That is true. The problem is that the signals haven't changed, but the game has.
That doesn't make women evil monsters who are trying to stick you with a brood of illegitimate children. It just means that the math isn't on the side of stable families in a world where any jackass can appear out of nowhere and seduce a lonely girl. On a long enough timeline, evolution will sort out the cads should modern conditions persist. In the meantime, the game presently favors sociopaths.
Try to be sure you don't confuse what the math favors with being what women favor. Women still favor the old school strong male. They just don't know how to find him anymore. They're stuck digging very little signal out from a lot of noise. And that whole time their biological clock is counting down to infertility. Which is why women try to play the game to the edge, staying single until their late 20s and then settling quickly. It is, for lack of a better option, the optimal strategy when you're stuck digging out so much noise.