Wednesday, June 16, 2004
This site is really crude, but it's something I think all girls ought to read. The Ladder Theory doesn't pertain to all, or perhaps even most (I haven't exactly conducted a survey) guys, but I would say that at least a very mild form of it is present in the thinking of all straight men. I could, and perhaps might later, write a long essay on this, but I'll limit myself to a few comments for now. If you replace "sleep with" with "date/court/marry," it's not as offensive. Also, recognize that being "unattractive" shouldn't be construed as a synonym for "wolf ugly" (though, let's be honest, the possibility exists). Quite simply, it may be that a guy thinks that he and a girl would not be a very good match. This could be for any number of reasons, including religious conflicts, personality clashes (two very dominant personalities, for example), or more shallow things like looks or money. The guy may, of course, still find the girl very attractive, but will suppress that feeling because he knows that there are other girls out there whom he finds more attractive. A scenario might help.
Andrew is a strongly committed Christian who prefers to take a leadership role in his relationships. He is friends with Becky, Carrie, and Denise. Andrew thinks that Becky, Carrie, and Denise are very pretty and intelligent, and feels that marrying any one of them would not exactly be the end of the world for him. Becky is a Buddhist, and so Andrew demotes her on his "ladder." Carrie, while a Christian, is very dominant, and so she too is demoted. Denise is a Christian and slightly shy, and so she gets the highest position of the three girls on Andrew's ladder. Andrew could expect to be happy with any of these girls. However, he chooses not to pursue Becky and Carrie because he is interested in Denise. This doesn't mean that he isn't tempted to ask the first two girls out, or might not end up seeing one of them if Denise rejects him or he can't work up the courage to ask out Denise.
But, back to the original theory. As Josh notes, nearly all guys recognize it as being valid, at least in essence, while most girls will reject it out of hand. My guess is that girls simply can't bear the thought that guys they know and trust might think of them that way. And, to some extent, the girls are right. If we're truly your friends (whether we're "interested" in you or not), we do our best not to think of you like that, and certainly not to act on that. But, as sinful creatures, the temptation is present.
What do you think? Girls especially are invited to comment, and you can feel free to not use your names.