I’m a scientist of human evolution — men have 3 top dating ‘red flags’

I’m a scientist of human evolution — men have 3 top dating ‘red flags’

Don’t say he didn’t warn you.

Writer and scientist Macken Murphy took to TikTok last week to reveal his hypothesis for the three most common red flags that women should look out for when dating men.

Murphy, an Oxford University-educated cognitive and evolutionary anthropologist, has declared it a bad sign if a man has no friends, has an unfaithful parent and regularly insults his partner — a manipulative practice often referred to as “negging.”

The viral video, posted Friday, has already climbed to over 1.3 million views on the app

“Kind of a sad one, but male-male friendships are much easier to maintain than male-female romantic relationships,” Murphy began of his red flag philosophy. “And so if a guy can’t maintain guy friends, that is a strong signal that he won’t be able to maintain you.”

Murphy then went on to warn that history has been known to repeat itself. “It’s partly genetic, and some research indicates that the genes that influence infidelity differ between the sexes,” he said. “So that’s just to say that all else being equal, a guy with an unfaithful father is more likely to cheat on you.”

A 2017 study, reported by Psychology Today, found that to be true. Among those taking part in the survey who admitted to being unfaithful in their marriage, 35% of them also reported infidelity in their own parents’ relationships.

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If a man has no friends, Murphy advises women to watch out.

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Macken Murphy explained that cheating can run in the family.


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Many commenters seemed to agree with Murphy’s sentiments about “negging.”


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Murphy’s final red flag should be obvious, he insisted — while referring to American author and psychologist David Buss, who discussed the concept of “mate value.”

“I learned from Dr. David Buss that a man with low mate value will often put down a woman. He wants to reduce her self perceived mate value, her self-esteem, in order to get her to lower her standards and accept him as a mate,” Murphy elaborated.

In the American Psychological Association dictionary, mate value describes how one has assessed themselves or others in terms of their desirability and viability as a romantic or life partner. So a person who thinks little of themself may resort to “negging” others for a self-esteem boost.

He continued, “So my third red flag is a guy negging you. Don’t internalize his signaling, recognize it for what it is: a strong signal that you can do better.”

In the comments section of Murphy’s video, many people seemed to agree with his assessment — especially the last one.

“Negging only ever amps up and gets worse,” someone wrote. “And worse. And worse. Til it’s full-blown abuse.”

Another user agreed, writing, “The negging part is so true, I’d love to see it more widely recognized for what it is.”

“100% agree!” one viewer commented. “My ex doesn’t have any long-lasting male friendships & he used to neg me.”

Some, however, did not want to take his advice.

“1. Makes no sense just bc someone is anti-social doesn’t mean they can’t maintain relationships,” they typed.

One TikToker questioned, “But what if you don’t want friends? I like isolation I call my dad maybe every. 3 days, read, work, hobbies, workout.”

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Jane Herz

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