R-types = polyandric and K-types = monoandric

Terms by a Russian called Blonsky during the Soviet Era.

We’d nowadays call it the tendency to monogamy and polygamy (andry being replaced perhaps incorrectly).

I’d read the terms before but this feature struck me online (since I can’t link to out-of-print sexology books).


Male narcissists despise the monogamous woman, roughly two-thirds of women, and seek the inferior polyandric, which has narcissistic tendencies too. The narcissist may be understood as a feature of the polyandric mating strategy allowing them to decouple quickly. Presumably, both the misogynist and the misandrist must be polyandric/polygamous.


Repeat marriages were called “consecutive polygamy” by Ellis, an infamous sexologist, but nowadays we call them “serial monogamists” (an oxymoron of a term if ever there was one), as if that’s better. Case study: Trump.

Technically, polygamy refers not to sexual tendency (attraction) but ability. The distasteful fact a person can break their previous pair bond, agreed to be lifelong. It’s considered infidelity in many religions for good reason. Obviously this can’t be enforced in the deceased party, they filled their part, but the widower might be expected to show some fidelity unto death i.e. in celibacy and never remarrying. Divorce isn’t an excuse where death vows are sworn before God and it certainly has nothing to do with evolution of loyalty and innate nature. For example, it’s more likely a husband died in war but a woman died in childbirth. Those cannot be held similar with signing a piece of paper because they don’t put out as often or the neighbour looks better (I believe there’s a whole commandment about that).

In fact, what is perceived as a natural habit of humans to wander sexually makes more evolutionary sense if you think of the life-threatening need to move onto another partner after the death of the previous one. Species that are fully monogamous are genetic dead-ends if one party dies. This isn’t the same as wild, broad indulgence at the expense of provisioning and Trivers’ investment theory has proven men have an adaptive advantage with monogamy, not getting around.

9 responses to “R-types = polyandric and K-types = monoandric

  1. The words “polygyny” and “polyandry” have been in use in English since the 18th century, and “polygamy” has been in use since Shakespeare’s time. Much discussed by anthropologists in the 19th century, polygyny has been observed in many parts of the world, and polyandry has been noted to be very rare. The terms conventionally refer to having multiple wives or husbands at the same time, a condition distinguished from promiscuity as well as serial marriage and “group marriage” (all observed in various cultures).

      • When comparing cultures, the term “marriage” refers to customs that are analogous to Western, monogamous marriage, but sometimes the analogy is necessarily loose. Group marriage involved rules restricting who could mate with whom, so analogous to that extent, at least. Socialists advocated group marriage from early on, and Engels wrote a book describing the birth of monogamy as the moment when humanity fell from its Edenic, “noble savage” state.

      • Polygyny is normally only for a small, rich elite – but in SS Africa, was (and to some extent still is) pretty widespread; group marriage is seen in very primitive societies where paternal investment is practically nil.

      • Lefties, of course don’t care about economic practicalities. Anything that opposes bourgeois values and/or the Ancien Regime – the more egregiously the better – is good.

  2. Pingback: Viking welfare system including child support | Philosophies of a Disenchanted Scholar

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