New research conducted at Swansea University has shed light on the thinking patterns of men who identify as incels, or involuntary celibates. The study found that these individuals have “fundamental thinking errors” when it comes to understanding what women desire in a partner. Specifically, incels tend to overemphasize physical attractiveness and financial status, while underestimating the importance of qualities such as kindness, humor, and loyalty.
Co-author of the study, Andrew Thomas, emphasized the need for providing mental health support to incels rather than demonizing the community. Thomas highlighted the importance of challenging assumptions and understanding the desires of the opposite sex to prevent confirmation bias. The research also revealed some surprising findings about incels, showing that they are generally younger, more ethnically diverse, and politically left-leaning compared to previous reports.
The study further found that incels have lower standards for potential partners than commonly assumed. This challenges the notion that incels hold impossibly high standards for romantic relationships. However, the research also highlighted the concerning mental health issues faced by this group. Incels were found to have high levels of loneliness and daily thoughts of suicide.
Dr. Thomas stressed the importance of tailored mental health support for incels, given their unique challenges and experiences. The study’s findings, which were published in the Journal of Sex Research, provide valuable insights into the psychological factors at play within the incel community.
In addressing some common misconceptions, the article briefly mentioned the controversial figure Andrew Tate. However, Dr. Thomas clarified that incels generally do not idolize or look up to Tate as an ideal representative. It is important to recognize that the relationship between mental health and incel ideology is bidirectional, with worse mental health often leading to greater adherence to the ideology.
Overall, this research highlights the need for a nuanced understanding of incels and the factors that contribute to their beliefs. By addressing the thinking errors and mental health challenges faced by this group, there is an opportunity to provide targeted support and potentially mitigate the negative consequences associated with the incel ideology.