Understanding the Involuntarily Celibate (Incel) Subculture

Originally Published on October 30th, 2023 at 08:00 am
Table of Contents
Implications for Aggravation


The incel subculture thrives on reinforcing the beliefs of disillusioned men. I take a look “red-pilled” beliefs on behavior and sentencing outcomes.


The Involuntarily Celibate, or incel, community sometimes comes to attention after an incident that brings them to the news. However, this is a subculture whose beliefs are becoming more common. It’s time to dig into the research literature on this topic.

Study on Incel Subculture

In a study published in 2022, O’Malley et al studied the incel subculture on two forum sites, one specifically created for incels. The study analyzed over 8,000 posts looking for themes and group norms of the culture.

First some definitions:

  • An incel is a person who is involuntarily celibate. This means they have not had sex for at least six months despite having a desire to have a sexual relationship.

Conversely, what sets an involuntarily celibate individual apart from a non-incel who has not had sex in the past six months are their beliefs.

They become “red-pilled.”

  • They believe we all live under a

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