This post from the Freakonomics blog on why beautiful women sometimes marry unattractive men seems somewhat incomprehensible to me. Maybe you all can help:
…a new study by Satoshi Kanazawa, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics, suggests it may be a simple supply-and-demand issue: there are more beautiful women in the world than there are handsome men.
Why? Kanazawa argues it’s because good-looking parents are 36% more likely to have a baby daughter as their first child than a baby son—which suggests, evolutionarily speaking, that beauty is a trait more valuable for women than for men. The study was conducted with data from 3,000 Americans, derived from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, and was published in The Journal of Theoretical Biology.
According to this news article, “Selection pressure means when parents have traits they can pass on that are better for boys than for girls, they are more likely to have boys. Such traits include large size, strength and aggression, which might help a man compete for mates. On the other hand, parents with heritable traits that are more advantageous to girls are more likely to have daughters.”
Um, how exactly? You probably think I’m just being snarky about evolutionary psychology, but I’m genuinely curious to know what the proposed mechanism is for this effect. The study apparently looked at both parents’ attractiveness, which was rated separately by some observer on a scale of 1-5. I can certainly see why if certain traits would be more advantageous for one sex of offspring than the other then it would (turn out to have been?) advantageous to produce more offspring of the desireable sex. But how is the mother going to contribute to this effect, hypothetically? She ain’t got nothing to offer but X chromosomes, attractive or not. There are fetal environmental effects, maybe they’re saying the wombs of attractive women are more hostile to male fetuses? While, simultaneously, the sperm of attractive men is skewed X? But not tall attractive men, who are more likely to have sons? And don’t get me started on the scientists.
Beauty is apparently just one “female” trait. Kanazawa has done previous research suggesting that nurses, social workers and kindergarten teachers—those with “empathic” traits—also had more daughters than sons. Meanwhile, he found that scientists, mathematicians and engineers are more likely to have sons than daughters.
It is good that Kanazawa is only a researcher and not, say, the president of Harvard. If he were, that last finding about scientists may have gotten him fired.
Ha ha. What a knee-slapper! I’ll bet that Stephen Dubner is a real hit at parties. Especially, with the ladeez, if you know what I mean. Anyway, as to Kanazawa’s last point, what proportion of the scientists were male and what female, I wonder? What varying mechanisms in male and female parents are contributing to this same result? What will happen to attractive female scientists who marry tall, agressive men? Is this all as bogus as it sounds?
The best part about this post was actually two of the comments, which capture all that is irritating about Nice Guys TM and add a frisson of illogical insistence that women—as is their incomprehensible wont—choose, not merely men who treat them badly, but ugly men who treat them badly. You read that right. They pass up on the good-looking, kind men, because they think such men are too confident and the women themselves want to domineer a spineless man who will lord it over them and treat them badly because they have low self-esteem because they’re a bunch of stuck up bitches! Or something, I kind of lost the thread. Sure to derail discussion, and pushing the post to Holbovian lengths; nonetheless I cannot restrain myself and must re-post them in all their splenetic splendor. Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring you
Stephen Dubner some guy who’s totally hott:
Any good looking guy knows that women favor ugly men. It is a mystery, just like every single action that most females undertake. Maybe its about their low self esteem, since all good looking women have low self esteem, just look at the supreme arrogance they display, that is really a sign of an inferiority complex. Maybe its about controlling some ugly loser and spending all his cash and treating him like dirt. Maybe its just because they are irrational and there is no answer. I have a great personality, but, I get turned down for some ugly jerk who treats them like a piece of meat, and I am told its because of personality. Women make this judgment on looks alone, they are intimdated of a good looking guy and assume he is a jerk because he won’t bow before them, and they mainly just intimidated since their whole world is based on the supreme superficiality of the reflection they see as they put on their make up. They profit from their looks, exercising a level of power that is so potent and omnipresent that most people do not even see its existence. They primp and priss and strut around like gods, holding a man’s self esteem in the palm of their hand, which they are only to glad to crush to make themselves feel better. The good looking guy pays a dear price for daring to compete with her in her area. All of the good looking guys that I know get less women than unattractive guys, its an obvious fact, and completely unfair. I say they are insane and thats that. Don’t try to figure them out.
Dude, I wish this guy had left his real email. Because not only is he smokin’ hott; he’s also got a great personality. I’m married and all, but maybe I could set him up with my sister. I wonder what else he thinks about chicks? Oh, let’s see here:
what you are saying proves my point [not as such—ed.]: women turn down the good looking guy for one reason: because he’s good looking. They don’t get to know him and his personality, they automatically assume, no matter what, that he does not have a good personality, and that the ugly guy does, why, because he must, because he’s ugly, because we all know that all good looking guys are bad people, and ugly guys are all saints, they all wash the feet of the poor in Calcutta, and they are all beyond judgment. This is a totally superficial judgment, it assumes that all good looking guys are the same. well, what about all stuck up blondes with their nose in the air and their face in a mirror, with a shirt that says princess, and a license plate that says 2Hot4U, who is always going around asking her adoring audience: “do you think I could be a model?” At the same time she ignores and rejects the good looking guy for daring to have the self esteem to know he is good looking, but turning him down because he wasn’t “confident” like the ugly guy who has nothing to lose; and turning him down for his “prsonality” when the guy she chooses is an ugly jerk who is mean to her and cheats on her, and turns the good looking guy down because he is really just too nice. Most of these ugly guys out here getting these beautiful women do it for two reasons: most beautiful women like a jerk, and most beautiful women like an ugly guy because of a self esteem issue. There are exceptions, as we have seen above, as with anything, there are many great women who make perfect sense, but there are many who don’t. I will admit, when I look at the typical guy out here that is highly successful with these types of women, I can’t imagine why anybody would want anything to do with any guy, since they are such arrogant jerks. Another thing, good looks are not just about sex. I get pleasure just from being around good looking women. How can you kiss someone ugly. Also, I am straight, but if I am talking to a guy, I would rather he not be ugly. If I am at a concert, I would rather look at Chris Cornell than somone ugly like Kid Rock. If I am watching a movie, I would rather see someone who looked like George Clooney rather than Billy Bob Thorton. Just like when I have a car, I would rather it be a good looking car. I would rather live in a nice looking house. I would rather my meal be served to me in an aesthetically pleasing manner. And, I would rather the trees, the sky, and the lillies in the field be attractive rather than not. Call me crazy.
OK: you’re crazy. Maybe I really will set him up with my sister, since it sounds like he might have been a good man, if there’d of been somebody there to punch him in the face, every day of his life.