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Are Women Getting More Beautiful?

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the or-are-you-just-less-picky dept.

Medicine 834

FelxH writes "Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors. The researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern." I just thought my standards were changing as I got older, but it turns out it's just science!

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834 comments

Evolution has nothing to do with it (5, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837349)

It's called Photoshop.

Re:Evolution has nothing to do with it (5, Funny)

bagboy (630125) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837469)

I thought it was called Beer!

Re:Evolution has nothing to do with it (2, Interesting)

arogier (1250960) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837595)

Its both.Photoshop erodes women's confidence in their looks, so when you add sufficient beer they look like covergirls.

Re:Evolution has nothing to do with it (5, Interesting)

edmudama (155475) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837505)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_v_azJv50KQ

Amazing what 4 hours of makeup and 4 hours of photoshop can do.

Re:Evolution has nothing to do with it (5, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837761)

It's called "getting older". When you're 20, almost all women over 40 are unattractive, when you're pushing sixty most of the 40 year old woman are good looking.

As a male... (1)

fprintf (82740) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837351)

As a male, let me just say that it is sometimes good to be in the minority. The downside is that unless you are a dirty old man, there is no way to take advantage of the beautification of the female portion of the human race.

Re:As a male... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837423)

The downside is that unless you are a dirty old man, there is no way to take advantage of the beautification of the female portion of the human race.

What downside? That's what the Internet is for.

Thanks to technology, you can see more boobs in an hour than your dad had in his entire stack of Playboys, and than your grandfather did during his entire life.

Re:As a male... (5, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837645)

Thanks to technology, you can see more boobs in an hour than your dad had in his entire stack of Playboys, and than your grandfather did during his entire life.

Speak for your own grandfather. My grandfather was part of the army that liberated Paris. I'm told that the French were most appreciative..... ;)

Re:As a male... (5, Insightful)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837429)

As a male, let me just say that it is sometimes good to be in the minority. The downside is that unless you are a dirty old man, there is no way to take advantage of the beautification of the female portion of the human race.

Rich. Not dirty, rich.

Re:As a male... (1)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837667)

Why are you a dirty old man if you like to have sex with attractive young women (of marrying age)? If I'm 80 and can still get a hot 25 year old to have sex with me that doesn't make me a pervert it makes me lucky.

I love arguments like this article though. Women have been getting more attractive because attractive women currently have more children than unattractive women. Men still look as ugly as cavemen because they currently aren't selected for their looks. This is such bogus science. Say it with me "events today cannot be used to explain things that happened yesterday". The next generation of women might be more attractive (to this generation) than the last one, that doesn't mean it was that way back in caveman days.

As for women going for richer guys and having more kids: perhaps. But it also might be a self fulfilling prophecy. Kids cost money so people with more money can afford to have more kids. It might not be that the women chooses to have kids with a rich guy, but that the rich family can afford to have a second or third kid where as a poor family has to settle for one. Additionally you'd expect it to be more correlated with the man's income versus the woman's, after all if the woman is having more kids she has less time to work so her originally higher income goes away, where as the guy keeps producing even while shes busy popping the kids out.

Re:As a male... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837887)

Most hot guys are twinks. The guys who do get pussy have money or personality, not looks. Of course, linux users and the like have to settle for fat/ugly skanks that no one else wants (or former cheerleader types, once they lose their looks and their pussy is worn out from years of fucking around).

Does it matter? (5, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837369)

Until these females develop an interest in Linux (and know that it's really GNU/Linux) plus a preference for subterranean dwelling, nobody here is likely to notice.

Re:Does it matter? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837447)

Well, I'd love to provide a counter example to prove you wrong. But I'd rather keep her to myself. :P

Each sex is defined by the needs of the other (5, Insightful)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837371)

Women get more attractive. Men develop bigger wallets.
 

Re:Each sex is defined by the needs of the other (1)

PeterM from Berkeley (15510) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837401)

Does this mean that women are always doomed to earn less than men in the workplace? Or, with more equality for women in the workplace, does this mean that men will begin to be selected for beauty too, or perhaps sense of humor?

--PM

Re:Each sex is defined by the needs of the other (5, Interesting)

bagorange (1531625) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837549)

Women's average earnings will stay lower than men's average earnings until there is no difference in the average amount of time spent as primary caregivers to offspring.

Employers pay for (among other things) experience. Spending less time at work in order to be a primary caregiver reduces the amount of experience you can gain and offer to potential employers.

Re:Each sex is defined by the needs of the other (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837599)

Men being selected for those things is already very much the case, I think. Just check the classifieds... many women specifically ask for a "tall man", or for men having "a sense of humor" even though the latter is a pretty meaningless phrase, or at best it's rather non-selective. I can understand women being put off by things like beer bellies or even glasses (In Dutch there even is a common abbreviation for it: g.b.b.s, or "no beard, glasses or moustache"), but I found it surprising that those two things are often specifically requested.

Re:Each sex is defined by the needs of the other (2, Informative)

defensor1 (1407079) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837571)

Money has very little to do with female attraction. For men, attraction is an on/off switch, either a man finds a woman attractive or he doesn't, and he evaluates that in less than 1/2 a second, completely on physical appearance. However, in my experience, attraction for women is based less upon physical appearance and more on personality and behavior. People who are completely broke still get laid.

Re:Each sex is defined by the needs of the other (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837733)

For men, attraction is an on/off switch, either a man finds a woman attractive or he doesn't, and he evaluates that in less than 1/2 a second, completely on physical appearance.

Interesting claim. Did you pull that out of your own ass, or someone else's?

Post Women's Liberation (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837765)

I wonder if, post women's lib, we'll see this change somewhat.

It used to be that women depended on men to provide for them and their children, so women selected men who had the most resources. Now, with women able to provide for themselves, will women start selecting men who are more visually pleasing?

As a fat, balding, middle-aged man, I sure as hell hope not, but as long as my wife stays with me, I guess it's OK. She certainly doesn't need to for financial reasons.

news for nerds? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837385)

I'm confused, how does this help the average slashdotter? Perhaps you are just reminding the readers that an even higher proportion of women are out of their league. Salt in the wound, my friend.

I'm dubious (4, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837393)

If more attractive parents have more daughters and if physical attractiveness is heritable, it logically follows that women over many generations gradually become more physically attractive on average than men.

Except that the standard for "beauty" changes over time. I'm not sure I'm buying this.

Re:I'm dubious (1)

FelxH (1416581) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837503)

I had similar thoughts, especially since the beauty ideal for women has changed a lot over the years, while the ideal for men has stayed virtually the same (look at ancient greek/roman statues for example)

Re:I'm dubious (1)

darkobserver (1328241) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837575)

I'm not sure, I'm buying this either. Although I must say that I'm stunned at how early an age girls look quite mature and sexy these days (which is in itself an interesting subject) I always attributed that to progressing societal decadence, if you wanna call it that, but isn't it a medicinal fact that they reach puberty earlier than say.. 20 years ago?

Re:I'm dubious (1)

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D (1160707) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837611)

Yes, though I'd always heard that was due to environmental factors, not genetic factors. Children are exposed to more nutrition and food energy (this is a polite way of saying "kids eat a lot") which causes puberty to start earlier.

Re:I'm dubious (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837625)

That doesn't exclude genetic factors from having an influence (the 'standard' can easily have parts that are stable and parts that are unstable; things like symmetrical features and not going bald are probably pretty stable).

Re:I'm dubious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837771)

well, women don't generally go bald even though men do. So are you saying we've bred baldness out of women because men find it undesireable? And conversely baldness remains among men because some women find it desirable?

Re:I'm dubious (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837719)

Except that the standard for "beauty" changes over time. I'm not sure I'm buying this.

Also the standard for beauty changes from person to person. I consider Paris Hilton ugly and Jessica Alba beautiful, and others disagree. There's no universal "standard" for beauty, and the closest you'll get is symmetry [jyi.org] . But even an assymetric appearance is attractive to some. I still think that the old "we grow up to marry our parents" is more accurate, or at least as close as we can get. However I'd change "parents" for "role models" to be more precise.

Re:I'm dubious (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837721)

Except that the standard for "beauty" changes over time. I'm not sure I'm buying this.

Standard for "beauty" may change over time, but does that also apply to standard for "ugly"?

Re:I'm dubious (1)

Twinbee (767046) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837811)

Well in the past, survival was more important. Now we've got that out the way, beauty is becoming more 'important'. So yeah, the standard is changing, it's probably getting higher now.

Re:I'm dubious (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837847)

I'm not either. Women seem to be getting fatter, men too. I never considered obesity to be attractive.

Re:I'm dubious (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837899)

There have been studies that show that people find more average* features more attractive (with average meaning an average of all of the possible variations of said feature).
That being said there is a flaw in the logic of the story

âoeFor women, looks are much less important in a man than his ability to look after her when she is pregnant and nursing, periods when women are vulnerable to predators. Historically this has meant rich men tend to have more wives and many children. So the pressure is on men to be successful.

That flaw is that there are repeated studies that show that wealthier people tend to have fewer children than poorer people.

Yes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837399)

I've seen a few 12 year old girls in tempting short shorts that make me want to fuck them every which way.

I've had to placeate myself to fap fap fapping to 'nubile' porn, but that is a temporary solution.

Seriously, my girlfriend is skinny, cute, and fuckable, but I want to have sex with a one of these 12 year olds.

Are we guppies (5, Interesting)

Nf1nk (443791) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837403)

This seems like the guppy phenomenon. Under a lack of predation the guppies self select to breed for beauty. Under heavy predation they breed to survive and quickly become plain. We are the guppies. We have no predators. It just takes longer to show up with us because our life cycle takes longer.

Bullshit (4, Interesting)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837411)

Because beauty is a subjective matter, how do you hope to measure this in an objective, scientific way.

Re:Bullshit (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837487)

You are just bitter cause you are ugly, in a very objective way...

Re:Bullshit (1)

Etrias (1121031) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837651)

Yeah, because I'm a guy and I'm not going to win any beauty contests. You remember you're reading Slashdot, right?

I look at what the mass media pushes (and has pushed) for what is beauty and it does not appeal to me. There's a number of women out there that are attractive, but not the ones a lot of media companies are pushing.

I recognize some guys are into that, but I'm not.

Re:Bullshit (4, Informative)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837499)

Actually, there are objective ways to measure beauty. It has to do with things like the degree of symmetry and ratios like how far apart the eyes are.

Wrong (4, Informative)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837655)

There are only two physical traits with universal sexual appeal cross-culturally, symmetry you mentioned and clear skin. All of these ratios and such are measuring the current cultural zeitgeist with regards to beauty, and those standards are largely culturally plastic. Little better in methodology than phrenology.

Re:Wrong (1, Troll)

thepainguy (1436453) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837923)

Infants will spend more time looking at pictures of symmetrical models than they will looking at pictures of less symmetrical models.

That is biology, not culture.

Life isn't fair, so deal with it.

Beauty might be, but ugly not so much (2, Insightful)

phorm (591458) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837533)

While characteristics that define somebody as "beautiful" VS "plain" may vary, there are quite a number of things that are considered "ugly" to the majority of a given area. So, while women may be on average no less "plain", perhaps they're less "ugly"

Then again, so aspects of beauty have been fairly consistent over the last while as well, so perhaps evolution has had some chance to catch up on that, at least on a regional basis. My own standards are a little different than the pack, so really I'd worry about my own chances with 'regular' women, but as long as guys that look like Ron Jeremy can get some, I suppose I'll be fine.

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837697)

Same way we found the Ballmer Peak. http://xkcd.com/323/

Re:Bullshit (1)

bagorange (1531625) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837817)

Show pictures of various individuals to large numbers of other individuals - get ratings for attractiveness from all the viewers. In this study it is likely it was show pictures of women to large numbers of men.

The ones with higher average scores are "more attractive"

Not that hard really.

Re:Bullshit (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837891)

Why, just the same way this article validates its assertions.

The heritability of attractiveness is widely accepted. When Elizabeth Jagger became a model, her mother, the former model Jerry Hall, said: âoeItâ(TM)s in her genes.â

And if that's not scientific enough for you, then you're rejecting Slashdot's credentials as an esteemed peer-reviewed academic journal.

Rubbish (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837425)

Attractiveness has nothing to do with the number of kids you pump out. If anything attractive people tend to attract rich husbands or be rich in their own right which makes them likely to have fewer kids.

Trailer trash/chavs on the otherhand pump out loads of kids

Re:Rubbish (2, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837635)

Agreed. If you look around, those cranking out the most rug-rats are either frumpy welfare queens or religious fanatics. You'd have to believe heavily in magical Godly rewards to have 8+ screaming barfing kids.
       

Useful.. (3, Funny)

BeardedChimp (1416531) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837437)

I'm going to use this as an excuse when I break up with my 50 year old wife,

"Sorry it's not you it's evolution, younger women these days are just much more attractive".

FTA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837449)

FOR the female half of the population, it may bring a satisfied smile. Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors.

Evidently the reporter is gay, and the scientists were probably aging slashgeeks.

No (2, Informative)

OhHellWithIt (756826) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837461)

Women have always been beautiful enough for evolutionary purposes, just as men have always been sufficiently whatever-it-is-women-want for evolutionary purposes. Every parent of a teenager knows this, and every teenager does not.

Wrong-o on the male-o (5, Interesting)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837497)

>while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors.

Really? You mean those 5-foot-1 suits of armor at the museum were worn by the same 6-foot-5 monsters who grace our modern football fields and armed forces?

I guess men from the Renaissance were the same as us, except highly compressible.

Re:Wrong-o on the male-o (4, Funny)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837681)

I guess men from the Renaissance were the same as us, except highly compressible.

They weren't any more or less compressible, they just used a more efficient algorithm.

Re:Wrong-o on the male-o (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837925)

Both sexes seem to be getting taller. When I was young I don't remember seeing many six foot tall women, now the halls at my work are teeming with tall women.

Which kind of negates this study in my eyes, I don't find tall women to be attractive at all.

It's just part of getting older (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837507)

"I just thought my standards were changing as I got older, but it turns out it's just science!"

It's called age related beer goggles. Believe it or not when you hit your 80s you'll consider having sex with 80 year old women! Homely 18 years olds over time become really hot.

No big mystery (3, Informative)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837509)

It's just selection making sure that desirable traits get passed. Just like bloodhounds were selected for their ability to sniff out game, their descendants grew to have the most reliable nose of all breeds. Similarly, if intelligence was the greatest traits looked for in a mate, our race would become smarter with each passing generation... and suddenly this explains a lot, doesn't it?

Couldn't be hormones in our food, could it? (4, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837513)

Evolutionarily, you'd expect that a species would gravitate towards more attractive members due to the increased ability of those members to reproduce. But consider that the likelihood of an ugly set of people to actually reproduce is much higher than a set of very attractive people to do so.

Humans are an interesting species. We are able to actually avoid evolution. In several tens of generations, humans will likely be all near-sighted due to our glasses and Lasik technology. Likewise, very attractive people know they have an increased likelihood of mating. This mating, for many of them, is a recreational activity instead of a procreative activity. So the use of prophylactics among attractive people actually prevents evolution from taking its course.

So why do we seem to have teenage girls blossoming so early? I'd wager that it is the use of hormones in cows that has artificially accelerated the aging process among humans. Since it is very easy to determine accelerated physiological changes in girls (larger breasts, wider hips, etc) than in boys (facial and body hair, etc), the incorrect assumption may be made that only girls are being affected. However, the use of hormones in our food affects all who ingest it.

I can assure you... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837515)

Not in Liverpool. Looking at the women on dating sites for this city is like looking at a freak show. Seriously.

Turning in to a dirty old man (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837523)

I just thought my standards were changing as I got older, but it turns out it's just science!

Sounds like you're oggling the fresh jailbait every year because this story is about newer generations looking better, not graceful ageing of one age group.

It's so easy (4, Funny)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837525)

The researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern.

So easy a caveman can do it.

evolution versus creation? (5, Funny)

glebovitz (202712) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837527)

If evolution is making women more attractive, does creation have the inverse effect?

The birth part is silly. (5, Insightful)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837567)

If anything the reasons a woman has a baby has nothing to do with her looks and everything to do with her sense of well being, security along with cultural beliefs. Women are plenty attractive enough to get some sort of a sex partner and I'm trying to identify a time when that has not been the case.

In today's day and age, culture matters for birth more than looks. There are some women out there having nearly 10 children simply because they feel it is a christian thing to do. How does evolution account for that, unless it accounts for obvious social influences. On the opposite end of the scale, you have some green women who are deeply concerned that bringing too many children into the world might somehow compromise the planet.

It's almost like environment plus culture need to be considered as a holistic system in order to really understand human evolution.

Re:The birth part is silly. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837789)

On the opposite end of the scale, you have some green women who are deeply concerned that bringing too many children into the world might somehow compromise the planet.

I wouldn't say that somehow it would compromise the planet, its pure mathematics Watson. If a couple has more than two kids, then it is a mathematical fact that their more numerous offspring will be a greater drain on the planet than the original two.

Re:The birth part is silly. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837865)

I wouldn't say that somehow it would compromise the planet, its pure mathematics Watson. If a couple has more than two kids, then it is a mathematical fact that their more numerous offspring will be a greater drain on the planet than the original two

Well no, because, the kids could actually be more productive. It really goes to whether or not you view humans as an asset or a liability.

Re:The birth part is silly. (1)

o'reor (581921) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837813)

Women are plenty attractive enough to get some sort of a sex partner and I'm trying to identify a time when that has not been the case.

Spoken like a true Slashdotter. \o/

Re:The birth part is silly. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837901)

There are some women out there having nearly 10 children simply because they feel it is a christian thing to do. How does evolution account for that, unless it accounts for obvious social influences.

What makes you think evolution does not account for that? It is very well known that almost all religions advocate producing as many children as possible. Some more fundamentalistic congregations (some Christian, many Muslim) take it very seriously. Scientists study the mating habits of bower birds, peafowl, birds of paradise and they have very good grip of what is going on. Most of them don't say anything about clearly obvious extensions to Homo sapiens because, it is likely to be misunderstood and politicized and people with an ax to grind have always misrepresented and stretched the theory of evolution to justify their own prejudices. So most scientists don't speak about it. But that does not mean evolution can not or does not explain it.

After the breakthroughs in ESS (evolutionarily stable stragies) by Smith and the seminal Tournament of Strategies by Axelrod in 1980s in the problem of iterated prisoner's dilemma, evolution is clearly in a position to explain the evolution of cooperation, requirements for a population to develop altruism, how apparently suicidal behavior actually has benefits for gene propagation etc.

Maximizing fertility is not even a counter intuitive strategy in terms of evolution. Why do you claim evolution has any difficulty explaining it?

If everybody's somebody.... (1)

bagorange (1531625) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837579)

Then no-one's anybody.

Re: "beauty" if people get more attractive on average will it make any difference? Is attractiveness relative or absolute?

Not in the US! (1)

zenaida_valdez (599247) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837607)

Been to the beach recently? Looks like a mass marine mammal stranding event. Women, if you won't lose the flab, at least cover it up. Men, that goes for you, too. --

Conflicting studies (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837641)

It wasn't that long ago that there was a study saying that 'beauty' was actually what turned out to be a perfectly average face. Too far in any direction and it wasn't 'beautiful' any more, and all the 'perfectly normal' faces were labeled beautiful by the study's participants.

So this new study basically says that women are getting more average.

No wait, it actually says that the concept of beauty changes with each generation. So yeah, each generation is going to think their women are more beautiful than the previous generation's.

Re:Conflicting studies (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837855)

No, it shows that people (and sadly many scientists) don't understand their statistics. It showed a central tendency when looking at the geometric averages of faces. Of course higher sample sizes would have less variance, too bad the analysis didn't take this into account. Psychologists in particular need to start looking a little deeper at their SPSS results.

What is beauty anyways? (1)

dakohli (1442929) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837649)

Ok, so I read the article. I just don't get it.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" they say and looking at the classic portraits created over the years I can pretty much say that the idea of what is beautiful is cultural, and evolving. Although one could argue with the pervasive American Culture spreading across the globe that our current standards of attractiveness are actually starting to coincide.

The closest I have ever seen science come to defining beauty was through symmetry.

Call me a troll, but I'm going to call this junk science.

-clever signature

Beautyful Women have more kids .. (1)

AftanGustur (7715) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837653)

Rich men marry beautyful women as "trophy wifes" or as a status simbol.

Beautyful wifes don't have to work, and the rich husband gets fed up with her staying all day in Prada and Dior stores .. decides she has to be occupied by other things ...

=> Beautyful wife has above average number of kids ..

More attractive? Define it. (1)

Lord Byron II (671689) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837669)

This all depends on how you define attractiveness. Big boobs? Nice face? Long hair? The standards for attractive are social in nature and are subject to rapid fluctuations - within a generation. That makes any genetic changes moot.

Consider the "ideal" weight. If you look at models from the 1960's, they were significantly heavier than models are today. Genes are simply not able to mutate quickly enough to go from filled-in women in one generation to toothpicks the next.

Consider cultural differences. In China, small feet are attractive. In America, large breasts are attractive. Which definition of attractiveness do you use?

Re:More attractive? Define it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837717)

Consider cultural differences. In China, small feet are attractive. In America, large breasts are attractive. Which definition of attractiveness do you use?

Living in Europe I am blessed with women with small feet AND large breasts.

Re:More attractive? Define it. (1)

darkobserver (1328241) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837915)

Hello neighbor ;-) But we're also blessed with Amazons 6 feet tall and almost as wide, right? Obesity is NOT a problem restricted to the USA... And more often than not THEY are accompanied by a truckload of children, too. I'm still not sure if this research is up to speed

Rich kids aren't good looking (1)

LockeOnLogic (723968) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837707)

Being from L.A. i've seen lots of beautiful women dig some gold and let me tell you rich kids looking good is more a function of percieved status and excellent grooming than them being physically more attactive.

If beauty passes in genetics (1)

furby076 (1461805) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837715)

The researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern.

Prettier women have a better chance of getting married and having kids then less attractive women. Yea this makes sense. Given all else equal I would rather marry the hot babe then the ugly chick.

On a personal note I think the sex icons of today are better looking then those of the 30's, 40's, 50's, etc. Marilyn Monroe was hot but I think there are so many better looking girls out there today and most of them will never get in your local newspaper ad let alone become famous as an american icon (as far as looks are concerned).

Sounds like FUD spread by women... (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837741)

Not to be overly sexist here... but human females tend to believe the exact opposite of nature, in this case that they are the more attractive sex. This is of course, despite the piles of scientific evidence to the contrary. I'm not saying that there aren't strange species where the females actually are the more attractive sex, but sorry ladies, when it comes to attractiveness; Mother Nature has stacked the deck with overwhelming odds going against your attractiveness.

I should add that a) of course I didn't RTFA, and b) there are women out there that have lied to themselves so convincingly that they actually believe their shit doesn't stink and that women don't fart, etc.

Eye of the Beholder, etc. (4, Insightful)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837767)

They used old photographs in the study of people from past generations and their method of "objective" measurement of beauty were to have modern-day people judge them.

It seems almost a foregone conclusion that people in modern times would find the women of modern times more attractive; standards of beauty change.

Skewed Study (1)

sammysheep (537812) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837775)

To a scientist, most women look hot... I mean, think about it, looking at women all day instead of mice has to be much more pleasant for them. :P

Natural selection (1)

delepster (599372) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837819)

So, as natural selection gets on, there will only be beautiful women left on our ugly-to-become Earth in a millennium or two. Well, I cannot buy this, since I do not think there is such a concept as "absolute" beauty. There will always be ugly, average, and beautiful women.

hokum masquerading as science (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837835)

Over the generations? How, can they tell - we've only had photography for (maybe) 4 or 5 generations, which is certainly not enough time for evolution to have a noticeable effect on people. then again, which women? precisely? Have these scientists invented some way of objectively measuring beauty (ans. No, despite what the article says. Beauty is not the same as attractiveness and I absolutely don't believe there are any methods of determining attractiveness that don't involve subjective opinions and questionnaires). Are they able to take into account cultural differences (again, same answer). Given that this "study" was only performed in one country that accounts for just 5% of the planet's population there is nothing here that bears any resemblance to the scientific method.

The researcher may have come up with a nice, politically correct headline for an inconsistent and highly questionable piece of work, but common sense tells us otherwise. The number of children a woman has is hugely affected by her position in society, normative pressures, intelligence (women graduates have fewer children, on average, than those with less education - does that mean being clever makes you ugly - ridiculous idea!), amount and availability of welfare and frequently whether she works for a living, or stays at home.

Idiocracy is a documentary not a comedy (1)

coltranesque (1168635) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837873)

Haven't looked through this thread entirely so I may have missed it but has anyone brought up the movie 'Idiocracy'? This finding would support its notion that the beautiful people procreate the most but as brains and beauty don't necessarily mix, there is another side to all of this...

something isn't right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28837895)

> beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts
> and that a higher proportion of those children are female

Isn't gender determined by the man?

Supply/Demand (1)

derrickh (157646) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837911)

This just means that ugly girls are more rare, thus their intrinsic value goes up and they become more unobtainable. Add to the fact that beautiful women are getting more and more picky. And this just adds up to more bad news for unattractive men.

D

I call BS! (2, Insightful)

Mesa MIke (1193721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28837927)

My personal experience is that the more beautiful a woman is, the less she likes to, um... procreate.

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