April 16, 2010

Effeminate men get the girls in rich societies

Just a short little update from the world of science.

In the snappy titled
paper "The health of a nation predicts their mate preferences: cross-cultural variation in women's preferences for masculinized male faces" Lisa M. DeBruine, Benedict C. Jones, John R. Crawford, Lisa L. M. Welling and Anthony C. Little of the Face Lab have looked at women's preferences for men.

Do they like them rough and masculine or more feminine looking?

Turns out there is an inverse relationship between women’s preference for masculine features and national health.

The Economist reports:

"In environments where disease is rampant and the child-mortality rate is high, women prefer masculine men. In places like America and Britain, where knowing how to analyse health-care plans is more important than fighting off infection, effeminate men are just as competitive."

In science speak:

"These findings show non-arbitrary cross-cultural differences in facial attractiveness judgements and demonstrate the use of trade-off theory for investigating cross-cultural variation in women's mate preferences."

The argument is apparently that the craggy physical characteristics associated with masculinity indicate a strong immune system. But such men are also more promiscuous and do not care as much about long-term relationships. So with a good public health system women go for the faithful feminine men.

The women were asked to look at manipulated photos like the one above and tell which one they found the most attractive. (More images here.)

I guess this explains why all the rough and tumble boys in America are against Obama's health plan. Before you know it the sissies will have taken over the whole country!

6 comments:

  1. A new research has shown that women 'detect' the good husband in males with effeminate faces.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! Yeah! This is so interesting! Actually I have seen a documentary in discovery channel about a research where women were shown a couple of pics of the same male: one effeminate and other manly. Most of women chose the effeminate one, except those who were during the period of ovulation in their menstrual cycle. This was explained like this: During the days females are not fertile (it means most of the days of the menstrual cycle) they look for certain traits in men such as tenderness, which assure bonding in a relationship. This was found more likely to happen with men with effeminate faces. On the other hand, during the days of ovulation, (it mean a couple of days more or less) those women prefered the manly-aggressive face, obviously for evolutive-reproductive reasons.

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  3. If you take a look at most of the posters teenage girls put up on their walls, you will see that their ideal love objects are feminine boys. They go for the boy band boys and not the football players. Masculinity seems to be an acquired taste ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Jack,
    On the other hand, macho football players are ideal love objects of many gay men!

    ReplyDelete
  5. The argument is apparently that the craggy physical characteristics associated with masculinity indicate a strong immune system.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Jack

    "If you take a look at most of the posters teenage girls put up on their walls, you will see that their ideal love objects are feminine boys. They go for the boy band boys and not the football players. Masculinity seems to be an acquired taste ;) "

    Aww, how i missed this? :)

    Yes, definitely girls go for the boy bands, I am one of those girls who used to dream of the hottest effeminate boys of the boy bands... even some opnely "queer" or "gay"♥

    Girls who go for the toughest sporty guys are the less; in fact, like another poster said, they usually are more desired by gay community :)

    ReplyDelete

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