Evolution finds women are getting hotter

bikiniA new study suggests that evolution is making women progressively more beautiful. Though the same can’t be said of men:

In a study released last week, Markus Jokela, a researcher at the University of Helsinki, demonstrated that beautiful women had more children than their plainer counterparts and a higher proportion of those children were female.Those children also tended to be attractive and to repeat the pattern of having more female children once they became adults, according to the study.

The Times online reported that data was gathered in America, from 1,244 women and 997 men, who were followed over four decades.

As is common with these sorts of tests, they used photos to rate the attractiveness. Though one criticism that seems kind of obvious to me is in the study, pictures of women are presumably being rated based on modern standards of beauty. What is considered attractive today is not what was attractive hundreds of years ago. The standards have changed. Though perhaps if I take a closer look at the study I’ll find that this was taken into account somehow.

And given that I’m not exactly reading about this from  serious science sources, I remain rather skeptical of this study.

7 Responses to Evolution finds women are getting hotter

  1. I dunno. I’m skeptical because of this TED Talk I watched a while back by Dan Dennett. Yeah, yeah, he’s a Horseman. Oh well. He’s right.

    We like sexy women because we are wired to, not because there’s anything intrinsically sexy about them. And there are a hell of a lot more people in the world today so there’s a larger sample size. I could see theoretically a few thousand years down the road if the trend continues, we will have “more beautiful” people, but we’ll also change our selection criteria over that same period of time, becoming more selective of criteria that confer advantages.

    Look at what we thought was extraordinarily beautiful and fetching not a hundred years ago — near immobility in women’s clothing, with gigantic bustles to represent fecundity via a “plump ass”. That doesn’t seem to be the case any more — but why? Why is slenderness a mark of beauty in a society with resources aplenty, but plumpness a mark of beauty in a society with scarcity? It’s a strange dichotomy.

  2. […] A post over at Skepacabra’s reminded me of a TED Talks I’d watched a while back with Dan Dennett, wherein he explains why it is we find things sweet, cute, sexy or funny. There’s nothing intrinsic about those objects that makes them so — but we’re wired to think so, because otherwise how the hell would we be encouraged to eat certain things, take care of our babies, mate with others, or do menial tasks? […]

  3. Ghouldilocks says:

    Yeah, we’re also being raped and murdered by misogynist psychopaths because they think they have the right to own us… but it’s nice to know we’re getting prettier!


  4. mjr256 says:

    I’m not really following your train of thought on that one.

  5. Angelike says:

    We’re attracted by what’s rare in nature. E.g. 100 years ago in poorer times when women worked outdoors, white skin and plumpness were considered attractive. Today, most women work indoors and have plenty to eat, hence brown skin and slim build are considered attractive. This is because it takes a lot of money and resources to live contrary to the established nature and society one lives in. Conclusion: What we consider attractive is the smell of MONEY. Nature has set it up this way to ensure our survival.

  6. joe says:

    Who is the woman in the picture? Anyone know?

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