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Our Last 50 Referrers

« Recession Note | Main | Age and Political Awareness »

July 26, 2009


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Evolutionary pressures may be creating ever-more-beautiful women. Guys? Well, "men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors."



posted by Michael at July 26, 2009


Plausible enough, but skepticism is warranted as the paper by Kanazawa, which is cited approvingly/unskeptically, has been debunked by Andrew Gelman, on whose blog Dr. Kanazawa functions as a bit of a running gag. (The link goes to a blogpost, but Gelman later published a proper formal letter in the Journal of Theoretical Biology.

Posted by: LemmusLemmus on July 26, 2009 4:34 PM

I hope I'm wrong, but it seems this is as good as it gets. We may be now moving retrograde, away from the gracile and toward larger and brutish form.

Posted by: PA on July 26, 2009 10:56 PM

Maybe its all the estrogens in the food.

Posted by: L on July 27, 2009 12:31 AM

Hmm... I remember reading another paper on women in rural Poland where the best-looking ones didn't have any more children. Not sure I buy this.

Posted by: Martin Regnen on July 27, 2009 5:13 AM

I always knew it! I have only daughters because I am beautiful. I need no statistical policeman to prove it.

Posted by: j on July 27, 2009 7:30 AM

The researchers have found beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female.

But last year I read that more successful men have proportionally more sons. Ergo, successful men must be more likely to breed with ugly women.

Posted by: Moira Breen on July 27, 2009 8:44 AM

I agree with the skeptical comments above. Physical 'beauty' is not what I understand to be a discrete trait. It is a gradient, so it seems to be pushing it a bit to come to some kind of distinct pattern.

Posted by: KR on July 27, 2009 2:41 PM

The finding seems plausible in theory, but Kanazawa is a joke. Basically, never trust any article or finding with his name in it.

Posted by: MQ on July 27, 2009 5:09 PM

Here's Razib's look at the study and the reports.


Posted by: Michael Blowhard on July 27, 2009 5:19 PM

Razib has had some earlier criticisms of Kanazawa here:


Posted by: Thursday on July 28, 2009 5:02 PM

This study vindicates every Judd Apatow movie.

Posted by: JV on July 28, 2009 6:05 PM

Prettier on the outside. Uglier on the inside.

Posted by: slumlord on July 28, 2009 7:13 PM

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