Home > Science Follies, Stereotypes We Know And Love > Researchers Claim Men Like Hot Women!

Researchers Claim Men Like Hot Women!

I can barely bring myself to blog on this topic, it is so tiresome. (Thanks to Sheril at The Intersection for this link.)

Science is confirming what most women know: When given the choice for a mate, men go for good looks.

Men like attractive women! Women look for security and financial success in men! It must be evolution! All proven from some bits of data gathered in speed dating! Because this is totally how we pick the people we spend our lives with! All men seek out women on the basis of physical attractiveness, and all women screen men on the basis of financial potential! It’s in the genes! It has nothing to do with a lifetime’s exposure to cultural conditioning which says Real Men Want Teh Hawt Chick and A Lady Needs A Man To Take Care Of Her. Bleah. Why don’t we all just watch Jerry Springer instead? We’d get the same amount of insight into human nature.


But yes, you know, it’s all about the “choosy female” and the “competitive male”. Like feminists haven’t debunked that sociobiology shit a thousand times over already.
Here’s the puke-a-rific press release if you can stand to read it. I couldn’t get all the way through it.
Sheril has a nice critique of this stupid waste of research money and reporters’ time. Dave has a good discussion at Cognitive Daily with links to another critique of the moronocity. I’m loving this commentary from Rob Knop:

I want to suggest an alternate hypothesis. That is, “speed dating” is a shallow process that leads people to making judgments based on shallow criteria. Seems possible, no? I mean, even after an intense 3 minutes of conversation, can you really do a whole lot better judging how interested you are in a person than you can viewing a photograph?

Thank you.

  1. September 6, 2007 at 4:16 pm

    I wonder what Gerd Gigerenzer has to say about speed dating? Mate selection seems like a decision space to which our heuristics would now be ill-suited — for instance, they’d be geared for short lifespans and small communities.

  2. Dave
    September 6, 2007 at 8:26 pm
  3. Dave
    September 6, 2007 at 8:26 pm
  4. September 6, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Its sad to think that this gets funding. Rob is completley correct.

  5. Michele
    September 6, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    This just validates what my mother always told me (she’s a traditional Japanese woman). She was always telling me what men wanted in women: attractive & sexy, not smarter than themselves, and not fat. And what should a woman look for in a man? You got it – financial security. She will be happy to know big dollars were spent on research that proves her right.

  6. September 7, 2007 at 2:37 am

    I am going to stick up for speed dating, as it is how I have met my significant other. In response to the comment above, yes, you can learn an awful lot about someone in three minutes. It doesn’t matter what you or they say, it’s all about pheromones, body language, and eye contact. And vocabulary. In three minutes of hearing you talk, I can tell a lot about how smart you are, how intuitive you are, and where you stand culturally and politically. On the flip side, I have spent so much time in earnest email exchanges with women I haven’t seen, or perhaps seen only a photo, and when I meet them, bleah, the chemistry just isn’t there, and the the feeling of disappointment when that happens makes the whole encounter really awkward. The nice thing about speed dating is that it gets that first litmus test out of the way in three minutes– if you both check yes on your little card, it means you like each other, in a very sixth-grade kind of way, and you can move on to more important topics. As for my darling, I circled yes on her number because she was gorgeous. And she circled yes on mine because I was apparently the only guy she met that night that could ask her an intelligent question about chromatin remodeling…

  7. csrster
    September 7, 2007 at 6:07 am

    “I can barely bring myself to blog on this topic, it is so tiresome.”
    Ain’t it just. Don’t these “researchers” have anything better to do with their time? Like, maybe suicide, for example.
    The only interesting question about this kind of study is whether its worst effect is
    a) reinforcing stereotypes about gender
    or
    b) reinforcing stereotypes about scientific research

  8. jeffk
    September 7, 2007 at 9:57 am

    This study is in line with my anecdotal observations – particularly when it comes to men. Is anyone really going to deny that there’s a vaguely agreed-up societal definition of physical attractiveness and that men’s choices in women correlate with it? I think the study is moronic, not because it’s wrong, but because it didn’t need to be done. I think there’s a conversation to be had about why this is, if it’s a good thing, and if it’s not, if it can be changed. But what’s the point in denying it?

  9. September 7, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Jeffk, read the post again. My criticism is not “this study is false!” My criticism is “this study is a stupid piece of shit and waste of time and money!” It’s a tiny chunk of meaningless data with a huge sociobiological theory draped around its shoulders.

  10. jeffk
    September 7, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Yeah that’s fair enough.

  11. jeffk
    September 7, 2007 at 2:55 pm

    Yeah that’s fair enough.

  12. Matthew L.
    September 7, 2007 at 6:58 pm

    The topic might be too tiresome to want to blog about it, but I want to thank you (and the other sciencebloggers) for doing so anyway. When I first came across the press release online, it seemed so shallow and stupid that the first thing I did was come here to see if it had been torn apart yet. I was disappointed that it hadn’t, but apparently I just came by too soon. I’m glad that I’m not the only one who thought it was a shoddy piece of work spun up to get press attention.

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