Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Medicine

Are Women Getting More Beautiful? 834

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the or-are-you-just-less-picky dept.
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!
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Are Women Getting More Beautiful?

Comments Filter:
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:02AM (#28837371)

    Women get more attractive. Men develop bigger wallets.
     

  • I'm dubious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wcrowe (94389) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:05AM (#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:As a male... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snspdaarf (1314399) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:07AM (#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.

  • by phorm (591458) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:12AM (#28837533) Journal

    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.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd@bandrowsky.gmail@com> on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:14AM (#28837567) Homepage Journal

    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:Rubbish (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tablizer (95088) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:18AM (#28837635) Journal

    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.
           

  • by ed.han (444783) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:23AM (#28837729) Journal

    now that's a rejoinder that you could only find on slashdot...

  • by drater (806171) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:24AM (#28837745)
    This thread is useless without pics
  • by imgod2u (812837) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:25AM (#28837767) Homepage

    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.

  • I call BS! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mesa MIke (1193721) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:34AM (#28837927) Homepage

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

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:37AM (#28838017) Homepage Journal
    Analog photoshup is an airbrush. Beer is more like chemical photoshop.
  • Re:No big mystery (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:43AM (#28838117)
    I know I'll get modded troll or flamebait for pointing this out, but there is a very definite tendency for looks and smarts to go together. Despite stereotypes and Hollywood scripts to the contrary, good looks get one a better selection of dates and have a much better shot at not having to compromise. Hence the suggestion that's been made that we'll probably end up with a fork eventually between the good looking geniuses and everybody else. Admittedly that's highly theoretical and could definitely turn out wrong in many ways, but it's not exactly baseless either.

    Also, humans mostly just seem stupider these days than in the past. It's mainly an issue of confirmation bias, we know more about the people living right now than in the past, we also don't have a full accounting for all the hidden genius that is likely around and we still don't necessarily have a good grip on the implications of the work people are doing right now. There's always been a huge number of incomprehensibly stupid people, it's just that most of the ones from the past have been forgotten and the ones from now we run into everywhere.
  • Female executives with no concept of work/life balance (living with cats) still get paid less than their male peers. Same thing for brown people, short people, and all sorts of minorities in the US (I am a tall white male that gets paid way more than my peers). The only way any of this will ever change is if companies start publishing payroll data publicly, or at least to their employees. Companies take advantage of the strange social stigma that it's somehow inappropriate to talk about salary with peers, and they use that to underpay as many of their employees as they can get away with.

  • by Philip K Dickhead (906971) <folderol@fancypants.org> on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:47AM (#28838189) Journal

    "Gee, more women appear to conform to modern standards of beauty, than at any time in the past!"

    Mid 19th century beauty can be deduced by portraiture. The pre-raphaelite stuff from Rosetti does a pretty good job of this:
    http://www.rossettiarchive.org/img/s356.repro.jpg [rossettiarchive.org]
    http://www.rossettiarchive.org/img/s536.repro.jpg [rossettiarchive.org]

    They'd have seen Jessica Simpson as a freakishly stretched elf - on the verge of starvation.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:47AM (#28838199)

    Also a woman is seens as a risk. Yes, I know it's sexist and no employer will ever admit it because he could be dragged to court for it, but there is the "risk" that she will get pregnant and go on maternity leave. Depending on the country you're in, that could well mean not only that you are going to miss an experienced worker but also that she may even be entitled to getting her job back after being away 2-3 years. That in turn means that you would have to hire someone new, train him, then fire him after 2-3 years when he finally reached productivity level, only to rehire someone who has been out of the loop for 2-3 years and maybe has to be retrained.

    See why many companies refuse to hire women for any job but the ones that require the least training? And thus also usually have the lowest pay?

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

    by morcego (260031) on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:53AM (#28838335)

    It is not only attractive women. What you are saying here is actually known as a social disease. Urban centers, overpopulation etc will have the effect of making woman want to have less kids. If you get those same woman and leave them on less populated places for a few years (6+), they will start wanting to have kids again.

    As a father, I can say this doesn't happen only to women. Having a child will actually completes you and make you happy. It is natural for men and women to want to have kids. All the other "career" bullshit (given as a reason for men/women not having kids) is a symptom of a social disease.

  • by Stormwatch (703920) <rodrigogirao@nosPAm.hotmail.com> on Monday July 27, 2009 @10:54AM (#28838357) Homepage

    They'd have seen Jessica Simpson as a freakishly stretched elf - on the verge of starvation.

    What do you mean, they would? Isn't that what people think about her right now?

  • by nedlohs (1335013) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:01AM (#28838495)

    Except that has more to do with diet and nutrition.

    Either that or evolution happens *much* faster than I thought given that a single generation sees a 4" change reasonably often.

  • Re:As a male... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Xerolooper (1247258) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:02AM (#28838507)

    That's true.

    What I don't understand is why evolution would self-select for prettier women, but not prettier men. A man who is ugly is not going to get any play or opportunity to pass his ugly genes to the next generation. Right? So then men should be becoming more attractive.

    The only reason I can think is that women are being honest when they say, "We don't care what the guy looks like."

    What you are noticing is the fact that men are "attractive" to women for different reasons than women are attractive to men.

  • by noundi (1044080) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:03AM (#28838547)
    Flamebait? This should be marked +5 informative. The parent is grossly stereotyping. I don't evaluate women in 1/2 a second, but I'll admit that in 1/2 a second I have some evaluation. There's a big difference. Sure physical appearances might be important since they are what's noticed at first. But this doesn't cover all cases. I've met many physically attractive women whom after having opened their mouths looked like a bag of batshit to me. So even if we do sometimes "think with our dicks", it's not the only thing we think with (as a side note don't give me any bullshit about women never "thinking with their genitalia"). There's nothing strange with sexual attraction, it is a mere biological function of ours, and the fact that people bitch about it is because they feel left out. Not because they aren't beautiful enough, but because they are simply so stupid that they think it's all about appearances which only confirms that they really are dumb.

    This will sound very Oprah and I apologise but it needs to be said. Both the interior and exterior matter. Interior matters the most because you'll quickly grow accustomed to the exterior, making what was once new and exciting merely ordinary. Having said this people need to understand one thing. If you don't happen to have a beautiful "outside", then you don't automatically have a beautiful "inside". So the next time you women bitch about us men only looking for physical appearances you should perhaps stop shoving colorful goo up your faces and start working on how to be interesting, challenging and just fun to be around. At least that's what I want, and fortunately have.
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:05AM (#28838587) Journal

    >>>Women's average earnings will stay lower than men's average earnings

    This is called lying with statistics. When you compare like-to-like, such as a female programmer with 20 years experience versus a male programmer with 20 years experience, you find the woman actually gets paid a few percent more. Given equal jobs with equal experience both sexes are treated basically equal.

    The reason why the *overall* average shows women getting less is because there are simply fewer women willing to do high-paid jobs like programming, or dangerous high-pay jobs like living on an oil rig.

  • by BPPG (1181851) <bppg1986@gmail.com> on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:18AM (#28838855)

    "Gee, more women appear to conform to modern standards of beauty, than at any time in the past!"

    Mid 19th century beauty can be deduced by portraiture. The pre-raphaelite stuff from Rosetti does a pretty good job of this:
    http://www.rossettiarchive.org/img/s356.repro.jpg [rossettiarchive.org]
    http://www.rossettiarchive.org/img/s536.repro.jpg [rossettiarchive.org]

    They'd have seen Jessica Simpson as a freakishly stretched elf - on the verge of starvation.

    I wish I had a mod point for you.

    We're talking about a lot of different cultures in lots of different times, I'm sure not many of the average men from each instance would find today's average American woman (The data used was gathered in the US) much more attractive. And of course, if the qualitative assessment of how beautiful a woman is is based on how many babies they make, I'm not sure if they could really agree anyways; I could call a girl a perfect ten, even if she turns out to be barren.

    I do find it odd, however, that the article states that today's men are supposedly as aesthetically pleasing as cavemen. This doesn't really fit with the argument they make in saying attractiveness tends to be hereditary. Smells a little too much like bullshit on the. Either that, or the scope of the study is too narrow. I'm failing at looking up any other real information about this study.

  • by divisionbyzero (300681) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:27AM (#28839053)
  • by Xerolooper (1247258) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:34AM (#28839157)

    Huh. I had no idea that watching my wife grow in beauty over 15 years was watching evolution in process. Nice.

    This discovery has lead to the solution to a particular slashdot meme.

    a. Yes, this post is sappy and sentimental.

    b. Yes, I am sending my wife a link to this post.

    c. Yes, the kids are going to bed early tonight.

    d. Profit!!!

    LOL, congratulations, your just figured out the true purpose of this "study". Scientifically proving the female you like is the most beautiful woman ever scores some major points. At least that is what I was thinking the whole time I read the summary.

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

    by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:44AM (#28839349) Homepage Journal
    "Having a child will actually completes you and make you happy."

    Hey, whatever floats your boat man...I've spent my entire life trying my BEST to avoid having the little 'milstones' around my neck. That's what contraception is for (and abortion if those still fail).

    I'm glad people like having kids, but, it just isn't right to say it "completes" you. I've never wanted any, and I feel very complete! I'm not tied down to kids and a wife, I can date as I please, trade to a new 'model' of woman when I feel like it, and I don't have to worry about what I spend my finances on, because little Suzy needs braces. I can come and go as I please, travel, experience life and all it has to offer.

    I don't look down on your for your choices, but, to say one must have that 'traditional' home with wife and kids to be a complete person is just plain nonsense. Different strokes for different folks...

  • by Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:51AM (#28839483)
    I am with you. The two most beautiful women I have ever seen each weighed about 250Lbs. They were both also quite tall (5'10") and lucky me, I dated both of them. I don't notice those skinny little stick figure women anymore.
  • by dontmakemethink (1186169) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:53AM (#28839509)

    Women get more attractive. Men develop bigger wallets.

    The more men act like johns, the more women will act like whores, and vice versa.

    So would you say popular media is encouraging or discouraging that tendency?

  • by Sj0 (472011) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:57AM (#28839595) Homepage Journal

    Generally speaking, men aren't selected on the basis of physical attractiveness. Women are generally selected based on replication value and have very little survival value. By contrast, men are generally selected based on survival value but have very little replication value.

  • by DrLang21 (900992) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:57AM (#28839597)
    Personally, I see the exact opposite happening. I find the obsession today with straight, unfeminine, twig like bodies down right freakish and creepy. Today it seems like if a woman has nice curves, she is labeled as "fat". The concept of what makes a woman "fat" has become so blown out of reality that I can only assume that we have an entire nation that's slowly turning gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) as we prefer images of women that are more and more boyish.
  • by recharged95 (782975) on Monday July 27, 2009 @12:02PM (#28839699) Journal
    As in most forum groups:
    "This thread is useless WITHOUT Pics"
  • by Lord Kano (13027) on Monday July 27, 2009 @12:16PM (#28839913) Homepage Journal

    Female executives with no concept of work/life balance (living with cats) still get paid less than their male peers.

    They make like 97 cents for every dollar that an equally qualified man makes. No, that's clearly not total parity but things are far closer than the whiners would have us believe.

    Same thing for brown people, short people, and all sorts of minorities in the US (I am a tall white male that gets paid way more than my peers).

    I'm a tall minority male. In every job I have ever held, I have made as much as if not more than my peers because I'm good at what I do and I know how much my work is worth.

    Companies take advantage of the strange social stigma that it's somehow inappropriate to talk about salary with peers, and they use that to underpay as many of their employees as they can get away with.

    Have you ever considered this... Companies will pay any employee as little as possible. Employees who know the value of their work and are willing to leave if they are not properly compensated are more likely to get paid what they're worth. Due to other societal factors, white men tend to be more bold or brazen in their desire to demand higher compensation so they are the ones who get it.

    I've been on interviews where they ask me for my requirements and I'm open and firm about what I need to make. Sometimes they come back with "Well, this position only pays $X", this isn't really to inform you. It's to test you. It's to find out if you will work for less. Stick to your guns. Be police, but firm that you need to make your figure. If you're the best candidate for the job, they'll hire you and pay you what you're worth.

    This isn't always the case during an economic downturn, but if you groom your expectations to match the current state of the job market you can still make it work for you.

    LK

  • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Monday July 27, 2009 @12:26PM (#28840097) Homepage

    What is attractive in a culture is usually tied to what is possible for high-status people to achieve.

    As obesity dominates the lower-classes, thinner body types will continue to define beauty. Working- and lower-class people in the US have diets dominated by heavy starches, red meat, high fructose corn syrup, and heavy food additives. The middle and upper classes, especially on the coasts, have diets dominated by fresh vegetables and seafood, and usually can afford the time and energy to go to the gym, etc. As long as body-types line up along class lines in that fashion, thin (and fit) will be in.

  • by rpillala (583965) on Monday July 27, 2009 @12:30PM (#28840195)

    That's the "taking advantage" part. If the policy made no intuitive sense to anyone, you'd see it in fewer places, I think.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 27, 2009 @12:47PM (#28840527)

    Shit, this is difficult to sum up briefly. I can't help but rant, and so this post is more random points than a structured argument.

    Anyone (both sexes) who isn't prepared to be part of a corporate machine in north America gets treated like crap. They get smeared, slandered and slagged off, and non-critically thinking chumps just parrot this attitude.

    Anyone who criticises war for profit - labelled as a hippy.
    If you think that industries need regulating - you get labelled as a socialist.
    Give a shit about anyone that you don't personally know - you get labelled as a liberal.

    These words carry a stigma with many members of the public, and those at the top of society know this and use this.

    Anyone who proposes not-for-profit health care gets an earful of the same tired rhetoric.
    Work for a non-profit entity, like a charity or in schooling - well, you must be the kind of failure who can't hack it in the "real world".

    I remember hearing a "joke" from a upper middle manager once, who worked for a company making parts for aircraft - probably military ones: Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach.

    If you find that funny at any level more than for the reasons you would have found it funny when you were a kid at school (when the teachers were "the enemy"), then you need to do some growing up.

    It is obvious to anyone with a functioning brain that jobs like teaching, nursing, coastguard, etc. are noble careers.... apart from when they are being used by the military-industrial-congressional-complex to push agendas, dump sick people without health insurance at homeless shelters or to fight a pointless "war on drugs".

  • Re:As a male... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 27, 2009 @01:40PM (#28841457)

    Kids DO complete a person because in the end, that's really what we're here for, not to be narcissistic and selfish. We can only be extremely grateful people like you chose NOT to procreate. Good choice on your part.

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

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday July 27, 2009 @02:08PM (#28841895)

    You experience all life has to offer? Really? You're experiencing a very limited subset of what life has to offer. Different strokes indeed, but don't delude yourself. You've traded one set of experiences for another.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 27, 2009 @02:52PM (#28842549)

    If your company doesn't want you discussing salaries.
    , it's because they're exoloiting you and are afraid you'll find out. Form or join a union. NOW.

  • Re:As a male... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fnkmaster (89084) * on Monday July 27, 2009 @03:36PM (#28843241)

    Here's a theory for you - perhaps you and your friends have been self-selecting into a group of well-educated, childless folks in their 30s and 40s? Maybe this is more a function of like befriending like. Beyond the well-known fact that well-to-do, better-educated folks tend to have fewer children on average than the working, ill-educated poor.

    That latter association in a modern society seems to be based on the fact that unless you are absurdly wealthy, raising more than a few children to the standard of living and education that you and your social class have become accustomed to is just too costly, and even if you can afford it, you can't devote the amount of time and energy to that many children to make sure they are educated and reared properly (private school, tutors, college, grad school, parties, play dates, etc. etc.).

    Whereas the lower and lower middle classes have very little in the way of expectations for what you provide to children beyond 3 meals a day and clothing and getting them to and fro from public school.

  • by Gizzmonic (412910) on Monday July 27, 2009 @03:52PM (#28843497) Homepage Journal

    "Breast ligaments"? Are you fucking shitting me? Breast ligaments? And modded up as well. I know that Slashdotters aren't supposed to know a lot about women, but I'd hope they'd at least have read an anatomy textbook. Breasts are sacks of adipose tissue. Fat, if you will.

  • by Anne Thwacks (531696) on Monday July 27, 2009 @03:59PM (#28843607)

    Dont know what country you are in, but I get the impression that here in the UK (well, London anyway) that most men like women to be size 14-16 (UK sizes, obviously, not American) and think the media are dominated by piss-artists who have no clue.

    A quick look at porn (highly recommended - its for research purposes, obviously) will show the women are mostly a lot bigger than they are on the fashion catwalk.

  • by rohan972 (880586) on Monday July 27, 2009 @03:59PM (#28843611)

    Human males are attracted to just post-pubescent girls as that is their most fertile time.

    Only in pictures. If you meet them they talk and you are soon repelled. Give me a reasonably attractive educated woman with life experience anytime for a partner over a "just post-pubescent girl".

  • Re:As a male... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 27, 2009 @04:26PM (#28843925)
    I'd say "limited subset' and 'delude yourself' may be a bit harsh of a reply. I am also a male, at the point in my life where the important decision of whether to procreate or not is to be made. While all of my 'heart' and 'soul' is all in favor (I love kids), all of my other sensory apparatus is screaming nooo... Most of my peers, colleagues and friends already have kids, and what I actually -see- is contrary from what I -hear- from most of them. What I hear is... "kids are treasure, fulfilling,, makes you happy"... and what I -see- are overstressed parents, constant game of who will do what, yelling, looking for grandparents, aunts etc to offload kids, and overall, not good situation. That is what I -see-, while at same time, same overstressed parent will claim they are happy. And therein lies my dilemma... what to believe... my eyes or my 'heart'... So far my eyes never deceived me, while my 'heart'... well... it was not really reliable some times.
  • by Rupert (28001) on Monday July 27, 2009 @05:57PM (#28845023) Homepage Journal

    I discussed this with my wife the other day, after she'd been watching the Fashion Channel. The audience for catwalk fashion shows is buyers (mostly commercial) of clothing, and that audience is dominated by thin women and gay men. Whatever the models on the catwalk look like, it doesn't tell you anything about contemporary tastes of heterosexual men.

  • by syousef (465911) on Monday July 27, 2009 @09:03PM (#28846633) Journal


    If you soak her in warm salt water and scorch her in 100 degree heat for for a few hours and she still looks good in a bikini standing under the noonday sun

    Sounds like you're after a lobster, not a woman.

  • by bogjobber (880402) on Tuesday July 28, 2009 @01:46AM (#28848415)

    Working- and lower-class people in the US have diets dominated by heavy starches, red meat, high fructose corn syrup, and heavy food additives. The middle and upper classes, especially on the coasts, have diets dominated by fresh vegetables and seafood, and usually can afford the time and energy to go to the gym, etc..

    Can we please stop splitting the US up this way? Whether or not you live next to an ocean has no correlation with obesity, education, income, poverty, or anything else.

    Here [statehealthfacts.org] is a map of adult overweight/obesity rates by state. Here [statehealthfacts.org] is a map showing the rate of childhood overweight/obesity rates. The trends seem to be regional, with the West and Northwest having the lowest rates and the Midwest and South having the highest. Notice that Colorado and Utah have lower obesity rates than New York, California, or Washington. Your first point about income level is closer to the truth, but as these [usda.gov] maps [census.gov] show, it is not even close to a direct correlation. Many more factors are involved.

A LISP programmer knows the value of everything, but the cost of nothing. -- Alan Perlis

Working...