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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!
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Are Women Getting More Beautiful?

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  • No (Score:2, Informative)

    by OhHellWithIt (756826) * on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:08AM (#28837461) Journal
    Women have always been beautiful enough for evolutionary purposes, just as men have always been sufficiently whatever-it-is-women-want for evolutionary purposes. Every parent of a teenager knows this, and every teenager does not.
  • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by thepainguy (1436453) <thepainguy@gmail.com> on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:10AM (#28837499) Homepage
    Actually, there are objective ways to measure beauty. It has to do with things like the degree of symmetry and ratios like how far apart the eyes are.
  • No big mystery (Score:4, Informative)

    by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:11AM (#28837509)
    It's just selection making sure that desirable traits get passed. Just like bloodhounds were selected for their ability to sniff out game, their descendants grew to have the most reliable nose of all breeds. Similarly, if intelligence was the greatest traits looked for in a mate, our race would become smarter with each passing generation... and suddenly this explains a lot, doesn't it?
  • by defensor1 (1407079) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:14AM (#28837571)
    Money has very little to do with female attraction. For men, attraction is an on/off switch, either a man finds a woman attractive or he doesn't, and he evaluates that in less than 1/2 a second, completely on physical appearance. However, in my experience, attraction for women is based less upon physical appearance and more on personality and behavior. People who are completely broke still get laid.
  • Wrong (Score:5, Informative)

    by LockeOnLogic (723968) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:19AM (#28837655)
    There are only two physical traits with universal sexual appeal cross-culturally, symmetry you mentioned and clear skin. All of these ratios and such are measuring the current cultural zeitgeist with regards to beauty, and those standards are largely culturally plastic. Little better in methodology than phrenology.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:23AM (#28837733)

    For men, attraction is an on/off switch, either a man finds a woman attractive or he doesn't, and he evaluates that in less than 1/2 a second, completely on physical appearance.

    Interesting claim. Did you pull that out of your own ass, or someone else's?

  • Re:I'm dubious (Score:5, Informative)

    by furby076 (1461805) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:39AM (#28838047) Homepage

    Except that the standard for "beauty" changes over time. I'm not sure I'm buying this

    not really. In magazines they change, but the real beauty does not. There are basic qualities that have withstood the test of time. Also there have been MANY studies using the baby smile test. You take babies ranging from 3 months to 1 year old. These kids are too young to have been influenced by what the media/general public considers to be attractive (e.g. magazine influence). You show them pictures of people of one attractive person and one unattractive person. The babies will gaze and smile towards what they find attractive, and ignore what they don't find attractive. So put up a picture of Rosie O'donnal vs Scarlett Johanson and Rosie won't get more then a glance from the baby. They have found, over the years and even regions, babies find similar things to be attractive. A few of the features I remember
    Symmetry (e.g. Chunk from the goonies is not symmetrical)
    Smooth/similar colored skin (not black vs white, but your skin color is even colored. If you have a melanoma condition you are screwed)
    Developed hips (for women) which helps in child birthing
    Healthy weight (anorexia is not healthy, but neither is a person who is 10 lbs overweight)
    Developed/Square jaw (for men)
    Good muscles for men (yes your abs are important) - it shows you can physically protect and hunt for your mate
    Good teeth (shows you get things like vitamin C)
    Developed breasts (for women duh)
    Smell (yes being clean is a physically attractive trait)

    This test has been done over and over since at least the 60's (if not before). It always has the same results (meaning its verifiable and reliable).

    What has been considered attractive, for the most part, has been the same over time.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:56AM (#28838413)

    The wage gap opens when you lump people together into groups. "Programmer" is everything from someone who can slap together more-or-less stable php code for some low-load, low-security webpage to someone who can develop ring0 drivers. Supply and demand dictate that these people don't earn the same. The same applies to other trades.

    I don't know what trade you are in, but I'm fairly sure you can think of different companies that are in your area of trade that may have different, maybe higher or lower, requirements for their workers and their workers' skills.

  • by LandDolphin (1202876) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:58AM (#28838455)
    It's often more then social stigma, but actual corporate policy to not discuss salaries and you can be terminated if you do.
  • by melted (227442) on Monday July 27, 2009 @12:20PM (#28838895) Homepage

    100 years from now, when plumper women are in vogue again, the starved skeletons that are universally praised today as beautiful will look ridiculous. And it will happen. As resources get scarcer, demonstrating that you have adequate food supply will become important for mating and reproduction. Not to mention that most men even now like some meat on the bones anyway.

  • by Zerth (26112) on Monday July 27, 2009 @12:23PM (#28838967)

    Teenage girls blossom earlier for one reason: calories.

    Menses is largely dependant on having sufficient calories, both intake and stored(approaching 20% bodyfat), and estrogen. Fat also emits estrogen, so fat kids means earlier menarche.

    Compare a gymnast (high caloric output, minimal caloric input relative to output) to a girl who's economic status is such that she gets sufficient calories in the form of fast food & microwave meals and spends 15+ hours per day sitting on her ass.

    On the other hand, the average age of menarche has only changed by maybe 3 or 4 months in the last 30 years.

    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/111/1/110

    Let me know if the study is bullshit.

  • by Slashdot Parent (995749) on Monday July 27, 2009 @12:48PM (#28839425)

    I obtained that information here [iwpr.org]. It does not mention executive compensation, and you have not supported your assertion.

    I am going to assume that you made that explanation up, and it has no grounding in anything factual.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday July 27, 2009 @12:52PM (#28839505) Journal

    Had I not lost my mod points, you'd have gotten a funny.

    Since I don't, I'll do the next most popular thing on /. and point out your error. Silicone, which used to be used for fake boobies, has a specific gravity just above that of water (1.1 range). Silicon, which powers your computer, has a specific gravity of 2.3.

    Again, this /. so I can see how things got mixed up. AFAICT, the latter form is more popular as a tool for personal gratification around here.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 27, 2009 @01:28PM (#28840155)

    It's often more then social stigma, but actual corporate policy to not discuss salaries and you can be terminated if you do.

    Yeah, and it's illegal. Fed courts have ruled that you can't be terminated by revealing your salary. The downside is that there is no employer penalty (other than having to take you back) when found guilty of terminating you for that reason.

  • by kramerd (1227006) on Monday July 27, 2009 @01:32PM (#28840235)

    Well, from a physics point of view, women who weigh more would be more attractive...

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday July 27, 2009 @01:59PM (#28840699) Journal

    Japanese and Italian studies show that wearing a bra makes the breast ligaments atrophy, similar to what a cast does for a broken leg. Not wearing a bra makes them firmer.

  • by Theolojin (102108) on Monday July 27, 2009 @02:03PM (#28840789) Homepage

    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!!!

    Rats. It wasn't nearly as romantic as I intended, since I had to explain what a slashdot meme is and what this particular meme meant.

    Then again, she did say it was funny, and more importantly, romantic.

    Profit.

  • by Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) on Monday July 27, 2009 @02:35PM (#28841353)
    Well maybe the US is different in this regard (but I do doubt that) however Statistics Canada said years ago that when you account for education, experience, hours worked etc. then there was no statistically significant difference between the pay of men and women. Not that this has in any way stopped propaganda statements like "Women only earn $0.65 on the dollar compared to men!!!!!" continuing to be spread. And to anyone who cries "Citation?" you've got fingers, look it up.
  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday July 27, 2009 @03:06PM (#28841873)

    Complete nonsense. There are no ligaments in the breast. There is also no muscle tissue.

  • by Mr. Beatdown (1221940) on Monday July 27, 2009 @05:36PM (#28844085)
    interestingly enough....

    Discussing pay [nlrb.gov] is a protected activity under the NRLA.

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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