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This discussion has been archived.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 Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:02AM (#28837349)

    It's called Photoshop.

  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:02AM (#28837369) Homepage Journal
    Until these females develop an interest in Linux (and know that it's really GNU/Linux) plus a preference for subterranean dwelling, nobody here is likely to notice.
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:02AM (#28837371)

    Women get more attractive. Men develop bigger wallets.
     

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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 Anonymous Coward on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:04AM (#28837385)

    I'm confused, how does this help the average slashdotter? Perhaps you are just reminding the readers that an even higher proportion of women are out of their league. Salt in the wound, my friend.

  • I'm dubious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wcrowe (94389) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:05AM (#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: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.

  • Are we guppies (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Nf1nk (443791) <nf1nk.yahoo@com> on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:06AM (#28837403) Homepage

    This seems like the guppy phenomenon. Under a lack of predation the guppies self select to breed for beauty. Under heavy predation they breed to survive and quickly become plain. We are the guppies. We have no predators. It just takes longer to show up with us because our life cycle takes longer.

  • Bullshit (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Etrias (1121031) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:06AM (#28837411)
    Because beauty is a subjective matter, how do you hope to measure this in an objective, scientific way.
  • Useful.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by BeardedChimp (1416531) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:08AM (#28837437)
    I'm going to use this as an excuse when I break up with my 50 year old wife,

    "Sorry it's not you it's evolution, younger women these days are just much more attractive".
  • Causation? (Score:5, Funny)

    by wilburdg (178573) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:08AM (#28837463)

    Are beer sales up?

  • by OrangeCatholic (1495411) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:10AM (#28837497)
    >while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors.

    Really? You mean those 5-foot-1 suits of armor at the museum were worn by the same 6-foot-5 monsters who grace our modern football fields and armed forces?

    I guess men from the Renaissance were the same as us, except highly compressible.
    • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) * on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:20AM (#28837681) Journal

      I guess men from the Renaissance were the same as us, except highly compressible.

      They weren't any more or less compressible, they just used a more efficient algorithm.

    • by nedlohs (1335013) on Monday July 27, 2009 @12:01PM (#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.

    • by denzacar (181829) on Monday July 27, 2009 @01:10PM (#28839807) Journal

      No battle marks on them.

      Those pristine museum pieces belonged to teenagers and various noblemen who never fought anything stronger than a cold, and pranced in the back of the battlefield wearing armour instead of charging at the front.
      The ones used by big burly zweihander wielding men mostly ended up rusting in some field somewhere in the end.
      Knights died in their armours or if they've managed to retire - were buried in them.
      Those things had cost back then as much as a car would today - only they were "tailor-fitted" for each individual. Spares were an option only for VERY rich.

      Also... one word... arquebus.
      Nobles that trained since their teens to be knights and later charged at lines of peasants who got handed their arquebuses to them whole two weeks earlier - haven't made it home so their armour could be preserved for posterity.

  • 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?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hedwards (940851)
      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
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:11AM (#28837513)

    Evolutionarily, you'd expect that a species would gravitate towards more attractive members due to the increased ability of those members to reproduce. But consider that the likelihood of an ugly set of people to actually reproduce is much higher than a set of very attractive people to do so.

    Humans are an interesting species. We are able to actually avoid evolution. In several tens of generations, humans will likely be all near-sighted due to our glasses and Lasik technology. Likewise, very attractive people know they have an increased likelihood of mating. This mating, for many of them, is a recreational activity instead of a procreative activity. So the use of prophylactics among attractive people actually prevents evolution from taking its course.

    So why do we seem to have teenage girls blossoming so early? I'd wager that it is the use of hormones in cows that has artificially accelerated the aging process among humans. Since it is very easy to determine accelerated physiological changes in girls (larger breasts, wider hips, etc) than in boys (facial and body hair, etc), the incorrect assumption may be made that only girls are being affected. However, the use of hormones in our food affects all who ingest it.

    • 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 Anonymous Coward on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:11AM (#28837515)

    Not in Liverpool. Looking at the women on dating sites for this city is like looking at a freak show. Seriously.

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:11AM (#28837525) Homepage

    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.

    So easy a caveman can do it.

  • by glebovitz (202712) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:11AM (#28837527) Journal

    If evolution is making women more attractive, does creation have the inverse effect?

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd.bandrowsky@NOSpAM.gmail.com> on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:14AM (#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.

  • by drater (806171) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:24AM (#28837745)
    This thread is useless without pics
  • by imgod2u (812837) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:25AM (#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.

  • by jrootham (170856) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:27AM (#28837803) Homepage

    So, how many millihelens per century is beauty incresign by?

  • I call BS! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mesa MIke (1193721) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:34AM (#28837927) Homepage

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

  • Cosmetic Surgery (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dankstick (788385) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:34AM (#28837931) Homepage
    The article does not mention the participants having cosmetic surgery. If the surgery was something like breast augmentation or the like, then the genes for "ugliness" would be carried forward. I would call it genetic false advertising. This would progress into the further generations becoming dependent upon surgery to be beautiful. That is until the definition of being beautiful changes, perhaps being polydactyl will be the rage in 2100.
  • by Theolojin (102108) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:34AM (#28837937) 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!!!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Xerolooper (1247258)

      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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Theolojin (102108)

      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 Important Remark (1604945) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:36AM (#28837989)
    Women aged 20-29 were nearly 29 pounds heavier on average in 2002 compared to 1960.
    Women aged 40-49 were about 25.5 pounds heavier on average in 2002 compared to 1960.
    • by rrhal (88665) on Monday July 27, 2009 @11:42AM (#28838093)

      Women aged 20-29 were nearly 29 pounds heavier on average in 2002 compared to 1960. Women aged 40-49 were about 25.5 pounds heavier on average in 2002 compared to 1960.

      83.4% of this was in the breasts however - note that the specific gravity of Silicon is ~ 2.3

      • 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.

Never buy from a rich salesman. -- Goldenstern

Working...