Saturday, 12 June 2010

I’m Not Shallow: Just Genetically Programmed

The Daily Telegraph carries a pseudo-scientific story with this strapline:

“Men take a fraction of a second to decide if they are attracted to a woman or not – but they should not be called shallow because they are genetically programmed to do so, scientists say.”

The article continues,

“They tested men and women's bias towards looks by conducting a series of tests on 20 women and 20 men, making them perform tasks while recording their brain activity.

While the subjects were doing the task they were shown a series of photographs of faces of the opposite sex, ranging from attractive to ugly.

Men were easily distracted when they saw a pretty face but women stuck to the task.”

One of the authors of the study said:

“Men definitely have the most wandering eye but it is because they have evolved to pay attention to cues of fertility and one of those cues is facial beauty – it's not that men are shallow.  …..  They make that decision on whether a woman would be a good mating partner in milliseconds.  This is something very ancient and a way of helping men find the best mate to produce children.”

"Women were not distracted by attractive male faces because women need more proof of whether a man is a good mate.”

I hope there’s much more in the paper when published because the scientists have found an effect: men are distracted from a task more quickly than is a woman and looks play a part.

But leaping from this effect to stating THE cause is a very large leap indeed.

In the meantime I’ll relax in the knowledge that I may be fat but, at least, I’m not shallow!

12 comments:

  1. "They make that decision on whether a woman would be a good mating partner in milliseconds."

    Indeed they do... They look, they notice it's a women rather than a lampost (for example), so they think "I'd give her one..." Then, much more slowly, reality kicks in, as the woman ignores him and continues with her tasks.

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  2. Typo time: "...they notice it's a woman" not "women". I was distracted by the very thought.

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  3. Are men just more distractable than women?

    Are they distracted by beauty of any sort and not just female beauty?

    I think we need to know this.

    We might be shallow, after all.

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  4. This is the kind of research that from someone less refined (and gorgeous) than me would prompt the response "no shit Sherlock!"

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  5. Anonymiss, ..... and you would say in your more refined way?

    Let us know!

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  6. Ah it's a relief to see that our "window shopping" is genetically predetermined!

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  7. You window-shop, Jams? I hope you're never tempted to purchase .... or does that take us somewhere else totally?

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  8. I'm only shallow when I'm shopping.

    The first thing I see will do and I prefer it unwrapped.

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  9. Not being acquainted with this very topic, I am just dropping in to offer Andrew a p.

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  10. I'll keep it for when it is needed Sean, as it is not needed in lampost, which is the more common version of lamp-post (and lamppost is almost archaic now). All three versions are acceptable, however.

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  11. Dogs often add a p to a lampost though, with one leg raised, even if the more traditional spelling is pee (at least among humans - I'm not sure how dogs spell it).

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  12. I kneeeeeeeew it!
    Sic tacuisses, Sean! Now put your head on the pillow, and don't be suprised when dreaming of a rope, of crows - and when looking downwards noticing a dog standing on three legs ...

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