MEN, WOMEN AND DARWIN
Julia M. Klein – Special to The Times August 29, 2005
Article edited so that we can CUT TO THE CHASE. If you want to read the full article go to LAT site.
THREE years ago, Robert Kurzban, Evolutionary Psychologist, spotted an advertisement for a service called HurryDate, offering an evening of three-minute meetings with 25 potential dates.
With the agreement of the company, Kurzban and a colleague surveyed the HurryDaters about a range of topics including religious background and their desire for children. Their fundamental questions: Did participants select the people most like themselves? Or did most of them prize similar traits ” such as appearance or high income ” and try to get the best deal they could in the mating market?
What the researchers discovered was that men and women chose their dates on the basis of “generally agreed upon mate values,” the mating market hypothesis. Another finding: Both sexes relied mainly on physical attractiveness, largely disregarding factors such as income and social status.
“HurryDate participants are given three minutes in which to make their judgments,” the psychologists wrote in a paper published in the May issue of the science journal Evolution and Human Behavior, “but they mostly could be made in three seconds.”
Evolutionary psychology sees the mind as a set of evolved psychological mechanisms, or adaptations, that have promoted survival and reproduction. Men, in choosing mates, gravitate toward youth and physical attractiveness ” markers of fertility and health.
By contrast, females, for whom conception meant pregnancy and the need to care for a child, were more selective, searching for long-term commitments from males with the resources and willingness to invest in them and their offspring.
Other research indicates that women make different choices at different points in their menstrual cycle, opting for better-looking, more symmetrical and more masculine-appearing men when they are at their most fertile.
In short-term relationships, physical attractiveness is a priority for women, just as it is for men, according to a study by psychologists Norman P. Li and Douglas T. Kenrick that is slated to appear sometime next year in the journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
In practice, Li said, people’s budgets in the mating market are determined by what they themselves have to offer. “So a guy who is extremely high status or very wealthy can trade up for a more physically attractive partner,” he said. And “women trying to make themselves more physically attractive so they can get a higher quality mate are not completely misguided.”
John Marshall Townsend, professor of anthropology at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University showed a group of female medical students, law students and professionals pictures of men dressed in different ways ” wearing, for instance, a fast-food uniform or a designer suit and Rolex watch. He also gave participants descriptions of each man’s social status.
The results were decisive. “Here’s Mr. Hottie, but if he’s in the wrong costume, and given the wrong status description, then she won’t go out with him, much less go to bed with him or marry him,” said Townsend. “You could put Cary Grant in a Burger King outfit, and he looks dorky.”
If women do occasionally date “down” in terms of social status, Townsend said, “that would be out of desperation.”
By contrast, he says, men are likely to date any physically attractive woman. When it comes to marriage, “guys are not completely insensitive to social class,” but, he said, they’re “not looking for socioeconomic gain.”
In the context of speed dating, where quick impressions count, HurryDate president Adele Testani says she was not surprised to learn that both sexes were most choosy about physical attractiveness. Although participants invariably ask each other about their careers, Testani said, “it really is all about that face-to-face chemistry and connection and attraction.” She added: “You’re certainly not going to find out if you’re going to marry the person” in a few minutes.
Kurzban said the “rich visual information” supplied by HurryDate encounters may help men and women get over the first hurdle of appearance, before other factors, such as social status, become relevant.
From my book BODY LANGUAGE SECRETS
In an interview with Playboy, anthropologist Helen Fisher, PhD, author of The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery and Divorce answered this question. I was delighted she said what I had written.
What do you think about this constant harangue over the issue of patriarchy?
Naomi Wolf came out with that ridiculous book, The Beauty Myth, in which she blames men and the entire advertising industry for the fact that women want to remain beautiful and thin all their lives.
But for millions of years, men have been attracted to women who look youthful. That was an evolutionary adaptive response because clear eyes, white teeth, smooth skin and a youthful appearance indicated that the woman was more likely to have fresher eggs and more likely to bear viable young. As a result, men have always been attracted to women who look healthy and young.
If the New York advertising, cosmetic and clothing industries fell into the Hudson River, women would re-create them, because the human female instinctively seeks to look youthful, healthy and attractive. That has nothing to do with patriarchy.
At my workshops called THE RIGHT ATTITUDE, men learn firsthand from young, attractive women that the Number One Steel Balls Principle is true as well as crucially important to his future sex life!
Every single one of the young women we have employed since 1998 has never read any of my books! And yet, these Titanium Babes, as the MEN OF STEEL BALLS have named them, universally agree that they are able to, with their eyes, “graze” an ENTIRE wedding reception in a big ballroom and pick out ALL of the desirable men in less than 10 seconds.
Some Titanium Babes have demonstrated they are able to notice a man’s manicured nails at 50 feet in less than 2 seconds! All Titanium Babes have easily been able to notice, and instantly dismiss, every guy with beat up, scuffed up shoes at an even longer distance, 70 feet.
We work with 3 to 5 young women and 20-30 men. The guys listen, stunned, by the amount of detail women can process in only a few seconds. For example, each Titanium Babe stands in the center of a circle of 8 to 10 guys wearing their best version of the Steel Balls/John Molloy POWER SUIT. The babe just turns around slowly looking at each guy and then points to the guy with the best OVERALL appearance. All this in less than 10 seconds.
She then points out everything that caused him to be designated starting with his SHOES! Continuing up thru the drape of his pants, the fit of his suit jacket, the cuff exposure of his shirt, his tie color/style, his tie knot, the fit of his shirt around his neck, his sideburns, teeth, haircut, and finally his finger nails. EIGHT GUYS IN 10 SECONDS. She moves to the second best and points out what caused him to come in second place. And so on to the last place guy. She is tactful and kind by saying things this way, “I would find you more attractive in shoes like his,” pointing out what works for her.
This is the first thing we do at the beginning of the workshop on Friday morning. The young women walk in and deliver the goods! This makes belivers of all doubters during the first 15 minutes of the 3-day workshop!
Any who still have a hard time believing the Number One Steel Balls Principle are quickly converted when the Titanium Babes change circles and virtually the same results happen!
Each young woman then sits and shares with the guys in circle they are in. They tell the guys WHY every aspect of his appearance is important. Short version: If you take care of yourself you will take care of me! If you care about your appearance, you have self respect. That means you are confident, the most attractive quality.
The number one STEEL BALLS PRINCIPLE?
First you have to look like someone she wants to talk with.