The same day I heard about this I heard Adam Carolla say earlier that “Katy Perry always looks like she’s thinking of something stupid”. Well, Katy Perry is hott, aint she? Tadaaa – SCIENCE.
It’s a well known fact what a fan I am of the publication, Evolution and Human Behavior — actually, that’s too plausible. I was starting that as a joke but on second thought, peopledontknowstuff and I have a lot of random and esoteric interests so the gag isn’t as obvious. I withdraw that as well as my follow up about what a giant follower I am of Texas–Austin graduate student Cari Goetz and her colleagues, whom have just released a tease on an exploration in sexual exploitability in humans.
Slate boils it down to a more easy to digest premise and outcome: Men are more attracted to women who appear stupid.
Ask a straight man, “How do you like your women?” and it’s unlikely he’ll answer, “Dumb and sleepy.” But according to new findings, these characteristics—and any other traits suggesting that the lady isn’t particularly alert—are precisely what the human male has evolved to look for in a one-night-stand.
For ancestral women, casual intercourse with an emotionally unattached man who had no clear intention of sticking around to raise any resulting offspring constituted a massive genetic gamble. By contrast, for a man with somewhere around 85 million sperm cells churned out every day—per testicle—the frivolous expenditure of gametes was far less detrimental to his genetic interests. Goetz and her team began with the assumption that—because our brains evolved long before prophylactics entered the picture—female cognition is still sensitive to the pregnancy-related consequences of uncommitted sex and women remain more reluctant than men to engage in it. They set out to test the idea that any indication that a woman’s guard is lowered—that she’s “sexually exploitable”—is a turn-on for your average man. “[T]he assessment of a woman’s immediate vulnerability,” surmise the authors, “may be central to the activation of psychological mechanisms related to sexual exploitation.”
This is an inflammatory hypothesis, of course, and the language employed in the field doesn’t help matters. It’s worth noting that in the evolutionary psychology sense, the word exploitablesimply means that a woman is willing or can be more easily pressured into having sex—which takes her own desires, rather disturbingly, out of the equation. Even if she’s the aggressor, a prostitute, or a certifiable nymphomaniac, having casual sex with her would still constitute “exploiting” her (or at least her body), according to this model.