Let’s All Evolve Past Our Evolution [OPINION]
In an article soon to be published in Evolution and Human Behavior, a University of Texas–Austin graduate student came to the conclusion that men find "dumb-looking women" more attractive. Writer Emily V. Gordon explores some of the studies "dumb" findings and has some advice of her own for both men and women.
I took Evolutionary Psychology in grad school, and it was a useful, if not depressing, course. All species do some pretty icky things to ensure the successful propagation of their DNA- lying, murdering, showing off, raping- and those are just the insects. We can try to say we've gotten past it as evolved humans, but at our core, we're all just trying to mate.
Mating has always been an unequal game of chance for men and women. Women have only one opportunity to get pregnant per month (only one egg is released from the old fallopian tubes at a time), versus men, who create nearly 85 million sperm cells per day per testicle. Essentially, men have a lot of genetic material to burn, and women do not, which is why evolutionarily, women cannot be as open to risky sexual ventures like one night stands. Women in the past had to be pickier because they only had the one egg, followed by the nine month pregnancy, and it's pretty hard to date when you're breastfeeding. Men can stick their junk in anything because they have lots of seeds to go around and they don't have to carry the offspring.
Still with me? Good. Now, we're not all trying to get pregnant all the time these days but that doesn't mean the instincts aren't still there. The thing grad student Cari Goetz and company were curious about in this article how much our ancestral instincts were involved in picking mates now, so they came up with the sexual exploitability hypothesis. This hypothesis suggests that men are more attracted to a woman whose guard is lowered, a woman who is exploitable. "Exploitable" here means that "a woman is willing or can be more easily pressured into having sex". (Yup, it is a bit creepy.) What they found was that yes, men did rate women who looked sleepy, unintelligent, women who licked their lips or touched their breasts as more attractive than other women.
The study is somewhat questionable and kinda insulting to both men and women, and they present their findings with a ton of caveats, but that's beside the point. The point is that for years, women have understood that the men who want to just pork anything and everything to propagate the species are dumbasses. Women see those men coming from a mile away, and if we are in the mood to have protected sex with them, fine, but we don't see them as potential life partners. We see them as stuck in their caveman phase. Perhaps it's time men started to get an understanding of evolution too.
Men, if you meet a woman who is "sexually exploitable" and sleep with her because "it's easy", maybe stop being surprised when she a) won't leave you alone, b) almost immediately has a pregnancy scare, or c) writes your name in lipstick on your car while you're at work. I'm so tired of guys who say all women are psycho, but then only seem to sleep with women who behave like a psycho woman would.. I'm not saying that all women who are slutty are crazypants, not in the slightest, but I am saying that even if you're not looking for a wife, realize that there are different types of women out there. Some will sleep with you and behave like a sexually responsible grownup about it, some will want to date you because you have joined genitals, and some don't give a fart about evolution and are screwing you to feel better about themselves, get back at someone else, or every other logical (to them) reason.
Women have been using the weirdo sad truths of human evolution in their dating lives for years now, and not just to "snag a man for life." We use it for warning patterns too, like how birds learn to stay away from that one butterfly with the big pretty designs on its back because it's poison. All I'm saying is that it's high time men start doing the same, or at least not come crying to me when the girl who gave them a BJ at the bar is now stalking them.
Evolutionarily, the warnings were already there.