Friday, December 09, 2005

More speculations on the evolutionary biology of acne

A comment on a blog posting
It's a humorous post, but the evolutionary biology of acne is, to me, quite fascinating.

The best theory I've heard of (or maybe I invented it, I'm not sure) is that the primary value is to render fertile young women less attractive, and to avoid male assault and early pregnancy. This theory would say acne is males is a side-effect of males and females sharing the same genes; it would have no adaptive advantage for males. We know from other gene studies that there are many genes that have such gender-specific value.

What is the relationship then with 'nerdiness' and pimples in males? I would wonder about a correlation between maternal androgen levels, maternal mate selection, and intrauterine androgen exposure affecting adolescent male aggressiveness. So the connection would be subtle, but both the 'nerdiness' (lack of aggression) and the acne would be indirectly a result of maternal adolescent acne."

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