Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why geek genes win

How is that that many of my fellow homely geeks are happily married to women so much more attractive than we are?

Geek genes (yes, we are "effeminate" no matter how many mountains we might climb)turn out to become desirable in high tech civilizations. Since geeks make tech, geek genes thereby support and create the environments that make more geek genes. Talk about the selfish gene ...
The battle of the sexes: Face off | The Economist

... Mating preferences, too, vary with a society’s level of economic development. That, at least, is the conclusion of a study by Ben Jones and Lisa DeBruine of Aberdeen University, in Scotland, published this week in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

Dr Jones and Dr DeBruine, themselves a married couple, examined what might be called the Deianira paradox. Hercules, demigod and paragon of masculinity in the ancient world, was indirectly done for by his own sexual prowess—his jealous wife, Deianira, accidentally poisoned him with a potion she thought would render him eternally faithful. Deianira’s predicament is a woman’s ultimate dilemma. In a man, the craggy physical characteristics associated with masculinity often indicate a strong immune system and thus a likelihood of his producing healthier offspring than his softer-featured confrères will. But such men are also more promiscuous and do not care as much about long-term relationships, leaving women to raise their kids alone.

Nowadays, sound parenting is often more important to the viability of a man’s offspring than Herculean strength. That, some researchers suspect, may be changing the physical traits that women look for in a mate, at least in some societies. A study carried out in 2004, for example, discovered that women in rural Jamaica found manly types more desirable than did women in Britain, which led to questions about whether those preferences were arbitrary or whether women in different parts of the world might be adapting to circumstances that place different emphasis on manliness in the competitive calculus.

Dr Jones and Dr DeBruine therefore looked to see if there is an inverse relationship between women’s preference for masculine features and national health. Sure enough, they found one. In environments where disease is rampant and the child-mortality rate is high, women prefer masculine men. In places like America and Britain, where knowing how to analyse health-care plans is more important than fighting off infection, effeminate men are just as competitive...

... Neither wealth nor mating pattern had much impact on women’s preferences for manly men. Disease rates, by contrast, seemed to be directly related to how they went about choosing a mate—the healthier the society, the less women valued masculinity. Hygiene and wimps, it seems, go hand in hand....
So non-geeks really do need to destroy civilization. This explains the GOP.

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