thelastpsychiatrist.com - Beer Goggling Isn't Natural and Being A Good Looking Girl Sucks From 9 To 5. Adnotated.
Who's hot, and who's not?i Ok -- who's dumb and who isn't? Were they different?
An internet meme spreading through the blogosphere: "Eyes Can't Resist Beautiful People." I took the extra step of looking up the actual scientific article the news report cites, just in case there was more to it (and of course there was.)
A study discovers that when heterosexual undergraduates are shown pictures of random undergraduates, they have increased attention for pics of attractive opposite sex people. So, guys look at hot girls, and vise versaii. Not exactly surprising.
y-axis is time spent looking at the pic
But more interesting was the finding that, even when the subjects were "sexually primed" (told to write out a sexy story) the increased attention was only to the really attractive people. There was no increased attention to average looking opposite sex pictures.iii In fact, attention to the average looking people was no different than the attention to same sex pictures.
Additionally, people in "stable" relationships (whatever that means -- these are undergraduates, remember) did not have this effect. Perhaps they were "satisfied," but these tests are really about unconscious preferences. The fact that there was no significant draw to the attractive people (over anyone else) speaks to, in my opinion, an innate monogamy in humans.iv
But don't think these pussy whipped losers (kidding!) don't have instincts -- they're just different than unattached people: committed people's attention lingered on attractive members of the same sex.v
In other words, rivals.vi
So while there's a drive towards monogamy, there's also an assumption/fear that your mate might not be.vii
So this implies that the person's state -- "where your head is at" -- affects not sexual preference, per se, but the priority of your attention. Single people are looking for sex; couples are looking out for rivals. Consider that you only have a finite amount of attention. In either case, your attention is focused on the most attractive, not distributed proportionally depending on how attractive the person is.viii
But what are we thinking about the person we are looking at? Once we've assessed their attractiveness (and, if a rival, attractiveness relative to our own)ix, what do we think about their character?
In another issue of the same journal, 20-somethings were asked to decide if the success of photographed individuals was due to luck (looks?) or ability. As you might imagine, women attributed good looking women's success to luck, and less attractive women's success to ability; but thought good looking men succeeded because of ability, not luck. Men did the exact same (respectively): good looking men succeeded through luck, good looking women through ability.
This is called the sexual attribution bias, and it's negative, not positive -- i.e. it is specifically about devaluing the good looking rival, not about making correct judgments about the less attractive.x And it depends nearly entirely on what extent you think you are more or less attractive than the other person.
So while we devalue a rival's abilities relative to their looks, we are unconsciously aware of their actual attractiveness (relative to our own.) Consider that pejorative and devaluing terms for women -- airhead, bimbo, dumb blonde, bitch, slut, etc -- reflexively connote physical/sexual attractiveness, at the expense of intelligence, etc. "That girl is an airhead, I can't believe she can read, let alone work at Goldman Sachs. But I'm not letting her out of my sight or near my boyfriend..." (Interestingly, pejorative terms for men have almost no attractiveness implication: jerk, arrogant, idiot, loser, etc. Some terms, like meathead, frat boy, imply stupidity and aggressiveness, but not attractiveness, per se.)xi
What it implies, of course, is that attractive (relative to others) women employees may have a more difficult time in the workplace if their coworkers, and especially bosses, are also women.xii———
- Can you believe what visually retarded shit this dude published ?!
I have to confess that the sheer unpleasantness and disenjoyability of dealing with his ugly, stupid, worthless and therefore irreproducible shit-stamps is the principal drag to my continuing the adnotation of his work. I just sit there praying there's not a lot of images in the next piece, because what the fuck can I do, hand-pick a screencap of some dubious usian show I'd never watch so as to get a source larger than 18 x 11 pixels, and paste it next to some fugly mainstream blond such that there's not a ms-paint border left on the side ? It's just fucking toxic, and then he adds 50 of the little shits spuriously throughout the article with all the taste of an USian monkey writing "essays", I feel dirty and in all frankness considerably less human afterwards, I'd much rather touch up child porn all day long.
Why does he have absolutely no aesthetic taste, anyway ? Is he mentally defective ? [↩]
- It's spelled "vice", and I very much doubt the vice part was there. Girls, hot or otherwise, don't look at guys, they look at other hot girls. Nor is there such a thing as "hot guys", the pretense to the contrary being a conceit. [↩]
- Doh. [↩]
- O, really ? Aaand... what does the author want to make true ?
- Right. [↩]
- Nope. In other words, daddies. As it happens the only monogamous males are actually... female. [↩]
- Or rather, a hope. [↩]
- How is the observer expected to spot the most of a set before seeing the last element in that set ? [↩]
- There is no such thing as male attractiveness. Females mate by attractiveness, males mate by dominance, which is why most children born in traditional villages throughout history and geography are spawned by the village chief. What, he was "attractive" ?
- Perhaps females simply lack basic heuristics males don't lack when evaluating males (such as, whether he has a glass jaw) because they never fight ; whereas males simply lack basic heuristics females don't lack when evaluating females (such as, did she do her own eyebrows) because they never beautician ? It is possible, isn't it ?
Not only is it possible -- if the author (&friends) weren't so invested in what they wish to believe, they'd do the following study :
- take ten thousand pictures of a passed out girl after a night of heavy partying, ie when she's looking at her worst ;
- take ten thousand pictures of the same girls at the peak of their form, say when going to a wedding / take album pictures / etc ;
- ask ten thousand men to evaluate the first set of pictures by picking a top-100-best-looking girls in general from it ;
- ask ten thousand men (of which 5000 overlapping with above category) to pick a top-100-best-looking girls in general from the second set
- ask two similar cohorts of ten thousand women to do the same
Once controlling for biases and correctly massaging the data, the autor & friends might discover that the women aren't merely a little better than the men at seeing through make-up and puke-up, but they are so much better that once the top of predictors are constructed (by sorting each evaluator by the correctness of their evaluation), there's almost no men above any women, and almost no women below any men -- in fact you can distinguish the gay males by this simple test better than they themselves'd care to be distinguished.
Those fake eyelashes, shades, blushes, extensions etcetera may be fooling the dudes -- but they ain't fooling any of the gals. [↩]
- Aaand yet, he still doesn't see it. The powers of wanting to believe be strong in this one.
There's no such thing as male "attractiveness", for fuck's sake. Women will gladly mate with a donkey -- and historically they have, so much so as to make Egypt famous for it -- just as long as it's correctly dominant. [↩]
- Also, nobody cares -- they're only in the "workplace" to get married in the first place. [↩]