Thursday, September 30, 2010

One-Night Stands Explained: Men Prefer Hot Bods to Pretty Faces


One-Night Stands Explained: Men Prefer Hot Bods to Pretty Faces

By Bonnie Rochman Wednesday, September 29, 2010 
Ladies, hit the gym (and hold the makeup). Unless you're gunning for a long-term relationship, it's your hot bod — and not your winsome face — that guys are after.
New research from the University of Texas at Austin shows that men seeking a short-term lover are more interested in a woman's body than those desiring a long-term commitment,  who zeroed in on a woman's face.
The research, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, originated from a premise: a woman's body reveals more insight into her immediate baby-making potential than her face, which is more of a window into her long-term reproductive value.
What sparked the research in the first place? Though there's been plenty of analysis of what makes a face attractive (symmetry, for example) or the body beautiful (most notably, waist-to-hip ratio), the preference for body over face had not been explored. 
“There are terms like ‘butterface' out there — everything's perfect but-her-face, and that stimulated a thought about whether bodily attractiveness conveys something different than facial attractiveness,” says psychology graduate student Jaime Confer, who co-authored the research with graduate student Carin Perilloux and Professor David Buss
For instance, a woman's face can predict how many years of baby-making she has ahead of her. Is it wrinkled? Move on, fellas. Smooth and supple, of course, indicates youth. A 16-year-old girl, for example, is not at the peak of her fertility – that happens around age 24 — although she is at the peak of her reproductive potential. Seeking a long-term mate able to incubate lots of offspring? Choose her.
The female body, on the other hand, offers different fertility clues: Can she get pregnant right now? Is she pregnant already? And don't forget the waist-to-hip ratio, which research has suggested decreases at ovulation. Ergo, a curvy woman is highly desirable as a short-term mate since there's ample evidence she's a Fertile Myrtle in the making.  
Men hone in on these fertile cues, which are more concentrated in a woman's body,” says Confer. “We are talking about evolved psychological mechanisms to prioritize access to immediately fertile women. Men care more about can she get pregnant right now than her long-term reproductive potential.”
But wait: Since when do men out for an evening of casual sex want that evening to culminate with conception?
Blame it on the principle of natural selection. “This is operating outside of conscious awareness,” says Confer. “Men still have this proclivity to become more interested in a woman's body even if they don't want to get her pregnant.”
Only men, not women, showed a significant preference for body vs. face when seeking short- vs. long-term partners.  Women were more interested in a man's face for both short- or long-term relationships. 
That makes sense since men's fertility doesn't decline rapidly like women's. Assume, says Confer,  that any man under the age of 80 can get a woman pregnant. If that's the case, there's  no reason for a woman to be concerned with a man's fertility, and, hence, his body.
To reach their conclusions, the researchers showed 375 college students a representation of a person of the opposite sex, whose face and body were hidden. Half the participants were instructed to evaluate the images as a potential short-term mate; the rest were told to consider the image as a potential long-term mate by uncovering face or body — not both.
Just over half of the guys — 51% — who were told to pick the proverbial one-night stand chose to look at the woman's body. On the other hand, 75% of men who were directed to consider the woman as a long-term partner decided to check out her face.
Up next: The researchers may wade into trickier territory if they move forward with follow-up research asking subjects if they want to see the faces or bodies of potential rivals who may be stealing their partners.  Which is more threatening: a pretty face or a rockin' physique? Stay tuned… 
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Rejection Literally Stops Your Heart

"Heartbrake": How Rejection Literally Stops Your Heart
By John Cloud Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Kevin Summers/Getty
Had I been given a choice, I would have preferred being born into a species that doesn't need as much social interaction as humans do. For instance, I like to believe, vainly, that I would have been a decent great white shark. Great whites like the attention of close friends, but most of the time they hunt alone. More likely, I could have been a fantastic maned sloth, one of those weird little mammals that consumes a lot of the green world and almost never comes down from the treetops.
As it is, I'm part of a species that is so bad at being rejected that social denial lights up our central nervous systems. We've known this for some time: lab participants who watch as photos of them are rejected — even if they know the rejection is being done by a computer — experience not just emotional but physical distress. Your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, fluctuate when you think you're being rejected. It turns out that all of us are the nerdy kids on Glee: pathetic and weak when Sue Sylvester comes around, even if we know she's a robot dressed in a sweatsuit
This week a new study shows that these physical effects go further: rejection actually stops your heart. Thus the clever title of the new Psychological Science paper: "The Heartbrake of Social Rejection." The authors of the study — a three-member group led by a University of Amsterdam psychologist named Bregtje Gunther Moor  — measured beat-by-beat heart rate changes in 22 students as they received either rejection or acceptance of portrait photos they had submitted. When hooked up to electrocardiogram monitors, the students reliably showed a skip in their hearts when they thought they had been rejected by someone shown their photos.
Brutally, the students were also asked to estimate whether the faces in the photos were older or younger than 21. The same heart-skip showed up when participants thought they were being judged as older. 
Like most Psychological Science articles, this one suggests no antidote to the physical problems associated with rejection. But the findings help explain how evolution programs human sociability. We are meant to find comfort in one another — through chemical means, if necessary — and not to be loners. 
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Rare Find, She Skipped "Queen" and Leapt from "Princess" to "Courtier"

Nice to encounter a woman who has made the leap from "Princess" straight to "Courtier," bypassing her "Queen" stage altogether!  Worth a read:  "51 Dates / 50 Weeks -- Is Kristen McGuiness Still Single, or Standing?!"
See my post immediately below re: the stages of 'expectations' we men are subjected to in dating the fairer sex. ;op


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