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This is the blog for the Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast, a monthly science show that covers the most interesting and cutting edge research on the psychology of attraction and relationships.

The podcast is produced by Dr. Rob Burriss, a research fellow at Northumbria University in Newcastle, UK.

If you prefer to read rather than listen, you can find a text version of the podcast here.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

August 2013: Alex Hill on sexual selection in humans

This month, we’ve got an extended interview with anthropology postgrad, Alex Hill, who gives us the lowdown on his recent study of sexual selection in humans.

Download the MP3

Are all those muscles going to be more handy for attracting women, or beating up other men? How has sexual selection acted on male physicality? I talk to Alex Hill to find out.

The articles covered in the show:

Hill, A. K., Hunt, J., Welling, L. L. M., Cárdenas, R. A., Rotella, M. A., Wheatley, J. R., et al. (in press). Quantifying the strength and form of sexual selection on men's traits. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I feel like the women in this study may not wish to have sex with the "most attractive" men because they don't wish him to be taken away from her. Meaning, if she chooses the most attractive man then he is the most likely to be chased after and taken by another mate. I personally have never been interested in the most attractive men I have know due to this.

Anonymous said...

Also, women do actually perform in ways that decrease their attractiveness: Being too thin is something women obsess over, but men prefer women that are a bit round. This is much like how men put on too much muscle, as discussed in the interview.

Rob said...

Thanks for your comments.

1 - Attractiveness researchers would call this 'matching'. It's something we would expect. People are aware who is most attractive, but tend to prefer people who are equal in attractiveness/
2 - We would expect women (and men) to behave in ways that they THINK increase their attractiveness. But, of course, it might be that what they think is attractive isn't mirrored in actual preferences. Also, women's appearance is tied to their status, so it is possible that women slim to out compete other women, as well as to attract men.

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