Perfect timing ...
... as my son has just been moaning that he has inherited my square head. But I really think that if I had to look like a famous Scandinavian, SWIMBO would have prefered Alexander Skarsgård to Anders Breivik.
Conferring yet another boon on confused men everywhere, psychologists say they have finally cracked the eternal mystery of just what it is that women really find attractive in a man. Unfortunately for those of our male readers whose skull is taller than it is wide, it turns out that what really stokes the ladies' desires is a …
Psychological Science? Blatant oxymoron
There is no necessary impediment to applying scientific epistemology to many questions that conventionally fall within the discipline of psychology. It is entirely possible to formulate a testable1 hypothesis, conduct empirical research under a sound methodology, analyze the data, and arrive at a statistically-significant2 result. It may be common for researchers in practice to fail at one aspect or another of this process, and far more common for lay readers to wildly misinterpret and over-apply the results. But none of that makes psychological science impossible.
Of course, having a nuanced, critical, informed understanding of intellectual work you don't personally care for does require some effort, so I do not expect it of the Register's writers or readers. That's OK; y'all are irrelevant to that work anyway. Feel free to chitter away from the sidelines.
1And falsifiable, for you unreconstructed Popperians, though you really need to study up on perfect Bayesian reasoning.
2Frequentist or Bayes, take your pick. Though frequentists are warned not to fetishize p-value, which has been routinely abused in a great many circles, often including the hard sciences.
Yet again trick-cyclists fail to consider that correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation. Why, it could just as easily be the case that being aggressive, dominating, working as CEO etc. is what causes your head to become wider than it is tall, what with your rivals pounding it with clubs and the like!
Peter Sutcliffe, Fred West, Ian Brady, Oddbod and Frankenstein all look very similar. I think if I were female this would be enough reason for me to stay away from men with square heads. OK, I concede it might have been unfair to put Oddbod in with the others.
> Male speed-daters with higher fWHR, ... more dominant. Women not only expressed more interest in short-term relationships with these men ...
The conclusion from that one, single, piece of research makes it sound as if women want to be dominated - or at least: spend time in the presence of dominant men. If there really is anything in this line of research (like people used to think about phrenology?), one must wonder what that says about equality and emancipation.
"...makes it sound as if women want to be dominated..." - no offense meant to anyone, but that conclusion can be reached in five minutes flat simply by tallying the D/S ratio on any... erm... domination-related website. Obviously AC since, erm, yeah... just imagine the gimp icon over there --->
You have to think about what we mean by "dominant". I'd imagine they don't want to be dominated as such (except maybe a little in bed from time to time) but rather that they want men who are in assertive and in charge of their own lives and in positions of power over other men. It doesn't necessarily mean they want to be treated like dirt or marginalized in the relationship proper.
I'd imagine even the most bitch queen from hell feminist would prefer an assertive yet respectful and successful partner over a subdued doormat.
So a trick-cyclist in Singapore finds that out of 150 women - presumably mostly local in such small sample - the majority find men with wider faces more attractive? Can it be that they find wide-cheeked Asian men more attractive than longer-faced Occidentals? Or longer-faced Asians, for that matter?
A speed-dating venue in Singapore. Not exactly a 'scientific' sample. A fine example of bad science, bad statisics etc.
I know Valentine's day is approaching and this kind of nonsense tends to float to the top of the journalist's pond around now, but even the researcher's called Valentine!
Come to think of it it's probably not bad science, just completely made up.
Which is much better.
Makes sense. fWHR might be subconsciously related to overall "body width". Back in the old days, weight was related to wealth and power. If you were rich/powerful enough to eat well while the peasants were starving ......
This has carried forward into almost modern times. Portrayals of rich and powerful men were often more portly. From kings to the stereotypical fat sheriff/mayor in American redneck towns.
The other point that is interesting was the fWHR as an indication of desirability for short-term relationships. It reinforces some other studies that undermine monogamy among homo sapiens. Women choose the best genetic material with which to conceive their children. But they choose a husband based on one least likely to run off with the younger secretary due to his lower social position.
And just for the sake of honesty: Fathead checking in here.
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