So as a brief interlude to my morning of marking homework for my hypnotherapy diploma students, I came across this piece of research that is going to inspire some thought and disucssion, I am sure…
Apparently, when men are hungry they’re more attracted to heavier women… You’ll note that I am not using the f-word… Fatter… I’ll be as diplomatic today as possible and not use that very non-pc f-word…
Now then, onto matters at hand… Some evolutionary psychologists argue that in an environment where food is scarce, men instinctively want to bank their sperm in a body that can provide for its offspring. They want to deposit their potential offspring in a place where sufficient resource exists… Hahaha… I am having so much fun thinking of other polite ways of writing this…
Soooo then, what about when other resources are scarce? Can financial insolvency prompt desire for a chunkier, or more rotund mate?
There is some evidence that suggests so. In this piece of research, the authors have shown that in societies around the world, socioeconomic status negatively correlates with preferred mate weight, the research suggests: men in cultures with fat wallets want skinny women. Though of course, there are many factors to be considered here that make this a treacherous debate, aren’t there?
In this other piece of research, the Psychologists involved manipulated individual male participants’ financial satisfaction by asking them about personal savings in a way that made them feel either rich or poor, then asked them to name the ideal body weight of a potential partner. Feeling poor added a few pounds to that number… Interesting, eh?
So maybe financial insecurity causes chubby-chasing? Oh come on… It is tough to be pc in this discussion…
Food — it would seem — and the lack of it, is far more of an indicator of safety and influence for me… So what makes food special as a resource? Maybe it is that money is too abstract and too recent an invention (relatively speaking!) to tap into the same drives as physiological hunger. Or maybe hunger merely enhances aesthetic appreciation of any heavy object, whether a woman or a watermelon.
So there you have it… Perhaps the financially lean times are a great time for broody and fuller figured women… I am back to marking homework and shall be running my diploma all weekend… Have a good one 🙂
*Waddling off to finish off Christmas cake for breakfast…* 😉
It does worry me that chubby women could be preferentially attracting the guys who are not doing well though… could end up like guests from Jeremy Kyle (you know-the weasly moustached alcoholic guy who weighs around 6 stone, with a bleached blonde girlfriend weighing 20 stone and wearing a belly top…). Perhaps best to keep up my gym membership and get the remaining fat cat in these lean times….
Great blog post, Adam. I’m a mild mannered man but I’m afraid I have to voice my concerns that the research highlighted here may be evidence of sexism masquerading as science.
Men- just like women- cannot be defined simply on the basis of their gender. A part of the equation is not the whole. It sounds like a cliche worthy of Hallmark or Disney but most men (i.e the ones who have grown up enough to realise that Nuts magazine has one use and one use only: loo roll) find people attractive for a myriad of reasons. Mostly, it’s down to the woman’s personality. Is she a nice person? Does she have and follow her passions? Yes, ok. Occasionally, we might look at breasts, bum and other stuff. We’ve all thought with our willies every now and then and it has usually ended in disaster. But, for the most part, men are lot more complex than people give us credit for. We’re also individuals.
The problem with evolutionary psychology is you tend to get broadcasts from the worshippers of Darwin: people who will not rest until every single decision we make is proven to be motivated by insticntive responses. If you read the research, you notice that the findings are written in the “clever, clever” language that makes the simple complicated and places a lot more importance on the findings than they really warrant. Plus, all this is based on the blind faith that the men involved in the research didn’t just make things up as they went along.
I work in the media and I’ve read the Media Law book so here goes: Far be it from me to disparage the work of hard working researchers and I at no point wish to suggest or imply that the researchers misled anyone on purpose or by accident. I’m sure they are sure of their own findings and how they relate to the world. But I think we have to do a Dawkins here and question everything. There’s a lot of research around these days and, if you read and listen to enough of it, you discover that a lot of it contradicts the other stuff. Who knows? Perhaps we’ve evolved to question everything and this is further evidence that what we do and how we react is motivated by learned instincts? Or perhaps I find women attractive for my own reasons and women find me attractive (if you switch all the lights out for a second and squint, I look like George Clooney. Honestly) for their own reasons.
We are so much more than the sum of our parts and, at the end of the day, we are individuals first and foremost.
Marty, I couldn’t agree more.
Grá… Always lovely hearing from you 🙂
Marty… I’m right there with you on many counts… I tend to read things and have fun with them and not really take them too seriously… Especially the mas of research I read each day guised as pseudo science…
But this stuff makes me smile wryly… Thank you for your wonderful contribution.
Of course you are right, Marty – and I think that a fascinating aspect of the compexity of how we decide who is attractive is the mixture of conscious/ unconscious stuff. What is the chemistry that has one person make our heart beat faster when their identical twin doesn’t. This item did remind me of visiting Tonga in the Pacific (which has one of the highest obesity levels in the world and where the larger you are – the more attractive) where I had my Size 12 upper arm was literally pinched by my host as she slowly shook her head saying they simply had to put more fat on me before I left again or I would never marry – and then proceeded to feed me their speciality of mutton flap (more fat than meat) with taro (a particularly starchy root crop). Yummy 😉