DID our title get your attention? Good. You won’t be disappointed. In the Guardian of London we read Why do men find blonde women so very attractive? Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:
There is no single gene for blue eyes and blonde hair, but these adaptations are often found expressed together because the genes for each trait are located close together on the same chromosome.
It has been theorised that the blonde hair and blue eyes seen in Caucasians are recent adaptations, dating from approximately 11,000 years ago. The traits are thought to have evolved among northern European tribes at the end of the last ice age. Although both natural and sexual selection have played a part in the evolution of the blue-eyed blonde, sexual selection was probably the primary force.
Sexual selection? Egad! Let’s read on:
As regards natural selection, depigmentation allows greater penetration of the skin by ultraviolet B (UVB), which is needed to synthesise previtamin D3. Northern Europe has fewer hours of sunlight compared with Africa, so the theory is that tribes migrating into Europe underwent a genetic mutation that resulted in the depigmentation of skin and hair
Yes, we know that. But what about sexual selection? We continue:
Sexual selection would certainly have been a powerful driving force behind evolution in northern Europeans. Late Palaeolithic females in southern Europe and Africa could forage for food and feed themselves and their infants, with males occasionally supplementing their diet with meat. In northern Europe, however, where ice covered much of the terrain, people were dependent on meat. Bands of men went in search of herds of prehistoric bison or mammoth. These hunting trips were dangerous, resulting in many fatalities.
Sex, driving force, meat … this is quite an article. Here’s more:
It has been suggested that as a result this was a time of intense sexual rivalry between females due to their numbers exceeding those of males. At any given time far more fertile women than men were left unmated, so females had to compete for mates and for a favourable share of meat.
Ah yes, those were the days! Moving along:
The theory is that when given the choice, Pelaeolithic males chose blondes, who stood out from their rivals. In addition, before bottles of hydrogen peroxide became available, blonde hair in females could be interpreted as an honest signal of youth and therefore reproductive fitness. This is because postmenopausal women rarely retain the flaxen locks of their youth, of course eventually becoming grey grannies.
That’s not terribly flattering. Wait, get this:
There are higher numbers of females born blonde than males and retention of blonde hair into adulthood is a sexually selected indicator of fitness in females. Caucasian blondes are usually slightly higher in oestrogen than brunettes and are likely to exhibit other infantile sexually selected traits (indicating low levels of testosterone) that are considered desirable by males, for example finer facial features, smaller nose, smaller jaw, pointed chin, narrow shoulders, smooth skin and less body hair, and infantile behaviour such as higher energy levels and playfulness.
It’s getting somewhat erotic. Oh, here’s an interesting excerpt:
Blond hair in males does not correlate with oestrogen levels as it does in females and blond hair in males is not a known indicator of fitness as it is in females. In addition, females don’t select for physical appearance to the degree that men do. For a female to choose a blond male he must be able to deliver resources (mammoth), as his blond hair alone is not enough to turn her on.
Observe, dear reader, the gender-change for the adjective in the expression “blond male.” The form for female is “blonde,” with an “e” at the end of the word. That’s a rarity in English. It pleases your Curmudgeon to have an occasion to point this out.
There’s more to the article. Somehow, we suspect that you’re going to click over to the Guardian and read it all. As we conclude this post, we must admit that we didn’t learn very much here, but that’s okay. It’s good to … ah, keep up with these topics.
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