Sunday, March 14, 2004

Some parts are better than others

And this one is for Magnolia's "Parts Are Parts.":

Sexual Selection and the Biology of Beauty

Abstract. Sexual selection arises from the advantages that individuals have over others of the same sex and species in mating competition for reproduction. This process may give rise to extravagant sexual characters that are directly detrimental to survival, but beneficial to mating success. Current theoretical and empirical findings suggest that mate preferences are mainly cued in on health including developmental health. Beautiful and irresistible features have evolved numerous times in plants and animals due to the immense selection pressures mainly caused by females, and such preferences and beauty standards provide evidence for the claim that human beauty and obsession with bodily beauty equals similar tendencies throughout the plant and animal kingdoms. The beauty, cosmetics and plastic surgery industries are therefore only surface phenomena that supports this evolutionary interpretation. Human beauty standards reflect our evolutionary distant and recent past and emphasize the role of health assessment in mate choice. Given these findings, it is extremely unlikely that human sexual behavior or mate preferences will change to any significant degree during the future, even in the presence of totalitarian measures.

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