Several weeks ago at the gym, I was commiserating with a hot woman about her history with bad boys. Because she is a hot woman – i.e., beautiful face and figure and a sparkling personality – she has her choice of men, yet she has a history of choosing losers. Why is that? An article in today’s the SA Express-News perhaps sheds some light on the question.
At the time of my conversation, I could think of only two explanations – one that I provided to the woman and the other that I kept to myself. The explanation I gave her is that hot women intimidate most men because the men might think themselves unworthy of such a prize. With those modest guys on the sidelines, that mostly leaves arrogant, narcissistic men to pursue the hot women. In fact, the women probably find his confidence to be refreshing.
My other explanation, which I withheld for obvious reasons, is that some hot woman may have exceedingly poor judgment and are unable to discern the obvious differences between a knight and a jerk.
Today’s article in the SA Express-News reports that a new study by a UTSA professor, Kristina Durante, provides a third explanation – a women’s DNA. According to the study, titled “Ovulation Leads Women to Perceive Sexy Cads as Good Dads”:
- Ovulating women unconsciously overestimated how great a partner and future father the charismatic cad will be. [Durante] found no such favorable bias for more reliable men who did not happen to possess the traits of attractiveness and social dominance, characteristics linked to good genetics.
The article concluded with a couple of witty, albeit anecdotal, confirmations of the study’s findings:
- Asked about the study’s implications, women on the UTSA campus and the nearby Shops at La Cantera said Durante’s research resonated with their life experiences and that of their friends. Bianca Cerqueira, a UTSA student getting her doctorate in biomedical engineering, said she believes that there are more biological drives at work than humans are usually aware of. Though now married, Cerqueira said friends and family warned her about a boy she dated in high school. “Initially, you’re like, ‘Oh, he’s really hot,’” Cerqueira said. “Then you get to know him and you’re like, ‘Eh, not so great.’”
- Another already had coined a term — “stupid woman disorder” — for the “hormonal blinders” that let women go after good-looking slicksters instead of gentlemen.
It seems that evolutionary biology increasingly is providing us with solid explanations for human behavior. And, although this biology provides initial impulses for individuals to act in a certain way, an awareness of what is going on can enable the rational part of the brain to override the instinctual part. (For a previous posting on this subject, see Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow.)
Women – you are on notice.