Good-looking couples have more daughters, study suggests
Good-looking parents tend to have girls, a British researcher says.
By Melissa Dahl
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise have Suri, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have Shiloh, and Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck have Violet and Seraphina. Strictly judging from the pages of US Weekly, it would appear that good-looking couples tend to have little girls. In this case, US Weekly might be on to something.
Beautiful parents tend to have more daughters than their homelier counterparts, according to a report by evolutionary psychologist Dr. Satoshi Kanazawa of the London School of Economics. Kanazawa tackled the same question in a 2007 book that covers all sorts of facets of human behavior, “Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters,” which he co-wrote with Alan S. Miller.
For this study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Reproductive Science, Kanazawa tracked 17,000 British babies from their 1958 births, and at age 7, their teachers were asked to rate the children on their attractiveness (yikes). When interviewed later at age 45, those who were rated most attractive were more likely to have daughters.
That might be because, as Kanazawa wrote in his 2007 book, attractiveness benefits women more than men when it comes to long-term dating and mating. Guys tend go for beautiful women when looking for something long-term, while women seek out good-looking guys for the short-term, but not necessarily for the long haul, when qualities like resources and status count for more.”So physical attractiveness, while a universally positive quality, contributes even more to women’s reproductive success than to men’s,” Kanazawa and Miller write. In an evolutionary psychologist’s point of view, pretty parents pass along what will best benefit their progeny: good looks.
Of course, this doesn’t explain the existence of Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady’s baby boy Benjamin, or, for that matter, the Beckham boys. And it’s worth noting that Dr. Hugh Taylor, the editor of Reproductive Science, acknowledges that this is a subject that will surely push a few parents’ buttons. “It is a controversial area and not the type of paper that our journal typically publishes,” Taylor said in an e-mail. He adds that while the research methods were solid, the editors “do not endorse the finding of any paper we publish as true, but do want to encourage debate.”
What do you think? And parents of little boys, are you a little hurt by this researcher’s knock on your hotness?