Are We All Gold Diggers and Cradle Robbers?
Question: What do we look for in a mate?
Ted Fischer: Men it is argued tend to like younger women, tend to like particular figures, like large hips, because they’re good for childbearing, and large breasts that are good for breastfeeding. And women tend to like strong, masculine, big-shouldered men, who can take care of their child and them. And there may be some truth to that kind of thing. I think it’s too neat of a system. There are lots of popular books written that way. Lots of -- when I teach undergraduates, they love those socio-biological notions, because it’s just a nice neat little system. But I think it’s too neat. I think that -- and it varies from culture to culture. At different points in our own culture we’ve put on a pedestal more corpulent women. And Andean cultures, for example, the perfect body style for a woman is not the hourglass figure, but more a squat square figure. So it’s too easy for us to extrapolate from current cultural norms and the say this is some sort of evolutionary propensity. There do seem to be more pairings of older wealthy men and younger women, which evolutionary theory would lead us to believe. But you also, I’m always struck by newspaper reports of older women going out with younger men, and you see more and more that these days. And that’s not at all what evolution would have us think.
The Vanderbilt anthropologist describes what we look for in a mate.
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This economy has us in survival mode, stressing out our bodies and minds.
- Economic hardship is linked to physical and psychological illness, resulting in added healthcare expenses people can't afford.
- The gig economy – think Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Handy – is marketed as a 'be your own boss' revolution, but it can be dehumanizing and dangerous; every worker is disposable.
- The cooperative business model can help reverse wealth inequality.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
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