Sunday, May 07, 2006

I don't want your money, honey, I want your love!

Not sure if this is what Transvision Vamp had in mind:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2002977636_women07.html

A study out of St. Andrews shows that as women earn more and develop their own careers, they are starting to value physical attractiveness over wealth as filtering factors in choosing a mate. The more a woman earns, the less she values her partner's wealth. Go figure! Having your own money makes you rely less on other people's.

But seriously for a minute. Our traditional cultural values of attractiveness have meant that in terms of desirability to the opposite sex, women peak around 30 -- forget the 22-year-old stereotypes for a minute and look at the actual ages where supermodels are most successful and actresses get their best roles -- and men peak closer to midlife, when they've had enough time to be successful in their careers. Is this all changing? It may become less common, but the reality is that there will always be some unattractive wealthy men and some superhot but impoverished women and there will always be a market for trophy wives. The real change is that now you might start seeing more trophy husbands too.

Is this progress or regress?

2 Comments:

Blogger this charming man said...

well, if it means i can be a trophy husband to an attractive wealthy woman, then sure, it's progress.

i will take small issue, though, with what you ean by "attractiveness to the opposite sex". it seems you're using that in terms of celebrity. in real life, its more complicated. do i find hot 22-year old women attractive? yes. but as i've gotten older i find more attractive and would rather be with (long-term) a woman in her 30s...it's for a variety of reasons that include life experience, maturity about relationships, etc. and i don't think i'm alone in feeling this way. sure, there's a maturity factor here. some men will always want 22-year old barbie dolls, even when the guy is 50. but i'd bet his chronological age is far ahead of his emotional age. again, i think it's complicated.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Jay Black said...

my wife recently asked me if i was attracted to college girls. i replied, "of course!" with such enthusiasm that she was shocked and disgusted with me (which is not unusual).

when she composed herself, she hit back with an old standard: "well, what would you talk about with those little girls? you'd have nothing in common."

"what do WE talk about that's so great?" was my response. "it's not like we're watson and crick hammering out the structure of dna. i'm pretty sure that i could find a 21 year old who'd blather on about who she doesn't like at work and what's happening on the OC."

my wife now avoids questions concerning my overall attraction to other women.

that being said, women have always factored attractiveness in selecting a mate. they've had to measure their selection next to their potential mate's ability (or, sometimes more importantly, willingness) to stay and be a good father. this is why money is so important to many women. sure, his genes might be a little bad (crooked teeth, balding, going grey, smelly breath, short, knobby kneed, rheumy eyes, missing fingers, third testicles/nipples, etc.) but these woman can always take solace in the fact that their less than stellar offspring will have the best dentist, hair stylist, dental hygenist, podiatrist, opthamalogist, urologist, and dermatologist that money can buy.

more commonly is that a woman will marry for money and cheat for attractiveness. this is wired into them biologically (or so it would appear -- factoid: women are 50% more likely to cheat on their husband while ovulating. also, what they find attractive seems to shift during ovulation as well -- while rounder, more friendly features are favored during less breed-worthy days of the money, harder edged more "manly" features are favored when eggs are ready for sperm.) it's been estimated that one in seven fathers are raising children who are not their own (times of london, january 2000 -- forgive me for shoddy internet footnoting as it is midnight my time and i'm writing this while flipping back and forth between itunes, espn.com, and hardcore pornography). if this number is shocking, just imagine if you're one of the dads!

seriously though, think about it: it makes perfect economic sense. you want the best genes for your child (i.e., the best looking dudes -- physical attractiveness is nothing more than an advertisement for have healthy genes), but you also want someone to take care of your kid when you have it (and lets be honest, jake the handsome loner on the motorbike probably won't stick around after he's had his way with you, but billy the quiet engineer always brought you flowers, so let's split the difference and marry billy while humping jake whenever your eggs are being fired off. so long as billy doesn't know about jake, everyone is happy, especially your ultra-hot son or daughter as he or she is tall and strong like jake, but has access to billy's wonderful dental plan.)

it only makes sense that as a woman can fend for herself financially, she'll be less and less interested in billy (who, after all is a nice guy, but really, those pants with that shirt?) and more interested in jake and her time alone.

the question is whether jake is going to want to stick around and be a trophy husband. the quick answer to this question is "definitely not!" alpha males (trophy husbands, boy-toys, hot-sweaty-male-arm-candy, etc.) have no advantage whatsoever in staying with a single provider. male strategy involving sex is to spread as much seed as possible. this is why they're much more willing to sleep below their class (meaning, an alpha male will hump just about anything given the right set of circumstances -- even agatha with the hunchback has got a good shot with an NBA player if she catches him on the right wednesday afternoon). however, if they're attractive enough to find a sugar-momma, it's unlikely that he'll stay with her (as he has less need for financial stability from a mate that a woman in a similar position with a male benefector would).

one might imagine, however, a scenario in which a himbo marries for money and then uses the status that money confers on him to cheat on his wife. this would make biological sense, but i _suspect_ that it requires so much social rejiggering of biological drives that few people will engage in the behavior (despite the logical economic benefit of doing so). the world waits with baited breath to see the outcome of the brittany-kfed marriage.

anyway, the book i paraphrased the most to write this rambly quasi-essay is _the red queen_ by matt ridley. and no, don't get excited, matt ridley is _not_ mark ridley, the famous magician. he's just a biologist. you can buy his book on amazon.com here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060556579/002-6275026-9240820?v=glance&n=283155

and yes, i know that link is terribly cut-and-pasted. but it's late.

keep it real!

--jayblack

9:27 PM  

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