Evolutionary Psychology

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

All I want is a few hours and a good book

Today has been tiring. I overslept this morning, missing my lecture (not that schrodinger equations are on my list of things to learn before I die). When I did wake up I had the increasingly familiar relaisation that exams are not so far away, followed by a mad panic as I got dressed and ran down to pick up my physiology practical handbooks before the department decided that they no longer wanted to give them back. After this, I set to work on a physics tripos paper, and then on some laplacian partial differentials. All I seem to do is work at the moment.

I can't wait until my next year though. I'll get to do psychology and neurobiology, which are simply the most interesting subjects on the planet. I might take maths as well, which would be fun as it would allow me to maintain a facade of academic rigour.

College is so beautful at the moment. I think that the gardeners actually go over the lawns with a pair of nail scissors. The fellows garden is a wonder. Even the mulberry tree looks heavenly. The grounds truly are at their best at this time of year.

Unfortunately this only serves to further distract me from my desk. I'll just have to wait a few weeks before I enjoy the pleasures of summer in Cambridge.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

The Perfect Ratio

The field of interest known as hominid evolutionary psychology truly is a fascinating area of study. Some of its most practical applications come in theories of sexual selection and mating systems. Classic principles such as ardent males and picky females are undoubtedly the basis of much of the current work in the field, but they are unable to fully explain the brilliant diversity and complexity of human mating and partner selection strategies. Some of these interesting phenomena are:

1) Generally considered the most attractive waist to hip ratio in females is 0.7, whilst in males it is 0.9.

2) The reproductive potential in males far outstrips that in females. Molay Ishmail, who lived in the 1600's, had 525 sons and 342 daughters by the time he was 31 years old. Think of queue for the bathroom in the morning!

3) In recent cross-cultural studies men preferred partners younger than themselves 100%of the time, and 92% of men value physical attributes more than women do.

4) Women show menstrual cycle variation in their preferences for masculinised faces-when they are most fertile they prefer masculinised faces more than normal.

5) The list goes on-you have probably observed many genetic mating biases of your own.