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Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Love at First Sight

It seems that there is research that supports the Rogers and Hamerstein's "Some Enchanted Evening" lyrics
Some enchanted evening you may see a stranger
You may see a stranger across a crowded room
And somehow you know, you know even then
That somewhere you'll see her again and again
at least for the reverse case of women.

There is research alleging that with just one look at a photograph women can detect the testosterone level of men and determine whether the men are better suited to one-night stands or as husbands, these predictions being predicated on an alleged ability to detect whether the men seemed to like children, their masculinity, their physical attractiveness (duh!), and whether or not they were kind. In short, if you show a woman a mug book of all available men in her area, she will be able to pick out those she just wants to screw and those she might want to marry.

These decisions are, we are assured, being made at an unconscious level and thus hidden from both the women and the researchers and is probably due to genetic programming, which is also safely out of view of both the women and the researchers. The researchers were flying blind without brains, I fear.

"How were the men tested?" you ask. Their testosterone levels were tested from saliva (so far so good) and their interest in children was determined by showing them pictures of an adult and a baby and asking them to pick one or the other and indicate their level of interest in it. Now, the fact that women could identify which men had the higher testosterone levels from photos seems possible (don't high testosterone men lose their hair more quickly than the low testosterone guys?), but the idea that choosing between a picture of an adult and a baby and rating one's interest in the picture is one sorry ass way to determine whether a man is interested in being a father.

I am sorry but life is just a bit more complicated that this. I heard on some TV show the other day that a guy decides whether or not he wants to sleep with a woman in 4 seconds. I would have thought it was instantaneous and I can see women being just as quick as men in determining the studliness of a man. But the idea that one can determine which men are better prospects as fathers from looking at photograph and determine which men would be better candidates as fathers from their choice between a photo or an adult or a baby and rating interest in the photo are ridiculous.

Maybe they could have asked the college boy subjects to bathe an infant and seen how quickly they set about the task, whether or not they showed good instincts as to how to cradle the baby over the water, whether or not they avoid dropping the baby onto the floor or drowning the baby, whether or not they dried the baby off well, and then whether they put powder on the baby's nether region and then properly put on a diaper. Each of these skills could be scored and a measure of "help meetness" (but in reverse, since "help meet" goes back to a Hebrew term that refers to wives) determined. That might put the lives of babies at risk but, hey, this is science.

The irony of this is that the Rogers and Hamerstein's lyrics quoted above applied literally to me and my wife, or at least to me. I saw her long before she saw me so the "across the crowded room" part isn't relevant to her. Also, she wasn't looking for someone who would be a good father since at that point she had no motherly instincts whatever. I was the one who had motherly instincts (gave the baby her first few baths, showed my wife how to diaper the baby, and so on and so forth). Some powerful motherly instincts did kick in, sort of like they did for the Eva Longoria character on "Desperate Housewives."


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17 Comments:

Blogger Kelly said...

I'm not sure about the particular research to which you refer, but I am aware of another study that was described in a video I watched in Animal Behavior class in undergrad. They made computer composites of women's faces, varying certain characteristics gradually, and showed them to men. Most men picked relatively the same face as the most attractive one.

They also made similar composites of male faces and showed them to women. What they found was that women tended to pick a different face depending on where they were in their menstrual cycles--men with sharper features (and possibly higher testosterone) were picked by women closer to ovulation (apparently as good mates genetically speaking) and at other times they picked men with softer features (apparently seen as nurturing and caring for them and the offspring).

10:17 AM

 
Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

(don't high testosterone men lose their hair more quickly than the low testosterone guys?)

On our heads, you mean? Yes, we do.

: )

(Unfortunately, what Mother Nature taketh away in one area, She giveth back in abundance otherwheres. Sometimes if I go too long between trims, I can hardly hear or breathe. But the natural shoulder pads are nice.)

10:28 AM

 
Blogger Le vent fripon said...

I guess the study doesn't show whether women can predict the testosterone levels based on something which is easy to spot for just about anyone (like a bald spot, as the LG suggests) or because of an extraordinary ability to visually evaluate potential mates. Peacocks can do it. To us humans they might all look the same, but a female peahen can instantly spot the male with a slightly longer tail, and they know the peacock they want (no pun intendend, of course).

11:11 AM

 
Blogger L>T said...

A womans biggest asset is; That you guys can't figure us out.

The thing is, you men think about sex instantaneously, we don't...or maybe we do???
You men cannot seperate your wives (lovers) from your mothers.

2:05 PM

 
Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

L>T, that last line reminds me of a line from a farm & dairy industry commercial many years ago...

"The incredible oedipal egg!"

(Not at all what you meant, I know!)

6:06 PM

 
Blogger L>T said...

I say that in part because, when us women get together we usally refer to you men as 'boys who never grow up'.

I bet you didn't know that.

Kelly is newly married. His wife might not realize yet that this is it. Kelly will not mature in certain ways beyond this point. :)

7:39 PM

 
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9:37 PM

 
Blogger Kelly said...

"Kelly will not mature in certain ways beyond this point."
True, true! And who would want to? But isn't it really the same for women? I posit that women only put forward an illusion of greater maturity than men. Most women would love to sit down with a coloring book (and if not, then knitting and the like are essentially the same thing) just as we men will shell out $7 to watch the next X-Men movie.

"what Mother Nature taketh away in one area, She giveth back in abundance otherwheres."
Yes, and while I lose it on top I stil can't grow facial hair to match even many 14-year-olds. *Sigh* Pinnochio, some day you'll be a real man.

But L>T, I think that women do instantaneously think about sex--at least during part of the month.

12:02 PM

 
Blogger L>T said...

Kelly, you'll go far in life. :)
Great answer.

Women & their sexuality is very complicated. Testoserone soaked brains cannot comprehend the scope of it.
Kelly, I would say, If you've got a timeline, you are doing good. Exploit it!

12:32 PM

 
Blogger Paul F. said...

The fact that we men would decide to sleep with a woman in under 4 second just goes to show that we are just cavemen with business suits. Will we ever evolve from such a primate state of mind. In my opinion, you're all just a bunch of monkeys who are just one evolution link away from swinging from tree to tree.

3:51 PM

 
Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

How's this for a title, "Recent to the Ground: The Story of the Human Ape"?

"...you're all just a bunch of monkeys..."?

Et tu, brute?

: )

10:36 PM

 
Blogger L>T said...

A typo I'm sure.
He musta meant "we're all a bunch of monkeys."
Refering to men of course.

10:55 PM

 
Blogger Language Guy said...

I actually put forward a grant proposal to develop a PBS type series called "The Verbal Ape." Several other OSU linguists got on board and the Yale Media Group (don't remember the real name) joined us. I have no clue how we got ahold of them. They demanded a change in name, sadly. We got through two rounds of competition, I think, before losing. That actually prompted my buying a video record to start working on TV commercials and the rest is history.

8:33 AM

 
Blogger Paul F. said...

I guess I have to include myself in that remark, Ron. Like LT said, it was a typo... Actually, I am actively trying to evolve my own thinking to what I would consider an elevated state of conscienceness(?is that a word?). I am on a personal quest to elevate the ethical and moral principles that govern my thoughts and actions to what I would consider a higher ground. This isn't accomplished so much in terms of a religious zeal but rather a spiritual uplifting. I have a long way to go.

11:48 AM

 
Blogger Language Guy said...

In my opinion, the most authenticate instances of "elevated consciousnesses" will be those that do not derive from some religion or civilian doctrine such as the Nazis tried to inculcate in people but from that which is the product of one's own thinking. That would mean that the elevated consciousness derives from the person who will have to live the life it instructs.

I never embarked on such an enterprise per se but I did feel a compelling need to develop a personal morals and ethics I could live with, one doubtless greatly influenced by the church I was raised in and civics class. I was sufficiently committed to it that once I had determined that I had become a love'm and leave'm type of guy I went to a psychologist to try to find out why. I just wasn't that kind of person, according to my ethics and morals. I found out and corrected the problem. Some day I will blog on about this over at my web site, Hammer's Life Lessons, which I am offering for the edification of all. I seem to have learned a lot of lessons in my life, thanks to all the mistakes I made.

2:42 PM

 
Blogger IbaDaiRon said...

Paul F. said, "...I have a long way to go."

You and me both. : )

6:52 AM

 
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4:38 AM

 

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