The fabulous, 27 year-old Nicola Thorp last year managed to overturn a rule requiring her to wear high-heels for her job as a receptionist, and today, after gathering 150,000 signatures on a petition to ban sexist dress rules, she’s inspired a parliamentary report recommending strong sanctions against companies trying to enforce these. Most of us can relate to her desire not to strap thin spikes to the bottom of her feet and hobble around in them all day, but it raises the question, why on earth do so many women actually voluntarily wear these things to work?Continue Reading
Ideals for body shape in women have changed markedly over the ages, ranging from the not-exactly-svelte Venus de Milo of ancient Greece, to the very ample nudes by Flemish painter Rubens, and then on to the stick thin, large breasted beauties typically featured in today’s media. This much is well illustrated in a recent Buzzfeed video. So does this mean that there are no real advantages of one body shape over another? Do perceptions of what’s attractive in a female physique just come down to what we get fed on our computer, TV or cinema screens?Continue Reading
Like multitudes of other women across the globe, I’ve been using oral contraception for a good few years, but although the doctors who handed me prescriptions for these tiny discs of sexual freedom were always careful to point out the health risks and check my blood pressure, none of them ever told me about the effect of the pill on how I look, how much I fancy my partner, or how jealous I am.
It turns out that the use of hormonal birth-control impacts on our sexual desire, our relationship satisfaction and our attractiveness in a multitude of ways, but before you rashly chuck your contraceptives into the bin, take note that the effects can be positive as well as negative.
Seems confusing? Scientists certainly think so, and studies of pill effects have yielded mixed findings, but new research presented by Stirling University’s Kelly Cobey at last month’s meeting of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association has finally shed light on the puzzle. It turns out that the important issue is not simply whether you’re on the pill or not, but whether you change your use of the pill after embarking on a relationship.Continue Reading
All else being equal, men find especially feminine women’s faces the most sexy and appealing – think Angelina Jolie. So does that mean women who don’t have the optimal gigantic eyes, pert little nose and small chin can never quite cut it and be the apple of their lover’s eye? Well no it doesn’t, for the simple reason that all else is not equal.
I talked in an earlier post about how more masculine body shapes could give women advantages in the realm of competition for resources and so might be more preferred in a female partner in particular environments. Now in research presented at the annual conference of the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association (EHBEA) earlier this month, Urszula Marcinkowska of the University of Turku in Finland has looked at what constitutes a beautiful face in different places.Continue Reading
As I talked about in a recent post, men, just like women, need to plan the timing of their reproduction since older fatherhood comes with increased risks of adverse health and behaviour outcomes for their kids. Children born to older dads are more likely to suffer from conditions like autism, ADHD and bipolar disorder, are more likely to exhibit suicidal behaviour, get worse grades at school and become obese.
If all that’s not scary enough, it turns out that if your dad was old when you were born then you’re more likely to be challenged in the looks department too.Continue Reading