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June 29th, 2001 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Science reveals all

Riding in a taxi where the radio was tuned to the BBC world service, I heard this little blurb on a science segment:

Science Guy: “So we had several photographs of women from 20 to 40, and we had a group of men rank them on two scale, attractiveness, and apparent age. We then took the photos and created sets that were skewed where the attractiveness of the person was at a slightly inverse relationship to the apparent age. So the photo ranked the most attractive in any test set was also the one ranked with oldest perceived age. We then gave these sets, without any of this information, to another group of men, and asked them to select the most attractive woman.”

Polite Announcer: “And what did you find?”

Science Guys: “Regardless of the age, the men consistently selected the woman previously ranked as the most attractive, even though she wasn’t perceived as young.”

Now, if I had been in host of the show, my follow up question would have been:

Impolite Alex: “This was a surprise to you? That men would prefer an attractive older woman to a less attractive younger woman? And don’t you think the volunteers who ranked the women in the first place took their age into account when they rated them? What I truly want to know is what did you really do with the grant money you got?”

How any of this pseudoscientific bullshit got on the BBC in the first place is beyond me. This is the type of crap I’d expect from Fox News, but not the BBC: “This just in. Scientists prove that men prefer attractive women over unattractive women.”

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