[extropy-chat] limits of computer feeling

gts gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 22 19:52:57 UTC 2007

On Wed, 21 Mar 2007 19:55:54 -0400, Stathis Papaioannou
<stathisp at gmail.com> wrote:

> You have to show not only that attractive people are more likely to have
> sex, but also that they are more likely to have babies.

I think we could probably find stats, lending some support to your
counter-hypothesis, that affluent, college-educated people who have
children are likely in the modern day to have fewer children than
non-affluent, non-college-educated people who have children. Specifically
I wonder and doubt if education or affluence are correlated positively
anymore with the number of children in a family, (assuming they ever were
in the first place), and suspect there may now be a negative correlation
thanks to birth control. I seem to recall statistics showing what one
might expect to be true: that educated people are more likely to use birth
control than uneducated people.

So I agree with your basic point, even I'd still bet attractive people are
more likely to attract mates and have at least some number of children.

Here is an abstract to a study I googled on this subject. It's bad but
probably not very surprising news for weak-chinned, unattractive,
asymmetrically shaped men hoping to attract mates.

Facial attractiveness, symmetry and cues of good genes

J. E. Scheib, S. W. Gangestad, R. Thornhill


Cues of phenotypic condition should be among those used by women in their
choice of mates. One marker of better phenotypic condition is thought to
be symmetrical bilateral body and facial features. However, it is not
clear whether women use symmetry as the primary cue in assessing the
phenotypic quality of potential mates or whether symmetry is correlated
with other facial markers affecting physical attractiveness. Using
photographs of men's faces, for which facial symmetry had been measured,
we found a relationship between women's attractiveness ratings of these
faces and symmetry, but the subjects could not rate facial symmetry
accurately. Moreover, the relationship between facial attractiveness and
symmetry was still observed, even when symmetry cues were removed by
presenting only the left or right half of faces. These results suggest
that attractive features other than symmetry can be used to assess
phenotypic condition. We identified one such cue, facial masculinity
(cheek-bone prominence and a relatively longer lower face), which was
related to both symmetry and full- and half-face attractiveness.


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