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Will Obama’s Healthcare Plan Make Us a Nation of Girlie Men? Part 2

Last week I presented the findings (results) of a psychology experiment in which women from healthier countries preferred men with a more feminine look, while women from less healthy countries preferred more masculine-looking, “manlier” men.  Now I will give you the researchers’ explanations or theories on why this is the case.

The key to (solution, main point of) this finding can be found in evolutionary psychology.  Evolutionary refers to the process by which life forms (such as animals and humans) on earth change or “evolve” slowly over time, a theory proposed by Charles Darwin in the 19th century.  Part of the theory of evolution says that organisms (life forms) that are better adapted (better matched, more suited) to their environment are better able to survive and therefore to have descendents (children, offspring).  Over many thousands (and perhaps millions) of years, organisms that have the characteristics and qualities that are the best “fit” for their environment will be the ones that survive.  Evolutionary psychology tries to explain the way people act today by looking at the characteristics of those actions which might have contributed (helped) in the past to the survival of the human race (human beings).

There can be no future for any organism that does not reproduce — that is, have children.  But men and women have significant differences when it comes to (related to) reproduction.  A man can have several sexual partners each year, and with each partner (woman, in this case) have a child.  In other words, he can have as many children as he has sexual partners.  A woman, however, can only have one child (excluding twins for the moment) every nine months, regardless of how many sexual partners she has had.  A woman therefore has a strong motivation (a good reason) to be much more selective, much more careful about choosing her sexual partners if she wants the father of her children to help support and protect her and her offspring.  It is in a woman’s best interest (beneficial or advantageous to her) to find a high-quality sexual partner who will be a good father to her children.  While modern society has attempted to separate the sexual act from procreation (having children), evolutionary psychology shows that women (and men) are still guided today by these basic instincts or tendencies that we have inherited from our ancestors (our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc.).

So what does the health of a society have to do with all of this?  The answer is found in the hormone (certain chemicals that regulate your body’s activities) testosterone.  More masculine-looking men tend to have more testosterone, and are often in better physical shape, look more healthy, are more fertile (able to produce more children), and are perceived as being “stronger” than men with less testosterone.  If you are woman living in a society where illness and disease are common (that is, a less healthy society), physical health is an important part of your survival.  You will want to find a man who you believe is himself very physically healthy, who won’t easily get sick, and who will thus (therefore) be able to protect you and your children.

High levels of testosterone can have some negative effects as well, however.  Men with high levels of testosterone are more likely to be aggressive and unfaithful (have sex with someone other than his or her husband/wife/partner).  The more “manly” man is more likely to get divorced, have problems in his marriage, be less interested in parenting (taking care of the children), and be physically abusive to (hit or harm) his wife.  (Of course, these are just generalizations, and it does not mean that all men with high testosterone are unfaithful and hit their wives.)  In healthier societies, where physical health is not as important for survival, women are more likely to be attracted to the more feminine-looking men, who are generally kinder, more faithful, and more interested in being a father.  These women thereby (by doing that) avoid the negative aspects that come with being with men who have high testosterone levels.

Countries that are considered to be on average the healthiest by the World Health Organization, such as Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Austria, are more likely to have women who will choose the more feminine-looking men for a husband or partner.  The United States is one of the least healthy countries, and women here tend to prefer the more masculine-looking men.  Based on this information, we can presume (guess, assume to be true) that if Obama’s healthcare plan is successful in making Americans healthier, women will start preferring more feminine-looking men — that is, girlie men!

One potential problem in this study is that some countries have a wide disparity (difference) in their population when it comes to how healthy the environments are in which people live.  The United States has some very rich areas, but it also has many very poor areas.  It is possible, then, that the “average” level of healthiness is not a very good indication of what a “typical” American woman might prefer in a man.  It may be, for example, that women from richer, healthier places in the U.S. prefer more feminine-looking men, and those in the poorer, less healthy areas prefer more masculine-looking men.  The study did not look at this issue.

~Jeff

13 Responses to “Will Obama’s Healthcare Plan Make Us a Nation of Girlie Men? Part 2”

  1. emiliano Says:

    Changing so much the natural selection of Nature it is possible that in some hundred of years, or less, the human beings will be extinguisshed from all the healthy countries. But we may have some hopes with the not so healthy ones that could be a good place to continuos the survival of the human race.

    It is a clear and nice explanation Jeff, and watching the t.v. documentaries about animals behavior in Nature Life is easy to understand why females choose the stronger males to have their babies, and of course the proof to the males is always the same just fighting among them.
    In our human world males don´t need to fight among them to get females favor but men need to have enough spermatozoos just to be capable of having children, and evidently, men need to have enough tetosterone in order to be capable of fertilize women.

    The real thing is that boys of today have less spermatozoos that their grandfathers, why?. That´s the point that haven´t
    any a good explanation. And every few years men have less and less.
    As the time is going on the human race is going off. There are lots of couples that can´t have children now and having so much healthy care in wealthy countries and choosing girly men instead, it´s possible that the end may be closer every few hundred years, at least in the wealthy and healthy countries.

    But who cares about future now? We are destroying our planet every moment with so much polution and fires every year, so please don´t be worry about the way of choosing men or woman. We don´t need to be strong or healthy by nature, no, we have lots of medicines and drugs to be extinguissed at the end, having not any nature selection.
    I don´t know just what is the midle of the question, as having healthy care is quite good and I am happy with the Obama laws, but
    we don´t know really what the consequencies of not a Natural Selection of the human beings could be in future.
    Sometimes I think there are an abuse of drugs (medicines) comsumption by all means, we use to take such a lot and we have, here at least, our old people living artificially with so extra care in the hospitals. That´s good? that´s bad?, I don´t know, but for me I don´t like it.

    Thank you Jeff, a good topic to talk about having so different opinions about men, drugs, healthy care and so on.
    Regards.

  2. Tania Says:

    Hi ! I have known nothing about the comedy show “Saturday Night Live”. I think it is a very funny show . If I could understand all jokes and events … Anyway I have admired the actors who have come and gone in its history .
    For a week-end it is a good topic. Thank you .

    Tania

  3. Tania Says:

    Hi ! A real present for us accessing to the Wall Street Journal . We can find out anything to suit our desires. I think it is your “Easter rabbit” for us.
    How could we show our gratitude to you ?
    I was not imagining it is true when I saw that our blog issued on 01April 2010 had updated news . How could it be possible ? If we access this topic/01.04.2010 can we read free of charge the Wall Street Journal every day?
    And we can listen to and various comments or ads. It is fantastic. Thank you , thank you , thank you .

    Tania

  4. Molly Xu Says:

    well, very profound explainnation, all things are about hormone. although we have thoughts and consience, human still are animals. anyway, as a woman, I can’t stand man who make up everyday.

  5. _ a l e j a n d r a _ Says:

    thank you jeff . . a very interesting issue !!
    it’s always a pleasure to visit your blog !!
    it’s been a while since the last time i listened to one of your podcast and i miss them ! . . they have helped me a lot to learn more vocabulary and to get to understand more easily by listening !
    greetings from madrid !!

  6. Nima Says:

    awesome. i enjoyed it.

  7. Ivan from Italy Says:

    I think the result of test could have been affected by other parameters than health in a country, maybe with the money people have… I wouldn’t be afraid of loosing your masculine looking!

    Anyway, also in this topic President Obama is making a great job! Good luck Mr President!

  8. Tania Says:

    Hi ! Good introduction in biology science. We learn on Charles Darwin, his works, his life at school. We study in detail the theory of species evolution. I agree with his theory.

  9. Tania Says:

    Hi ! Very kind of you reminding us of the greatest Russian writers. Their place in the universal literature is uncontestable. Thank you .

  10. dongsung Says:

    :) Thank you for good information, Jeff.
    After I read part one, I just have had thought that healthy care plan include plastic surgery, ;)
    but it was all misunderstand., I was surprised that United States is least healthy country. Whatever the reason, I hope that healthy care plans are success and all people in the United State are healthy, no matter what kind of men what women prefer. ^^

  11. Tania Says:

    Hi ! It is true. We can read The Wall Street Journal every day . Thank you again.

  12. czarvan Says:

    Haha,very humorous and powful logic reasoning !

  13. Chris Says:

    Will it happen that men become interested in man-like women?