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Further to “Why do gentlemen prefer blondes … ”

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File:Johannes Brahms portrait .jpg and why don’t we eat Granny and such,

In their 1997 book The Handicap Principle, Israeli physiologist Avishag Zahavi and her evolutionary biologist husband Amotz proposed that beards are a costly signal of male competitive ability, since they can easily be grabbed by rivals during fights. According to this theory, a man with a full beard is advertising his confidence in his own fitness: He thinks he can beat his competitors even with the “handicap” of the beard.

Following a similar line of reasoning, biologists William Hamilton and Marlene Zuk suggested in a 1982 paper in Science that bearded men are advertising their healthy immune systems: Beards, like other body hair, are a known breeding ground for parasites. Recently, they’ve been shown to host bed bugs and sand fleas. … More.

Etc. Not liking to shave is not a reason mentioned; after all, that wouldn’t be “science,” would it?

One thing you can count on evo psych for is always following the pop culture trends. There’s been quite the spate blowing through recently about how beards are imperialistic, misogynist, sexist, and … among other things, perfect for evo psych theorizing.

So this article just begged to be written. Hey, it has merit; its authors don’t take themselves or their subject as seriously as most. And Valentines is upon us again.

Now back to work.

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Note: “Why do gentlemen prefer blondes?” was a Sokal-type hoax on evo psych,—the hoax got taken seriously of course, because what’s to choose between the hoax and the apparently seriously meant field?

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5 Replies to “Further to “Why do gentlemen prefer blondes … ”

  1. 1
    Querius says:

    And this is what passes for Science? LOL!

    Where’s Nick Matzke? Where’s Bill Bye? Come out come out wherever you are!

    -Q

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    Darwin would of said hair was from apes days and sexual selection de haired the girls.
    I say hair is for what it for. To keep one dry as being wet is dangerous to heat tempatur.
    This is why after puberty we get hair under the arms. they are areas that the body thought needed hair because they were so wet. It was a wrong idea but the body back in the day simply acted upon simple mechanism.
    men have beards because they were in the wet and a threshold was crossed and triggered hair growth. girls never crossed this threshold back then. Probably being hairless was the original look before or after the flood.

  3. 3
    Querius says:

    Does sexual dimorphism need a pragmatic justification? Apparently, males and females need to be able to tell which ones they can mate with. And breast implants aren’t for doing a better job at feeding babies . . .

    Can you say “super-optimal stimulus”?

    -Q

  4. 4
    Querius says:

    C’mon, where are all the Darwinists? They need to stand up for true, rigorous “science” over us “IDiots.”

    Maybe there’s a tree of life for men’s beards! Males in some people groups have a hard time growing beards, while in others, males can’t seem to get a decent moustache going!

    Then, there are the short, white beards in chimpanzees. Oh, and both males AND females have them!

    That means that most human females with beards were selected against, and only the ones with no beards could survive and reproduce . . .

    OR maybe that in our most recent common ancestor, beards in females were absent, but beards developed in female chimpanzees for some reason. Now, why would that be?

    Hmmm. Maybe it was to attract and trick *gay* male chimpanzees to jump back into the gene pool! Gosh, I bet there are doctorates to be had here!

    Professor Matzke, please help us out. We need a plausible story! 😉

    -Q

  5. 5
    Querius says:

    C’mon, NickMatzke, PasserBy11, any Darwinist. We need a story why most human females don’t have beards as do their chimpanzee cousins, and why chimpanzee females were selected for beards in the first place.

    And please elucidate how evolutionary “science” like this represents a Triumph of Reason over silly conjecture.

    Waiting.

    -Q

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