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Evolutionary Theory as to Why Women Are Better Than Men at Identifying Beauty in Their Own Sex

A spotted owl-themed restaurant

A spotted owl-themed restaurant

Does anyone know if there’s a theory that explains an evolutionary reasoning as to why women can identify if other women are attractive, while men struggle at determining if other men are good looking?

I remember someone telling me about a survey conducted where eight women and eight men were put in a room together for ten minutes. They were then individually asked who they thought was the hottest man and who they thought was the hottest woman.

All the men agreed on who the hottest woman was, and all the women agreed on who the hottest man was. But here’s the twist: all the women also agreed on who was the hottest woman and none of the men agreed on who was the hottest man. In other words, women are much better at identifying beauty in their own sex than men.

I have my own theory as to why this is:

Maybe it is so that if women are hanging out in a group together, and a man comes over to hit on one, they know which one he is going for.

Wouldn’t that make sense? The modern version of this is in a bar, when a group of girls are out for drinks. A guy will come over and pretend to be nice to everyone so that he can sleep with one of the girls. If girls didn’t know which one was hot, they’d have no idea as to which one the guy was interested in. But because they know – on some level – they can use that information to their advantage. Thus we have the evolutionary development of the cock block.

Not so much comedy today, but really curious about this from a sociological standpoint if anyone has some insight.

4 comments

  1. May 13, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    i think it’s because women must identify who is their biggest competition. in an evolutionary way, men only have to beat the crap out of other men to be the fittest (i.e. last man on earth) while women must strive to be the best looking to attract that man.

  2. profgesser
    May 13, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Evolutionary? Sure, the biologists and the “natural scientists” have worked on end to identify the beauty gene, the biological makeup, etc… for identifying beauty.

    But beauty is built so deeply into culture that no single gene can outrun the ongoing changes in society and our cultural definitions of beauty.

  3. May 13, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Men know. They’re just too chicken-shit to admit it.

  4. May 14, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    If all men agreed on who was the most beautiful woman, then humans would have become extinct. Like Bighorn Sheep, we would have fought each other to the death for the possibility to mate with that one special person. By giving men no ability to distinguish attractive from unattractive, nature improved the odds that every alpha male will find an alpha female… but also that every omega male will find the woman of his dreams.

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