A professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science says that “attractive” couples are more likely to have daughters than sons. Since my husband and I have two daughters, I really shouldn’t argue with that finding. But…. let’s start with how the study was conducted.
[Evolutionary psychologist Satoshi] Kanazawa based his conclusion on data collected during in-home interviews with 2,972 randomly selected young adults in 2001 and 2002. All were parents 18 to 28 years old, and they participated in the ongoing National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. As part of the study, the interviewer rated the respondent’s physical attractiveness on a five-point scale that ranged from “very unattractive” to “very attractive.” [Washington Post]
The finding: 56 percent of babies born to beautiful parents were girls.
Question: Who determined the standard for “attractiveness”? It is a fact that what may be considered beautiful in a Caucasian society may not be so in, say, an Asian or African country. Can we say, therefore, that the conclusions drawn from the study is applicable only to Caucasian couples? Besides, it was the interviewer that rated the physical attractiveness of the participants and that is already subjective.
Dr. Kanazawa’s previous studies include one with a finding that the peak of creativity of male scientists is the age of 35 which he explained as based on the male’s need to impress women. To be more blunt, “They do whatever they do to get laid.” He also concluded (not sure if this was in the same study) that marriage stalls male creativity.
“Scientific productivity indeed fades with age,” Kanazawa said. “Two-thirds [of all scientists] will have made their most significant contributions before their mid-30s.”
But, regardless of age, the great minds who married virtually kissed goodbye to making any further glorious additions to their CV. Within five years of making their nuptial vows, nearly a quarter of married scientists had made their last significant contribution to knowledge.
“Scientists rather quickly desist [from their careers] after their marriage, while unmarried scientists continue to make great scientific contributions later in their lives,” said Kanazawa.
The energy of youth and the dampening effect of marriage, he added, are also remarkably similar among geniuses in music, painting and writing – and even among criminals.
Is that so… too bad that Dr. Kanazawa doesn’t not seem to have conducted any study on the peak of creativity of women. If I were to base it on my personal experience, I’d say my creativity started rising after marriage and motherhood. And I have yet to reach my peak.