Thursday, August 03, 2006

Tall Beautiful Women

Yesterday's post on Freakonomics "Why Do Beautiful Women Sometimes Marry Unattractive Men?" really raised my eyebrows.

Apparently research by an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics has found that beautiful parents are 36% more likely to have baby girls as their first child.

I went to the researcher's website to read up on the research methodology but the full journal article has not yet been posted. However, there's another article titled "Big and tall parents have more sons" which is interesting. Basically, he found that "taller parents have significantly fewer girls than shorter parents" (S. Kanazawa, J of Theoretical Biology, 2005, p.588).

This conclusion can be generalised to say that tall people have more sons and short people have more girls. But is this really the case?

Using Jerms and my families as case studies - my family representing the tall people and Jerms' the short people... my family has 5 girls and 3 boys whereas (as far as I can count) Jerm's family has 8 boys and 3 girls. So why are there more girls in the tall family and more boys in the short family?

The only logical explanation I can think of is that the beautiful (thus girl producing) trait in my family is so powerful that it has actually overridden the tall (boy producing) trait. As for Jerm's family - well, you can draw your own conclusions but even I darn't go there.

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