People who study such things claim that over the last three or four decades women's preference in men has evolved. Whereas a couple of generations ago women were attracted to masculine men, that no longer seems to be the case. Today, a paper in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution notes, women seem to be partial to men who appear more boyish or even feminized. I don't pretend to have any idea whether this is true, but some of those who believe it is also believe that the culprit behind this development is The Pill.
The Daily Mail Online reports:
Scientists have long known that a woman's taste in men changes over her menstrual cycle. During the few days each month when women are fertile - around the time of ovulation - they tend to prefer masculine features and men who are more assertive.
On these fertile days, women are also more attracted to men who are 'genetically dissimilar', Dr Alvergne said. Picking a partner whose genetic make-up is unlike their own increases the chances of having a healthy child.
On days when women are not fertile, their tastes swing towards more feminine, boyish faces and more caring personalities, researchers have shown. However, if women are taking the Pill (which first became available in the 1960s) they no longer have fertile days.
That means they no longer experience the hormonal changes that make them more attracted to masculine men and those with dissimilar genetic make-up.
Whatever. I think the preference for boyishness, if it does in fact exist, is more likely to be a product of a trend toward androgeny in a culture which has for four decades derogated traditional masculinity. Two generations of men have grown up being encouraged in all sorts of ways to be more like women and women have been encouraged to favor men who are quick to display their softer side.
In other words, it would be frowned upon today to hold up John Wayne and Gary Cooper as role models for young males. They're too aggressive, too violent, too reserved and laconic. They don't show their feelings. They don't listen. They don't empathize. Instead, boys should emulate the Michael Jacksons of the world if they really want to win the lady's heart.
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