NCBI ROFL: Attractiveness of blonde women in evolutionary perspective: studies with two Polish samples.

By ncbi rofl | April 15, 2011 7:00 pm

“An experimental study was undertaken to assess the phenomenon of male preference for blondes. In the first study, 360 Polish men ages 18 to 46 years were asked to assess the attractiveness of the presented stimuli using a 9-point scale. Stimuli were 9 different pictures of the same women whose ages (about 20, 30, and 40 years old) and hair colors (blonde, brown, and brunette) were manipulated. Pictures of blonde-haired women were generally rated as younger than the others. The attractiveness ratings of female faces changed with age and hair color. Still, only the 30-yr.-old woman with blonde hair was rated as significantly more attractive than those with brown or brunette hair. In a second study (the analysis of 500 Internet advertisements) mature women dyed their hair blonde more frequently. These results are analyzed with regard to the evolutionarily formed male preference for younger females.”

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Photo: flickr/rockmixer

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  • Me

    If I understand correctly, in the second part of the study, it is being claimed that a preference for changing the hair from grey to blonde in older women as opposed to darker shades is being interpreted as some kind of subconscious attempt to appear younger or more attractive based on either an innate or observed understanding that men find lighter shades more attractive. That seems like a highly flawed argument to me. As I understand it the aging process robs the skin of pigment to some extent as well as the hair. The reason many older women choose lighter shades therefore, may well be simply based on a decision to choose a shade which suits their skin tone, as opposed to going back to their former colour which may no longer look right against their skin. Darker hair dyes also tend to look more unnatural, partly due to the pigments used in them and partly due to their tendency to give the hair an obvious single over-all colour which natural hair pigments from the body do not do. So, their tendency to ‘go blonde’ may also be an attempt to have more youthful looking pigmented hair while avoiding those problems associated with darker colourants and have nothing to do with what men want or might want.

    Oh and just for the record, evolution must have missed my genetics, because while there is nothing at all wrong with blondes, this guy actually prefers brunettes…. go figure.

  • amphiox

    Oh and just for the record, evolution must have missed my genetics, because while there is nothing at all wrong with blondes, this guy actually prefers brunettes…. go figure.

    Variation. Sweet, sweet variation.

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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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