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View Full Version : Why fertile women hate a pretty face



megimoo
11-12-2008, 10:20 PM
Everyone loves a pretty face - except those women who might see it as a threat. With eyes on the competition, women of childbearing age rate other attractive women consistently lower than women who have entered menopause, according to a new study.

"It's almost as if they're putting down other attractive women," says Benedict Jones, a psychologist at Aberdeen University, UK, who led the study of 97 middle-aged women.

Numerous studies have looked at how fertility affects women's preferences for men's faces, bodies, voices, and even sweaty shirts. Yet few researchers have flipped the coin to examine how fertility changes competition for mates within sexes, says Jones.

He and his colleagues showed pre- and post-menopausal women pictures of men and women, digitally manipulated to make them more masculine or more feminine looking. Their software systematically enhances male features such as a wide jaw and heavy brow or female attributes such as wider eyes and more arched eyebrows.

"It's not going into Photoshop and mucking about to make the jaw a few pixels wider and the eyes a few pixels bigger," he says.

Try a simplified version of the image software here

Mating drive
The women, who ranged between 40 and 64 years of age, then picked between the masculinised and feminised versions of 40 males and females.

No matter their menopausal status, women favoured masculine-looking men. Yet when rating other women, women still able to have children rated feminine faces as slightly less attractive than menopausal women.

Competition between fertile women seems like the best explanation, Jones says. "It's quite well established that as women go through menopause they shift from a mating-oriented mindset to more family-oriented mindset," he says.snip

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn16016-why-fertile-women-hate-a-pretty-face.html