Thursday, February 7, 2013

How to Measure a Women's Intelligence...

By her hips?!  We all know the stereotypical hour glass figure that men find so attractive.  Think Marilyn Monroe here...she was know for her beauty, but by today standards some would consider her over weight or plus size in the modeling world.  What evolution is doing to our body image is a little scary, especially once you realize why those curvy hips were once so attractive to men!

According to Psychology Today, it's the unusually small waist that makes these women look so curvy. "The other part is having relatively normal- size hips and legs that are well endowed with fat. Even a thin woman carries an astonishing amount of fat in her legs and hips—about a third of her body weight. Men everywhere admire the fat located here."

The research done by Psychology today also found that "The total amount of fat a human female carries is seven times that of other animals, and much more than men! Only bears ready to hibernate, penguins facing a sunless winter without food, or whales swimming in arctic waters have fat percentages that approach those in normal, healthy, trim young women."

Well, I could make a case for hibernation but I'm pretty sure I don't plan on going an entire winter without food or swimming in arctic water!  So what gives?  Why were we "blessed" with all this extra fat.  Extra fat that many women spend a lifetime trying to get rid of and refuse to accept as part of their genetic make up?

According to the research, "Just as human mothers have seven times more body fat than other animals, human babies have a body part that is seven times larger than the one in other animals—an enormous brain that grows fastest in the first two years of life. Other than water, the human brain is mostly fat and has a lot of a particular kind of fat: an omega-3 fat called DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). We can’t make omega-3 fats; they have to come from what we eat, and women tend to stash their DHA in the same hip and leg fat that men value."

So although most of the time men seem to know nothing about women.  It appears that subconsciously they know a lot!

"That’s what men’s brains are telling us—that a woman’s figure signals the abundance of her DHA supply. Studies show that women with curvier hourglass figures have more DHA stored in their body fat. And because DHA makes brains work better, these curvier women also tend to have smarter children and, contrary to what you might expect, to be smarter themselves" 

Hold on, hold can't use the excuse of intelligence to go packin' on the pounds with chocolate cake and chips and dip!  As time passes, American women actually have developed higher fat percentages but with lower DHA levels.  So the quality of your diet is super important in getting these healthy fats.  Focus on getting the omega-3-rich fat we evolved to eat—"fat from green plants, wild fish and seafood, and the meat, milk, and eggs of animals eating their natural diet of grass."

And whenever you get the urge to say something demeaning to yourself about how big your thigh's are, or how much you hate your hips stop and think about why you were made that way.  Every part of the human body has a purpose, even the fat in our thighs!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Baby it Real?!

I thought I would do a fun fact post for ya since it's Friday and all.  So what could be more fun that learning about the psychology behind baby fever?!  Not much, right?  Well I know I hear people talking about it all the time so you must too..."I'm getting baby fever"....or "My wife has baby fever".  Sometimes you will hear that it's like a switch that just gets flipped on all of a sudden.  So me and my scientific thinking mind started to wonder...what causes this?  Is it our biological time clock ticking?  Is it telling us on some unconscious level that it's go time?!  If I don't ever get that overwhelming urge am I not supposed to be a mother?  It actually turns out to be much more simple than that....and guess what?  Men get baby fever too!!! 

The researchers started by applying three different theoretical viewpoints about why baby fever might exist and where it came from:
  • The sociocultural view: People want to have a baby because they are taught gender roles. Women think they should have children because society says that is what they are supposed to do.
  • The byproduct view: Humans experience nurturance. When they see a cute baby they want to take care of it, and that makes them want to have a baby of their own. Baby fever is a by-product -- it is nurturance misplaced.
  • The adaptationist view: Baby fever is an emotional signal -- like a suggestion sent from one part of the mind to the other parts -- that this this could be a good time to have a child.
So what do you think the verdict was?  I personally was all about the biological clock theory.  My body will tell me when it's time to have a baby right?  Wrong!  The research showed that it was something much more fundamental than that.  So here it is...

The more you are around babies and find it to be a positive experience, the more you will want to have a baby.  The more you are around babies and find it to be a negative experience, the less you will want to have a baby.   


Men can catch the fever the same way.  But the research did look at how frequently a desire for a baby occurred varied according to gender. Women more frequently desired having a child than having sex. Men were the opposite and more frequently desired sex than having a child.  (Funny how those two things go together, right?!).  

For those of you who aren't ever around babies and you are starting to worry why you don't have the overwhelming urge to be a mother.  (I mean what is wrong with you?) You can relax, it's simply because you aren't getting the positive exposure that research shows leads to that "baby fever".  The research also shows that sometimes people just don't get the "fever" and will make the decision based on the trade-offs that come with having children -- education, career, money and social life.

Feel like you caught the fever too early and you aren't ready to actually become parents? Find someone with a very fussy baby...that should do the trick! The outcome of this research also made me think of parents that only have one child.  I mean once you have a are bound to get that baby fever again with all of the baby exposure that follows.  So I guess this means all of you only children out there were very difficult babies ;-)