A forthcoming book from two evolutionary psychologists aims to understand why we humans date, mate, and succeed—based on our looks. Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters examines the impact that physical beauty has on people—both individually and for humanity in general. For instance, because attractive people are more likely than homely people to have reproductive success generation after generation, the genes of beautiful parents are more likely to survive through a daughter. (Paging Shiloh Jolie-Pitt!) According to the New York Post:
The book cites a study that found young Americans who were rated "very attractive" had a 56 percent chance of having a daughter, whereas the uglies had a 52 percent chance of having a son—meaning, [author Satoshi] Kanazawa says, that being hot increases the odds of having a daughter by 36 percent.
The book also examines why men prefer large breasts (they sag, making it easier for men to judge a woman's age, and therefore, fertility) and why handsome men might make lousy husbands (they have more women chasing after them). I don't agree that our animal instincts completely drive our actions—after all, I know men who go gaga for small breasts, and handsome dudes who are devoted to their wives—but I'm looking forward to reading some of the theories. The book is out September 4, and if you read it, you'll have to let me know what you think!