Darwin’s Blondes

By Callimachus | Related entries in Kitchen Sink, Science

Gentlemen, it is said, prefer blondes. So did cavemen.

Almost the only sustenance in northern Europe came from roaming herds of mammoths, reindeer, bison and horses. Finding them required long, arduous hunting trips in which numerous males died, leading to a high ratio of surviving women to men.

Lighter hair colours, which started as rare mutations, became popular for breeding and numbers increased dramatically, according to the research, published under the aegis of the University of St Andrews.

“Human hair and eye colour are unusually diverse in northern and eastern Europe (and their) origin over a short span of evolutionary time indicates some kind of selection,� says the study by Peter Frost, a Canadian anthropologist. Frost adds that the high death rate among male hunters “increased the pressures of sexual selection on early European women, one possible outcome being an unusual complex of colour traits.�

So why blondeness? That’s less clear. Frost, according to the article, says studies show blonde hair is an indicator for high oestrogen levels in women.

So far it’s all speculation, but fun. Sort of like Anna Nicole Smith’s date with the Supreme Court.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 28th, 2006 and is filed under Kitchen Sink, Science. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Darwin’s Blondes”

  1. Justin Gardner Says:

    Why blondes?

    Well, everybody wants to um…ahem “court” the new girl.

  2. michael reynolds Says:

    I’m blond. I want my mastodon.

  3. GN Says:

    No one on the court is looking at the blond hair.

  4. Callimachus Says:

    No, no, Michael, you have it backwards: First you go out and get the mastodon. Then, when you drag it back to the cave, you get the blonde. Capiche?

  5. Tom Strong Says:

    Hate to be the bearer of realistic news, but ’tis a hoax.

  6. Tom Strong Says:

    Whoops, sorry, posted that semi-related news on the wrong webpage. Damn Firefox tabs…

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