Saturday, August 29, 2009

What'll it be? Sons or Daughters?

I wonder whether these two would have sons or daughters? Picture via here.

I was reading the October issue of Psychology Today yesterday and came across an article entitled A Chip off the Best Block by Satoshi Kanazawa, Ph.D. It was an interesting read, with the author arguing that the sex of babies is partly determined by factors in the parents' life-- factors such as their beauty, brains, wealth, and sexual promiscuity.

I won't get into it too much, but this theory rests largely on the Trivers-Willard Hypothesis which predicts that wealthy parents have more sons while poor parents have more daughters. As evolutionary biologists, two scientists (Robert Trivers and Dan Willard) argued that it makes more sense for wealthy parents to have sons as sons can reproduce more than daughters, and as they have more money, they can better support their offspring. The son of poor parents is less likely to find mates as his poverty is a discouragement, whereas their daughters, if beautiful, can still marry "up" in the food chain (so to speak).

Here is where it gets interesting though. Using that basis, Kanazawa has expanded the hypothesis to include other factors that help in determining whether a couple has daughters or sons. Here are some of the factors Kanazawa suggests:
  • "Male" brains beget sons while "female" brains beget daughters. Male brains are good at figuring things out, and examples of people who possess strong male brains are engineers, mathematicians, and scientists. Female brains are good at empathizing, and examples of people with female brain are nurses, social workers, and schoolteachers.
  • Tall and big parents have more sons (since size is more a benefit for men than women), while short and small parents have more daughters.
  • Violent parents tend to have more sons (since historically violence was a main means of survival for men).
  • Physically attractive parents are more likely to have more daughters than sons since, according to Kanazawa, physical attractiveness is more beneficial to women in long-term and short-term mating.
  • Sexually promiscuous parents have more sons than daughters which is a trait more beneficial to sons as they can drastically increase their number of offspring by being promiscuous whereas daughters will only produce one child a year.

So, if you have higher social status, greater wealth, a strong "male" brain, larger body size, a tendency toward violence, or a tendency toward sexual promiscuity, then you're more likely to have a son. If, on the other hand, you have lower social status, lesser wealth, a strong "female" brain, smaller body size, and are physically attractive, then perhaps you should be stocking up on the color pink.

Thought that was interesting and had to pass it on...


Sunday, August 23, 2009

I'm Back...

My devoted readers! I haven't forgotten you, I promise!

I am now back in the US, and wow, was Turkey an adventure. I would have loved to taken you along for the ride on this blog, but that little Mac snafu sort of put on damper on things. I do hope to upload and share some of my photos of that time, but in the meanwhile, it's time for me to give my old blog some lovin'.

To that end, I am happy to say that I have a brand new hard drive powering my Macbook, so I am back in business! I think it might take me a little time to get used to the discipline of crafting blog posts, but give me a few days, and I should be back in form.

I'm working on scanning some of my photos from a catalog I shot in Istanbul. Here's a little preview: