Good dancing is sign of male health, scientists say

Via BBC:

Dr Nick Neave looks at the difference between “good” and “bad” dancing

Scientists say they’ve carried out the first rigorous analysis of dance moves that make men attractive to women.

The researchers say that movements associated with good dancing may be indicative of good health and reproductive potential.

“When you go out to clubs people have an intuitive understanding of what makes a good and bad dancer,” said co-author Dr Nick Neave, an evolutionary psychologist at Northumbria University, UK.

“What we’ve done for the very first time is put those things together with a biometric analysis so we can actually calculate very precisely the kinds of movements people focus on and associate them with women’s ratings of male dancers.”

Dr Neave asked young men who were not professional dancers, to dance in a laboratory to a very basic drum rhythm and their movements with 12 cameras.

These movements were then converted into a computer-generated cartoon – an avatar – which women rated on a scale of one to seven. He was surprised by the results.

“We thought that people’s arms and legs would be really important. The kind of expressive gestures the hands [make], for example. But in fact this was not the case,” he said.

“We found that (women paid more attention to) the core body region: the torso, the neck, the head. It was not just the speed of the movements, it was also the variability of the movement. So someone who is twisting, bending, moving, nodding.”

Movements that went down terribly were twitchy and repetitive – so called “Dad dancing”.

Dr Neave’s aim was to establish whether young men exhibited the same courtship movement rituals in night clubs as animals do in the wild. In the case of animals, these movements give information about their health, age, their reproductive potential and their hormone status.

“People go to night clubs to show off and attract the opposite sex so I think it’s a valid way of doing this,” Dr Neave explained.

“In animals, the male has to be in good physical quality to carry out these movements. We think the same is happening in humans and certainly the guys that can put these movements together are going to be young and fit and healthy.”

Dr Neave also took blood samples from the volunteers. Early indications from biochemical tests suggest that the men who were better dancers were also more healthy.

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Vatican calls Iran stoning sentence brutal

Via NBC:

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican on Sunday raised the possibility of using behind-the-scenes diplomacy to try to spare the life of an Iranian widow sentenced to be stoned for adultery.

In its first public statement on the case, which has attracted worldwide attention, the Vatican also decried stoning as a particularly “brutal” form of capital punishment.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said the Catholic church opposes the death penalty in general.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani was convicted in 2006 of adultery. In July, Iranian authorities said they would not carry out the stoning sentence for the time being, but the mother of two could still face execution by hanging for adultery and other offenses.

One of the most important lessons of Jesus’ teaching, 2,000 years ago was on the occasion of a possible stoning of a woman for adultery. “He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.”

Adultery, among most of the major religions is a sin, and one can make a good case for it being detrimental to society. But whatever it’s demerits, it does warrant stoning to death.

Update: Via BBC–the woman is to be whipped

More Wives are Higher Income Spouse-“Marriage Now a Better Deal for Men”

Via WaPo, More wives now earn more than their husbands.

“What’s radically changed is that marriage now is a better deal for men,” said Richard Fry, co-author of the report, published by the Pew Research Center. “Now when men marry, often their spouse works quite a bit. Often she is better-educated than the guy.” In 1970, unmarried men “had a higher economic status than married guys,” he said, “but no longer.”

Golddigging, marrying money and the evolutionary impulse

MSN article on Do Smart Women Marry Money? Marrying the financially fit fits in with the Darwinian impulse of survival of the fittest. Of course assuming that the financially fit are usually the smartest, healthiest, and thus better looking homo sapiens on the planet.

Young women, here is some advice:

Don’t throw your hot, youthful selves away on young, financially unproven men. They may never become successes, and if they do, they’ll probably just chuck you for younger models when you’re too old to successfully compete again in the marriage marketplace.

Instead, marry rich guys while you’re still taut enough to snag them. They may dump you, too, but at least you’ll have nice, fat divorce settlements with which to pursue true love, or the pool guy, whoever comes first.

Notice I didn’t say it was good advice.

But that is the gist of a new book, “Smart Girls Marry Money: How Women Have Been Duped Into the Romantic Dream — and How They’re Paying for It,” by Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake.

“Rather than pursuing love, we suggest pursuing a lifestyle with a man you like, or admire and enjoy,” they write. “But in any case, he should be a man with resources.”

Then there’s this:

That reminds me of another chestnut: “If you marry for money, you will surely earn it.”

Abstinence and Early Marriage

ABC news has an interesting article on how abstinence is causing young people to get married early. Basically, if you can’t wait then get married.

Against that backdrop, a number of evangelicals are promoting marrying earlier, nudging young adults toward the altar even as many of their peers and parents are holding them back.

If these Christian kids want to practice abstinence let them. I don’t understand the drive to make them feel like freaks of nature. If they want to get married early, let them. I will say that the article does make a great point that there is a zero sum game in emphasis between abstinence and marriage success. If the effort put into abstinence education/preaching/emphasis carried over into marriage counseling, a lot more marriages would survive.