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Once again, ❤science❤ has entered, stage right, as a supporting cast member of Chateau Heartiste’s magnum opus. Once again, you won’t be led astray if you embrace CH observations as your own. You could say there’s a Heartiste Rule in effect at this happy hurting ground: 80% of keen-eyed CH lessons drawn from field experience are in short order confirmed by empirical rigor. The remaining 20% either await scientific vindication, or are too nuanced to mimic in the laboratory without great difficulty or unethical experimental tactics.

The latest salvo from science supports (right on cue!) the knowledge contained within a Heartistian Horcrux that the sexes perceive looks differently and are, as a result, affected by the physical attractiveness of the opposite sex differently.

In a series of interesting experiments measuring selective attention for beautiful people, it was discovered that,

When we strained our subjects’ attentional capacities, we found exactly what I had suspected several decades before: Men overestimated the number of beautiful women (though their estimates of handsome men were unaffected). Female subjects also overestimated the frequency of gorgeous women in the rapidly presented crowds, but they did not overestimate the frequency of handsome men. The whole body of findings points to a simple conclusion about beautiful women: They capture everyone’s attention and monopolize downstream cognitive processes. The conclusion about handsome men is different: They grab women’s eyes but do not hold their minds; good-looking guys quickly get washed out of the stream of mental processing.

This is in line with what we have been saying here for some time: Women are essentially less viscerally affected by good male looks than men are affected by good female looks. And whatever effect male handsomeness has on women’s senses is dissipated much faster from their mental landscapes than female beauty is expunged from men’s mental landscapes. This beautiful truth has far-reaching implications for practitioners of the crimson arts.

In our first study, [we] asked people to judge an average-looking woman after being exposed to one of two series of other women. Half the participants judged the target woman after seeing a series of unusually beautiful women; the other half judged her after seeing a series of average-looking women. As in the case of exposure to extremes of water temperature, exposure to extremes of physical appearance affected people’s judgments of what was average. As we had predicted, an average-looking woman was judged significantly uglier than normal if the subjects had just been gazing at a series of beauties.

And as game theorists will tell you, a charming man will be judged more attractive than he is if the woman in his company had just been hanging out with a bunch of boring betas.

Subjects in the control group first judged the artistic merit of abstract paintings such as Josef Albers’s Homage to the Square. The men in the experimental group saw centerfolds from Playboy and Penthouse; the women saw handsome naked men from Playgirl. After they had looked at either paintings or centerfolds, we asked our participants to rate their feelings about their current relationship partners. Again, there was a cover story — that psychologists were divided on whether being in a relationship opened people up to new aesthetic experiences or made them less open to novelty. To test which side was right, we told them, we needed to know about the extent to which their reported level of commitment depended on whether they had seen centerfolds.

Once again, the results displayed a curious gender difference:

Men who had viewed the centerfolds rated themselves as less in love with their partners; women’s judgments of their partners were not so easily swayed.

Once again, we see that male looks don’t compel nearly the same aroused urgency from women that female looks compel from men. Or, when women cheat, it’s not usually because they found a handsomer lover; it’s because the man they’re with stopped exciting them with their personalities.

The harmful side effect for guys … is this: Real women … do not look as attractive once the mind has been calibrated to assume the centerfolds are normal. And for guys in relationships, exposure to beautiful photos undermines their feelings about the real flesh-and-blood women with whom their lives are actually intertwined.

No this is the PC interpretation. More precisely, limited options and exclusion from beautiful women calibrates men’s minds to assume “real women” are prettier than they are.

But lest we’re too quick to assume men are the only ones who conform to the worst of their gender’s stereotypes, women didn’t fare much better when the experiment was repeated with power rather than beauty as the variable:

Seeing a series of socially dominant men undermined women’s commitment, just as seeing attractive women had done to men’s.

CARDIAC ARREST goes the feminist and manboob hamsters. Recall a very early post from the Chateau archives:

As I’ve written before, what men like in women is simple. In descending order of importance, here are the female attractiveness traits that men desire in women:

Beauty.
Femininity.
Sexual eagerness.

In descending order of importance, here are the male attractiveness traits that women desire in men:

Psychosocial dominance (game).
High status/fame.
Personality (passion/charisma/humor).
Wealth.
Good looks/height/muscularity.
Cleverness/smarts.
Dependability/reliability.
Sexual prowess.

Men dig beauty.
Chicks dig power.
The rest is commentary.

And what a shitstorm of commentary it has been in the interim! Feminists and bitter beta males both heaving sandbags of rationalizations and wishful thinking and earnest platitudes against the ramparts so that they may bunker down and avoid dealing with these eternal earthy truths about the different sexual natures of men and women.

So what’s a mortal to do [about sensory overload and adaptation]? Are we helpless in the face of our evolved mechanisms, which may lead us astray without our conscious awareness? Not completely. People who understand the dangers of overabundant fats and sugars can control their diets. People who understand the dangers of an overabundant diet of mass-media images can stop gorging on Playboy, People, Sex and the City, or Dancing with the Stars.

Good god, this is some realtalk right here. Just as fatties can keep crap food out of their homes, the loveless and love-hungry can keep porn — the male and female versions of it — out of theirs.

It’s two for one day at Le Chateau, so here’s another recent relevant study that finds partner physical attractiveness is less important as a predictor of women’s marital satisfaction.

Do men value physical attractiveness in a mate more than women? Scientists in numerous disciplines believe that they do, but recent research using speed-dating paradigms suggests that males and females are equally influenced by physical attractiveness when choosing potential mates. Nevertheless, the premise of the current work is that sex differences in the importance of physical attractiveness are most likely to emerge in research on long-term relationships. Accordingly, the current work drew from 4 independent, longitudinal studies to examine sex differences in the implications of partner physical attractiveness for trajectories of marital satisfaction. In all 4 studies, both partners’ physical attractiveness was objectively rated at baseline, and both partners reported their marital satisfaction up to 8 times over the first 4 years of marriage. Whereas husbands were more satisfied at the beginning of the marriage and remained more satisfied over the next 4 years to the extent that they had an attractive wife, wives were no more or less satisfied initially or over the next 4 years to the extent that they had an attractive husband. Most importantly, a direct test indicated that partner physical attractiveness played a larger role in predicting husbands’ satisfaction than predicting wives’ satisfaction. These findings strengthen support for the idea that sex differences in self-reported preferences for physical attractiveness do have implications for long-term relationship outcomes.

Happy wife, happy life? Happy husband, stronger lovin’. Husbands have a responsibility to provide emotional and material support. Wives have a responsibility to provide beauty and sexual support. If either party reneges on their end of the deal — the equivalent of the dull, withdrawn, couch potato husband is the fat, unfeminine, nag wife — then the deal is severed, in practice if not in procedure. This is as decisive an IF-THEN statement as you’ll come across in the realm of human social interaction.

Men, know that your dominance and self-confidence are your passage to bangkunt. Women, know that your youth, beauty and slender hourglass figures are your passage to bangkok. The losers in life will wail and rend their XXXXL muu-muus disclaiming this romantic reality, but after a million terabytes and a billion snarled memes they are still on their knees, receiving a hot load of ostracism and despair from the winners at the party they desperately, secretly yearn to join.

UPDATE

Three for one, baby! Reader Will passes along another study that used MRIs to peer deep into male and female brains to discover the elemental neural processes at work when an attractive member of the opposite sex is in view.

Apologies (not too sorry) for this off-topic. Not sure if CH or anyone else has read this (probably). But it’s *science* that shows that guys are biologically wired to be *motivated* (read: boner) for visual ques (read tits and an ass) moreso than girls. This is an MRI being done on the brain that shows the amygdala is fired moreso in guys than girls when sexyness is visually seen.

This can be interpreted as how guys don’t care so much about status because the blood is rushed to our amygdala based on visual…. Not comparative social relations (such as power). Girls thus have more blood focusing on other parts of there brain such as which guy will give me higher status in terms of my social context.

Quoting the study results,

The emotion control center of the brain, the amygdala, shows significantly higher levels of activation in males viewing sexual visual stimuli than females viewing the same images, according to a Center for Behavioral Neuroscience study led by Emory University psychologists Stephan Hamann and Kim Wallen. The finding, which appears in the April edition of “Nature Neuroscience,” demonstrates how men and women process visual sexual stimuli differently, and it may explain gender variations in reproductive behavior. […]

The fMRI scans revealed significantly higher levels of activation in the amygdala, which controls emotion and motivation, in the brains of the male subjects compared to the females, despite the fact that both males and females expressed similar subjective assessments of their levels of arousal after viewing the images.

Hamann and Wallen had a separate group pre-select the images to ensure they would be equally arousing to both males and females.

“If males and females found the pictures equally arousing, you would assume they would have similar patterns of brain activation,” said Hamann. “But we discovered the male brain seems to process visual sexual cues differently.”

The scientists’ discovery also is consistent with an evolutionary theory that natural selection spurred the development of different sexual behaviors in males and females.

“There is an advantage for males in quickly recognizing and responding to receptive females through visual cues,” explains Hamann. “This allows them to maximize their mating opportunities, which increases their chances for passing on their genes.”

Another CH truth lovingly caressed by SCIENCE. And this is a humdinger of science, because it directly measured brain activation rather than indirectly through surveys or behavioral analysis.

Men are more viscerally aroused by female looks than are women by male looks. Men, therefore, can neither rely on their looks to get and keep women, nor excuse their failure with women based on their looks. Game, aka applied charisma, is about exploiting that soft space between a woman’s subjective assessment of her own arousal and her actual, primal arousal. As always, don’t listen to what women say, watch what they do. And nothing watches as closely as an MRI looking right into her friggin noggin.

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