Why child-bearing women ‘loathe’ beautiful women?

November 12th, 2008 - 4:58 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 12 (IANS) We appreciate beautiful women, but they tend to trigger envy and dislike in other women of childbearing age. A survey of 97 middle-aged women rated such beauties way below their menopausal counterparts, looks-wise, which Aberdeen University psychologist Benedict Jones said was like putting them down.

Researchers turned their attention to examining how fertility triggered competition within sexes for potential partners, informed Jones, who led the study.

His team showed pre, post-menopausal women images of males and females, digitised to enhance their masculinity or feminity, according to a report by New Scientist.

The women, aged between 40 and 64 years, chose between 40 manly and womanly digitised versions. The women favoured rugged looking men. But when it came to other women, they rated them as less attractive than menopausal women.

Competition between fertile women seems like the best explanation, Jones said. “As women go through menopause they shift from mating-oriented mindset to more family-oriented mindset,” he averred.

But Mark Prokosch, evolutionary psychologist at Elon University, North Carolina remains unconvinced that rating other women is the best way to capture sexual competition between women.

These findings were published in Biology Letters.

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