In the mammalian and avian world, undoubtedly the males look more attractive than females. For example, a peacock is more appealing than a peahen; a lion looks better than a lioness. In contrary, among human beings, women are more beautiful than men. Is there any reason behind this? ‘Yes’, says evolutionary psychology. The father of evolution theory Charles Darwin is the first one to discuss the aesthetic preferences among animals. According to Darwinian Theory, there are two kinds of evolution.
One talks about the survival of the fittest (called natural selection) and the other one talks about the survival of the species that attracts more mates (called sexual selection). In this article, we read about the sexual selection process. Evolutionary biologists Bill Hamilton and Marlene Zuk believe that the peacocks having colorful plumage are healthier as they have a minimal number of parasites on them and thus they have better chances of survival. It was also proved that peacocks having larger eyespots on their feathers grew faster and lived longer. Since a peahen cannot understand the aspects of health and genetics, it simply selects a male which is very attractive and thus produces attractive and healthier offspring.
Charles Darwin believed that females are more in demand as mates than males because females contribute more to offspring by laying eggs or carrying the fetus. Thus females can be a lot choosier in selecting a mate as in the case of a peacock being chosen by a peahen. This is how sexual section made males more attractive to generations. However, in human beings, the responsibility of father does not end with impregnation. The human offspring takes a very long time after the birth to attain the capability to survive on its own. Thus parental care is crucial in human development. The offspring born to an economically well positioned and socially responsible father has better chances of survival. Hence women, in general, have evolved to compete for husbands with higher social status and more wealth because these are reliable cues to the ability to protect and care for children and thus men got the position of bargaining in contrast to the male animals and birds.
Physically attractive women are more likely to get married up the social ladder, generally to a man who is wealthier than her parents and the daughters born to them (who are also beautiful) have better chances of survival and this answers the title of this article. It is true that the women, in general, do not give much importance to the physical attractiveness of men while marrying. However, it is not true that they marry men irrespective of their appearance and genetic quality. Any such careless choices by women could not have survived the ruthless forces of natural selection.