May 25, 2006

Divorce degrades your daughter's looks.

Studies show. But a bad intact marriage makes her even uglier. Or can we solve the whole problem with the right hormone injections?

39 comments:

Seven Machos said...

Well, the girl on the right IS more attractive.

This also goes a long way toward explaining the phenomenon of Marilyn Monroe and all those hot chicks with divorced parents, and all those nappy-looking girls with married parents.

Oh wait. No, it doesn't.

David said...

I would trust any study from a group that can't spell femininity!

I am afraid that children of divorced parents may feel somewhat responsible for the breakup which makes their appearance harsh.

The self-image of all who are involved in the divorce of parents suffers.

Seven Machos said...

I do think outlook and attitude eventually makes your face sort of mold a certain way. I'm not a "scientist" and I don't do "studies" for "royal societies," though.

Ann Althouse said...

David: Maybe they should feel responsible. Maybe the parents are having marital problems because the daughter is homely and not the other way around. All we have is the correlation. The causation could go the other way.

Pogo said...

More evidence that pretty people are happier. Or happier people are prettier. Whichever.

Did my relative ugliness caused the divorce (seems unlikely, but there it is), or did stress cause me to be more homely, or are uglier folks who can't stay married destined to have ugly kids and be divorced?

Causation, correlation,
there's no changing your human station.
A sandwich and beer would cure these ills if only boys and girls were bars and grills.

Dave said...

Neither of the women seem especially attractive to me.

StrangerInTheseParts said...

The 'results' of the study seem to simply say that bad marriages make you less attractive.

If your parents divorce, the bad marriage is cut short, and you're only a little uglier.

If they stay together long enough, you end up like Ernest Borgnine.


(I think these correlations are such bunk anyway. What a tiny sample. And they were all psych students. Just to point out a few of the limitations.)

Seven Machos said...

If you are a psychology student, you are more likely to be ugly, especially if you are type who participates in studies.

MadisonMan said...

Those pictures resemble the ones from The Dominant Face and the Submissive Face post back in April. Well, except that they're female.

Simon said...

I tend to think it abundantly clear that judgements as to the attractiveness of a female are per se suspect, being too subjective to be conclusive. Their findings could be taken more seriously if they confined their comments to a conclusion that upbringing can affect one's looks.

SippicanCottage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Simon said...

"Maybe the parents are having marital problems because the daughter is homely and not the other way around."

I've never fully understood how "homely" developed from meaning "[o]f a simple or unpretentious nature; plain[;] [c]haracteristic of the home or of home life" into a pejorative description of a woman's looks. One presumes that it was by way of being used to contrast those characteristics with the "refinement" and "elegance" of big city women, who I suppose might tenuously have been considered attractive at some point, but the term has lost all meaning in an age where Paris Hilton is considered attractive.

Hence, I think the continued use of the term to convey its bastardized meaning rather than its more natural meaning has essentially run its course. If homely means "Of a simple or unpretentious nature", it becomes readily apparent that the alternative is of a cynical and pretentious nature. Who's more attractive, the consummate urbanite cynic Tina Fey, or any gal from rural Iowa? It isn't Fey, IMO.

Dave said...

Simon you're too serious. Ligten up!

Cynicism is just a form of humor.

And yeah, I wouldn't kick Tina Fey out of bed.

A girl from Iowa? I'd have to see how she looks, before I could tell you if she was attractive.

Seven Machos said...

Simon: I was going to tell you to lighten up but Dave did it for me.

And, Dave: Iowa women are hot.

Jennifer said...

Simon: You're not understanding how plain can mean not pretty?

Simon said...

Jennifer said...
"Simon: You're not understanding how plain can mean not pretty?"

Not in the context of the other definitions. If I understand it correctly, what the definition is trying to get at without saying is that "homely" is used to distinguish from "sophisticated". That is, the farm girl is "homely" and the city girl is "sophisticated". Even if plain can't be pretty, when conjoined with other desirable attributes plain can be beautiful. See, e.g., Jewel Staite's character Kaylee in Firefly. The homely Kaylee is sure a lot better a prospect than the icily sophisticated Inara.

Dave -
There's that line in Miss Congenialigy where Michael Caine upbraids Sandra Bullock as being nothing more than sarcasm with a gun. Fey doesn't even have a gun! Still, I'm a sucker for nerdy, and she's passably nerdy in the Weekend Update costume, but she's quite the arch liberal, and d'you really want to get it on with someone with her politics? Kinky...

altoids1306 said...

Wow, more bad science. Assuming their data is correctly gathered, one other possibility is that attractive females may be more likely to stay in stable, happy marriages (true? false?), and since the daughters of these women tend to be more attractive, daughters of stable, happy marriages might be more attractive.

On the other hand, if the study's interpretation is correct, that means there are physiological reactions to family break-up: accelerated time to sexual maturity, and more masculine traits (for self-protection?).

Here's the politically-incorrect study I dare some psychologist to do...see if these physical reactions are also present in the daughters of same-sex couples, cohabitating couples, polygamous groups, and single-parent-with-grandparent families.

Dave said...

Simon: A woman's politics has nothing to do with whether I find her attractive.

What do I care if Fey is a liberal? (And how do you know I'm not a liberal?)

Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today?

MadisonMan said...

and since the daughters of these [attractive] women tend to be more attractive, daughters of stable, happy marriages might be more attractive.

Don't the looks of the father matter?

Simon said...

"Did you get up on the wrong side of the bed today?"

Actually, I've got a head cold, so I feel like clawing my face off at the moment...I hate being sick, and I'll do anything to prove to myself that I'm not, in fact, sick, which includes being far more active (although not as lucid) than I'd normally be. Blahh.

Because politics is so intimately tied to worldview, I think politics does bear on how attractive someone is - or at least, in what way they are attractive: as mentioned before, I think Janeane Garofalo is attractive, but that's not a healthy, pure sort of attraction by any means.

Bissage said...

Frankly, I see an upside to all this bad news.

Dave said...

Janeane Garofalo attractive?

Wow.

Freeman Hunt said...

If they think the cause might be testosterone, wouldn't it work in reverse for sons?

Break up your parents and increase your rugged good looks.

Aspasia M. said...

I would love to see the grant application for this study. Hoo boy.

I think Tina Fey is pretty.

And I'm a heterosexual liberal woman who lives in Iowa. (oddly enough) Iowa actually isn't that conservative. People are pretty a-political and moderate here.

Aspasia M. said...

Simon,

I hope you feel better! Maybe take some allegraD and some hot soup?

Jennifer said...

Awww, Simon. Remember, alcohol kills germs. Get drunk and feel better. :)

Simon said...

Geoduck - thanks! I'm bingeing on Advil Cold & Sinus. For some reason, my beloved dayquil has fallen flat against this challenge.

Re Iowa - I think it's perhaps the difference between the western form of conservatism, which is more moderate and libertarian, than the southern form of conservatism, which is more puritan and traditionalist, the latter being more in the ascendancy today? More than anything today, the GOP needs a stronger showing for the western variety, from whence sprung Reagan.

Dave - I know, weird isn't it. I'm as surprised as you are. Actually, that's almost as weird as McPhee tickling my fancy, since she's got to be a good decade younger than my usual cutoff point.

Simon said...

Jennifer - I think that only works externally. ;) Perhaps a hot toddy later, though.

Jennifer said...

You might be right, Simon. But, at the very least, you'll care less about the cold.

Meade said...

Getting back on topic, Simon's head cold no doubt correlates to his high levels of the manly hormone, testosterone. From a related BBC article on yet another incisive scientific study... The hormone suppresses the body's defence system, so the theory is that those men who have strong masculine characteristics must be in good health in order to withstand testosterone's effect on their immune system.

Therefore, I think it's safe to theoretically conclude that a.) Simon grew up in an intact home and is not the child of divorce and b.) Simon is not a girl. Or c.) Simon is not, relatively speaking, a very pretty girl whose parents, sadly enough, weren't quite able to keep their marriage together, logically due to Simon being short on looks and/or her dependency on over-the-counter medication.

Science, folks.

Aspasia M. said...

Maybe a hot shower would help. Mr. Geo had a very bad cold & cough; it seems to be going around. There's a pill he got from the doctor to help the cough - benz...something or other. It helped a bit.

It's a bit cold, but I like the people in Iowa. People are pretty relaxed and friendly here.

Bruce Hayden said...

I would think that the theory that there would be a conflict between the assertion that the divorced girls may have a higher level of testerone and their going through puberty earlier, esp. as there is some evidence that drinking milk with (obviously female) hormones (used to increase milk production) also decreases the age of puberty in girls.

So, is it a higher level of male hormones? Or female hormones that cause earlier puberty in girls?

I think that the "experts" here need to get their stories straight.

Bruce Hayden said...

Another possible reason for this situation is, hypothetically, that part of being "feminine" is learned behavior, and girls learn this by watching their mothers, and trying out their feminine wiles on the nearest men, which often means, their fathers. One of these, usually the father, is missing in most divorces.

reader_iam said...

I will say, there are a lot of TALL women in Iowa. Those who are lookers AND tall are especially impressive.

Physically speaking (I'm short, even by East Coast standards), I find myself more often looking WAAAY up at women than I did East at men.

What's that about?

DH, who at 6-feet seemed tall when we lived East, seems sorta average here.

Obviously, I'm really generalizing here, but I really do find it a marked difference.

reader_iam said...

Btw, my experience has mostly been like Geoduck2, as far as the moderate part goes, and even the a-political part (except I seem to know a lot of people well who are definitely into politics). My specific neighborhood is actually far more diverse, in terms of everything from politics to sexual orientation, than the last one in which I lived on the East Coast (though that's not true of where I lived for years before that.)

As far as the topic: The big difference I see between the two pictures are the eyes, and how much wider they are. I can't recall specifically now, but I could swear there was some sort of story somewhere which correlated this trait with attractiveness.

Ann Althouse said...

Bruce: "Another possible reason for this situation is, hypothetically, that part of being "feminine" is learned behavior, and girls learn this by watching their mothers, and trying out their feminine wiles on the nearest men, which often means, their fathers. One of these, usually the father, is missing in most divorces."

That's an interesting theory but it's got nothing to do with the particular study, which relied on photographs of faces (without expression).

By the way, the young men and women here in Wisconsin are all good looking.

reader_iam said...

Ann: Channeling Garrison Keillor, are we?

LOL

Aspasia M. said...

I will say, there are a lot of TALL women in Iowa.

I just went to a conference in Montana . They are taller there! In the student cafateria the chairs were so deep I felt like a little kid.

I know people from Scandinavia migrated to MN & some came down to Iowa. I bet a lot ended up in Montana too. Or for some reason a bunch of tall people ended up in that state.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Those two chicks look almost exactly the same! I'd do 'em both. Also, everyone knows that the hottest chicks are the messed-up wack-jobs from broken homes. Without messed-up wack-jobs from broken homes there would be no porn. And then where would we be?

This is a joke, right? Those crazy Brits with their crazy humor. (Or should I say "humour"? Ha! The Brits.)