a new study by a team at the university of alberta suggests that parents unconsciously neglect unattractive children. the team followed 426 parents with their children through a supermarket for 10 minute periods (isn't that kind of creepy?), and they recorded how often the child was buckled into the trolley, and also how often the child wandered off more than 10 feet from their parents. the children were rated on a 10 point scale of attactiveness. they found that only 1.2% of the less attractive children were buckled in, compared with 13.3% of the most attractive.
most people were "upset that attractiveness would be a factor - they certainly don't think it is." when you give parents a questionaire, of course they say that they love their children equally, but the harsh reality is much different. if you're socially unattractive, your parents are more likely to value you less, and you're more likely to die, get kidnapped, get abducted by aliens, develop self-esteem issues, etc. the scientists of course consider it a darwinian thing, and not a social difference, which i don't think is exactly clear. this implies that attractiveness is objective and linked directly to health, transcending social trends, which isn't necessarily true.
dr nick barlow of the british psychological society, notes "this is a dangerous report because people talk about designer babies. if we're not careful, scientists will be looking out genes for high cheekbones or blue eyes." and what movie is this just like? gattaca. just like every other genetics article these days.
full article at bbc news
Friday, May 06, 2005
Posted by Jim at 4:40 PM