Scientist: Love means never having to say "you're a loser"

I like Tammy Bruce. I like her show, like her blog, like the whole vibe. But she linked approvingly to this the other day, and my friends, I must tell you: it is pure shinola.

If you want to dazzle the big A, you’ve got to do better than anecdotal bilge torn from the pages of Particularly when it’s bilge designed to make women think we’re paying closer attention than we really are. To impress the Allah, you gots to do it up science-like — the more cynical, the better.


The George Clooneys and Angelina Jolies of the world are sex symbols for predictable biological reasons.

Of course, we don’t all fall in love with super-mates like these. An average person who did would be headed nowhere, because super-mates are inaccessible to all but a few. This is likely part of the reason why love evolved: to bond us for cooperative child-rearing, but also to assist us in choosing, so that we don’t waste time and energy falling for someone who is unattainable. Instead, people tend to fall for others who, on attractiveness, intelligence and status, are of a similar “ranking” to themselves.

So love is sort of like an especially tangy condiment: pour enough of it on crap and you might be able to swallow the result. But wait, she’s not done:

For scientists, love is a conundrum: Strictly speaking, sexual desire takes care of reproduction, so what could be the purpose of love, especially since it makes us believe we have found our one true “soulmate” in a world filled with billions of alternatives. How would our ancestors have been served by such behavior? One possibility is that feelings of love act as a “stop rule” that terminates our search for a mate, even if only temporarily, so we commit to one person and get on with the business of mating.

They’ve actually got mathematical models for this. According to the article, the optimum ratio is 9%, i.e., given a choice of 100 possible mates, the most efficient use of your time is to choose among the first nine you encounter. More than that and you risk passing on a good match, less than that and you risk choosing crap so pungent the scent can’t be masked by even the zestiest romantic spices.

The analogy to smell isn’t idle. The author explains how odor is key to sexual chemistry, and how women on the pill can actually have their olfactory matchmaker thrown out of whack. She also confirms something I’d read before about how women prefer different types of men at different times of the, er, month, with alpha males most favored during ovulation (not surprising) and little neutered sissy-boy betas the brand of choice otherwise. Read the whole thing. It’s fascinating from start to finish.

It wouldn’t really be an Allah post without a lot of superfluous links that no one will click anyway, so here’s a little garnish for your entree. In the UK, beta males have never been so affordable, although they’re still too expensive for some ladies. Opinion Journal tells America it’s time to make the babies, but they should really direct their advice at Japan, where the birthrate in Tokyo has fallen to 0.98. And finally, sex in the age of mass media: wrecking relationships in Australia, but strengthening them in Iraq? “No man should ever look directly at his wife’s private parts, she counsels, or his son will be born blind. Nor should he read the Koran during sexual congress, as this would most likely see both man and wife smitten in their beds by hellfire.”

Me, I blame Bush.