Tuesday, May 03, 2005

"Irv, we were never in aisle seven!"

When I was a child, I remember trips to the supermarket as kind of a hedonistic, spring break-style rampage, but with more jicama. If I wasn't riding in the cart (always standing up in the front, never in the seat), I was out running around and wreaking havoc like the Butler kids and trying to sneak that extra box of pudding pops into the cart, under the produce. My parents were never particularly laissez-faire about other aspects of my upbringing, so I used to wonder why I had such free rein at Rego's.

Thanks to some Canadian scientists, We now may surmise that I was an ugly kid. How else to explain it? I'm not a scientist, and to be honest, not even that smart. But I do have my doubts about this:

They also rated each child's physical attractiveness on a 10-point scale.

A 10-point scale of attractiveness.

Cole Slaw Blog is suddenly very skeptical of a scientific study based on such a thing. When were these children rated? As they came in the door, before parents let them roam free (or not)? Or later, after they'd been observed gamboling through the dairy section?

Of course, there are arguments to be made for the scientists' theory. It doesn't surprise me that one might reasonably expect parents to be more protective of attractive children, as they would quite literally be seeing the best of themselves in the attractive children.

Also, it's conceivable that the parents of upper-class male children might feel they have more invested in a male heir. I was informed by my grandfather (an upper-class male if ever there was one) that, as his only grandson, I "had to carry on the [Flop] name." A serious trip to lay on a seven-year old, to be sure.

But this is just speculation. And I remain skeptical (especially of the methodology), although open to further discussion. After all, I was a fan of Desmond Morris' books and documentary series "The Human Animal" in high school.

(For my co-blogger: Morris also writes about kitties.)

Addendum from CrimeNotes: Flop may be skeptical, but as an avid reader of sociobiology (no joke) I am not. Cynical, but it makes perfect sense that parents invest more in an heir they see as more genetically marketable. Parents freak out about sex, but in the end, it's all about getting their kids laid a few years down the road, preferably to someone smart, rich, and hot.

1 comment:

Dr. Monkey said...

I released a torrent with all the Human Animal episodes on torrentspy a few weeks ago, it's still active:
Human Animal