Monday, April 26, 2010
Thanks Nury Vittachi
For a few days once a month, women prefer funny guys to rich, handsome ones, scientists have discovered. Wit counts more than security – but only briefly.
Scientists at the University of California showed 41 women pictures of two types of men, a creative but penniless group, and a wealthy, successful group. Who would you date?
If they were asked when they were ovulating, the women preferred the cheeky-but-poor guys.
I often complain about scientists wasting public money, but in this instance, this is a study so important that it should instantly be given the entire research budget of every university on earth.
Why do women like witty guys during their fertile period? Christine Nicholson, contributing editor of Scientific American, explained in a commentary: "Humour is a sign of creativity and intelligence and, hence, an indicator of high-quality genes."
Another finding: men and women both list "sense of humour" in their list of essential characteristics for the perfect date. But they mean opposite things.
Women mean: "I want a guy who makes me laugh."
Men mean: "I want a woman who laughs at my jokes."
Of course, it all made sense. I showed this to Sandy Gandhi, a female comedian who is cute and funny but complains about not getting dates.
"So, that’s why I’m still single," she sighed. Guys weren’t charmed by her humour because they were waiting for her to be charmed by theirs.
"All the men I’ve gone out with had that certain something, which I call the X factor," she grumbled. "Every one of them became quickly an ‘ex’."
I told her the scientific reason: women are the choosier sex. So the guy has to show off his brains, while women naturally take the role of judging panel.
This also resonated with Sandy. She said that a girlfriend once told her: "There are only three words to describe a woman of your beauty and talent who is still single: picky, picky, picky."
Anyway, these scientific discoveries are interesting, but tough to apply.
I mean, how do you find out if a woman is ovulating when you haven’t even got to the dating part yet? Can you just slide it into the conversation and hope she doesn’t think you’re weird?
"Hi, what’s your name? Are you an ovulating Scorpio by any chance?"
It would be better if one could make a general announcement at the nightclub. "Calling all ladies who are in the fertile part of their monthly cycle – kindly line up next to the guys who are poor and ugly but kind of funny."
The day after I read about this study, I got an invitation to speak to a women’s group. I was a bit wary about speaking to an all-female audience. But who knows, they might like me.
"May I ask a question? Will they be ovulating?" I asked.
There was a long pause. The agent asked: "I don’t know. Is that an issue?" I told him that it might be.
He said that he would contact the event organiser and see if he could find out. He never called back.
I’m guessing members of the audience were in the wrong part of the cycle. Phew, I had a narrow escape.