This Just In: Women Like a Man with Moves


Washington Post Dance GraphicThis just in from the frontiers of evolutionary biology: Women like a man with moves. And not just any moves. Women like a man who can nod his head; twist his torso; and especially, shake a leg. Actually. Shake. A. Leg.  The faster, the better, and the right one specifically. Or so reports Christopher Ingraham in the Washington Post’s Wonkblog.

These are just some of the results of a study by anthropologists, sociobiologists, and life scientists at Northumbria University, United Kingdom, and the University of Gottinghem, Germany.

The researchers wired-up nineteen men with motion sensors, asked them to dance for 30 seconds to a steady drum beat, filmed them from 12 camera angles, and converted their performances into animations featuring blank-faced, empty-crotched, naked blue avatars.

The idea was to strip the guys of any looks, cues, or socioeconomic clues–like clothing and a, um, package–that might distract female subjects from men’s actual motions. The women viewed the resulting animations and rated the dancing dummies on a standard seven-point scale from “extremely bad dancer” to “extremely good dancer.” The results were statistically sliced and diced to determine what women really want.

I could have saved  them the trouble. Even on close reading, it seems that the researchers have proven that the human female is generally attracted to a human male who can move his neck, bend over, and kick his right leg.  The dancers and subjects in the study were between the ages of 18 and 35. I can’t help but wonder just how much more excited women in my age group would have been to find an avatar who could do all of the above without having to make an urgent appointment with an orthopedist. Forget the questionnaire. Just check off “extremely good dancer” all around. He’s breathing, isn’t he?

Just kidding. Honestly, do these Darwinians actually believe that you can compartmentalize sex appeal into such minute and finite factors? Anyone who has ever been in love–and certainly anyone who has ever been happily married–knows that you take the good with the bad and the awkward with the breathtakingly graceful. That’s what separates the women from the girls and the men from the avatars.

I’d love to know what you think. Do hips lie? Do arms matter? And can scientists and social scientists really figure love out? Click on Leave a Reply below.

2 thoughts on “This Just In: Women Like a Man with Moves

    1. Charlotte Post author

      I’m with you, Girlfriend. Best I could tell, the researchers equated “hips” with “torso” too. Huh? Maybe they do things differently over in England and Germany?


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