Monday, September 7, 2009

The Science Behind "The Way to Hook the Ladies"

The August 29th, 2009 edition of The Economist had a short, less then two column, blue back grounded article in their Science and Technology section entitled "Mr Muscle." This article explored one possible reason for sexual selection in humans and "the price and privilege of beefcake."

Starting off the article reads: "Why are men's muscles so much bigger than women's?"  And then proceeds to jump right into the evolutionary process and historical acceptance that all men are fighters and hunters, and we need to chase after big animals and then wrestle them down to the ground!  [OK, the last notion was added by me.]

But, maybe more importantly, "women like men who can do these things well, and thus are attracted to muscular men."  Hence why last week I decided to take a look at the Ballard LA Fitness, Signature Gym.

What I really found out was that "Signature Gym" mean a $150 initiation fee followed by a $55 (discount rate b/c I "work at Seattle Children's Hospital") monthly fee.  This does get me "all states, all gyms" access, body lotion in the men's shower area, and free towels at the gym.  However, as Cat pointed out to me last week over dinner, "The towel bins are always empty in the evening."  Sad. :-(

Back to the article.  "Resources get piled into [muscles], almost regardless of the consequences," and further goes on to state that "the more muscular a man, the more sexual partners he reported."  And offered up a humorous (hopefully) answer to the increase in number of life time and past year sexual partners, that "muscular men [are able] to intimidate 97 lb weaklings."

Overall the trade off for increasing the number of sexual partners comes at a price of a man's immune system which is "less effective than those of women (which was known before), and become[s] worse the more muscular the men are (which was not [known])."

Thankfully, "modern medicine... means the hulk's weakened immune system is less likely to expose him to lethal infection."

Thank goodness! Now I can safely check out the UW Intramural Gym this coming week!

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex

BTW, did I mention the article had a photo of shirtless man fishing with the tag line "The way to hook the ladies?"

Thanks for reading,

Dr. Alex


  1. Consider this: I heard of an older man, former body-builder now aging, who regretfully has moobs (that's male + boobs = moobs). Yikes - watch that muscle-making routine! AND thanks for posting on my blog:).

  2. Oh, I'm not looking to need extra clothing to support my body as I age!

    I've always been in favor of looking "toned" rather then "muscular." My friend Neil, from medical school, has always tried to get me to lift in addition to running, in order help burn more calories while at rest. A pound of muscle burns more calories then a pound a fat.

    Cramer may have been onto something with the bro idea. If only he had marketed it correctly. :-)