Will the Anthony Weiner scandal dissuade women from picking attractive husbands?
The Anthony Weiner scandal might be generating headlines, but plenty of readers are complaining that his sleazy behavior doesn't constitute daily news coverage. "Of course he acted like a slimeball, he's a politician," they grumble. Fair enough, but Huffington Post writer Vicki Larson has a different idea: Anthony Weiner strayed because he's too handsome for marriage, and science says that hotties are not to be trusted with monogamy. Weinergate: 5 Ways To Avoid Being A "Weiner" In Your Relationship
We know what you're thinking: Anthony Weiner, a hottie? Really? He's no Brad Pitt, but the man's tall, has a full head of hair, and is physically fit. He was even selected as a Cosmopolitan eligible bachelor back in 1996. He was a prime candidate for romance, and being married didn't change that. Do Democrats Have More Sex Scandals Than Republicans?
To account for the couple's current disatissfaction, Larson cites research from the Journal of Family Psychology claiming that couples are happier when the woman is more physically attractive than the man. Empirical data shows that good-looking men have more extramartial affairs than their average-looking counterparts, which suggests that hot guys make for better lovers than husbands. This behavior goes back to our primitive roots. Women tend to seek out handsome men for their genes, but a man optimizes his reproductive success by either playing the field or by committing to his partner (and thus, their offspring) in the long-term. If a man's mating strategy depends on which women will sleep with him, it follows that a guy who can attract scores of women will go the cad route, while a less attractive person will rejoice that a pretty woman even committed to him in the first place. Over the years, women have recognized that less attractive men are more loyal, so they sleep with the hot guys but marry the nice ones—hence the abundance of "OK-looking man, hot woman" couples. Women who act otherwise risk the misery of clinging onto a man who's constantly on the prowl, according to Larson. Rep. Weiner: Why Are Men So Stupid?
This theory makes sense if you consider the number of attractive men who have strayed over the years. Just last month, ex-governor and Mr. Universe Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed that he bore a love child while married to Maria Shriver. The problem with this theory, as it applies to Weiner and his wife, is that Huma Abedin is beautiful. She's at least as attractive, if not more attractive, than her husband. Secondly, the research Larson uses comes from none other than Satoshi Kanazawa, the evolutionary psychologist who notoriously claimed that black women are less physically attractive than other women. His personal website also contains the instruction "prepare to be offended." The controversy of his studies outshines their credibility, so using them as a means to evaluate Weiner's actions seems misguided.
Additionally, physical beauty is not the best litmus test for fidelity, as there are plenty of men who have cheated on their comparatively attractive wives. Jesse James cheated on Sandra Bullock. Prince Charles cheated on Princess Diana. And who can forget how Tiger Woods strayed from the gorgeous Elin Nordegren? Although Weiner's paramours dropped compliments about his "cute" and "hot" appearance, their tawdry conversations included lines about his liberal beliefs and passion for politics. He's not a bad-looking guy, but clearly, his intelligence (pre-Twitter fiasco), talents, and political power add a dimension to his appeal that are inapplicable to studies conducted on physical attractiveness alone. You can't blame an accomplished woman like Huma Abedin for aiming high when it comes to picking husbands, but you can blame a good-looking guy for falling short of his commitment to marriage.
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