Talk:Sexy son hypothesis

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Origin of name[edit]

Where does the term "sexy son" come from? The article as it stands makes no reference to it, and seems more to do with female mate choice than anything to do with the attractiveness of male children. (talk) 18:12, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

Presumably coined in the original paper, though I haven't read it myself. Mate choice has everything to do with attractiveness of children if you think about it. Richard001 (talk) 09:30, 2 May 2008 (UTC)


i believe this article needs to be redone. Since the term sexy son hypothesis is based off the fact that:

there are two brothers and the female mate choose the sexy son over the caregive son. And the last part states pretty much that the infidelity leads the genetics of the sexy son to be passed on and raised by the caregiver. HOwever, in the paper there is NEVER a mention of the caregive son, but just another person. Per —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:44, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Sexy sons in humans[edit]

I have removed the reference to human mate choice from the article. I am not averse to the application of sexy sons to humans, but the particular example given here - of the female ovulatory preference shift for masculine men - is not appropriate. The preference shift is currently best understood using the "good genes" hypothesis (women 'want' the genes of masculine men for their offspring). It was also incorrect to state that the methodology of preference shift studies is criticised, and then reference a BBC news article from 1999. Any criticism should (1) come from the peer reviewed literature, and (2) be up-to-date. That news story referred to a novel finding in 1999, but preference shifts have since been shown in many studies using many different methodologies.

JacarandaPanda (talk) 14:13, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

"The idea is that if females choose "attractive" males, they will get "attractive" sons..."[edit]

I don't get it, so females want to have a sexy son so that the next generation females choose it for mating. This makes a lot of sense but why would females in general want a sexy mate anyway.Sinekonata (talk) 12:36, 6 November 2009 (UTC)

"why would females in general want a sexy mate" Because "sexy" is synonymous with "attractive", they are attracted to sexyness and what´s considered sexy is determined by our evolutionary psychology, as well as a certain degree of social conditioning. (talk) 18:15, 17 December 2009 (UTC) To some extent, your question is complicated (and of course not really something that can be answered here, not that any questions are really intended to be answered on the RD). You're right, at a simple level, if you say females choose sexy sons because they more likely to have sexy sons and other females will choose these sexy sons, all you end up with is a sort of tautology or circular argument, or closed loop which is clearly unsatisfactory. This is of course a common problem with a simple view of sexual selection and the article gives some explainations for why it isn't so simple. For example, one common hypothesis there is that traits which make a sexy son indicate fertility so are selected for which is then reenforced by this loop. In this case, a fairly obvious thing is that everything else being equal in particular including female mate choice, the male who has sex with more mates rather then hanging around to look after his progeny is going to have more children (the male who stick around children may of course be more successful on average) Nil Einne (talk) 10:43, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

  • I saw interesting behavior in women. A girl may be paying no attention on a man until she sees another girl interested in that man. Once she sees other women showing interest in that man she herself becomes interested. I think this is perfectly explained by this theory. I saw no such behavior in men (at least to the same extent). I also notices that girls frequently have sex in pairs with the same man and even require the man to have sex with her friend as a pre-condition for having sex with herself. Also I notuiced that whenever my girlfriend invites her friends home, they all want to have sex with me even those whom I would have no hope to fuck if I was alone, even if I paid good money and made great efforts.--MathFacts (talk) 00:00, 16 May 2010 (UTC)


It should be mentioned that the theory is invalid for the following reasons:
1. The theory is inconsistent with the sexual conflict that is empirically observable in many species.
2. Heredity: In order for such a preference to develop, the trait that produces it must be passed on. This can only then be the case if the offspring is female. Therefore the trait does not profit from a "sexy son".
3. Having a son that is sexually attractive to other competing females is not in the best interest of the distinctive genes of the mother since in the long term it is the genes of other competing females that benefit from her son's success.
Seeing as I'm not a native english speaker, somebody more articulate than myself should edit the criticism and add it to the article. Ppaulson (talk) 21:48, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

1. And certain species are hermaphroditic; how does this invalidate our sexual reproduction?
2. That is not how heredity works. You can inherit traits from both your parents. Additionally, the two genders of a sexually reproductive species do not evolve in isolation. Do you think the penis and vagina evolved independently, and just happen to fit together?
3. tl;dr

4. the masculinity during cycle preference has been discredited by a pioneer of the research, Christine r. harris — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:21, 4 April 2013 (UTC)

Feminine Wikilink[edit]

RichardWeiss, regarding this edit, how is the feminine link inappropriate?

On a side note: I just noticed that you changed your username from SqueakBox. Flyer22 (talk) 00:27, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

Indeed I have changed my username, Flyer, and I would happily share with YOU the reasons why but off wikipedia. I actually think it is the description of a feminized man that I find inappropriate, nott he link, I was trying to reduce the impact by removing the link. I have changed to less testosterone exposed. This kind of editing happens when I try to translate the text into Spanish, you might say it exposes where improvements can be made. ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 00:37, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
RichardWeiss (SqueakBox), the name change matter is a bit confusing at the moment because your signature is still using your previous username. So now I'm not sure what I should call you on Wikipedia. I'd already known your name is Richard Weiss, though, because you'd already made that clear on your user page.
As for changing the text to "less testosterone exposed," I don't see how that is better or appropriate. The source for "feminine" in the article is currently a WP:Dead link. This link is a copy of the source, and the source states "During the less fertile times, they choose men with more feminine-looking faces. These are seen as kinder and more co-operative, but less strong and healthy genetically." So it seems that we should go with "men with more feminine-looking faces" instead of "feminine men." We should certainly go with "men with more feminine-looking faces" instead of "less testosterone exposed men." Men can indeed be feminine, as made clear in the Femininity article. And they can indeed have feminine-looking faces, as indicated in the Feminization (biology) article. Flyer22 (talk) 01:13, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
I struck part of my post above because that link is not a WP:Dead link. Flyer22 (talk) 01:30, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
Yikes, well spotted re the signature. I'll go and fix it and come back. ♫ SqueakBox talk contribs 17:34, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
Feminine "faces" sounds both more credible than what was there and also follows the ref. I'll definitely go with that. ♫ RichardWeiss talk contribs 17:42, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
And Feminization (biology) sounds like the article to link to as well, very much so IMO. I'll edit shortly. ♫ RichardWeiss talk contribs 17:45, 18 September 2015 (UTC)
That's better. I'd usually cite WP:EGG when it comes to that type of linking, but the link in this case, even though not going to the Femininity article, is best. Readers shouldn't be too surprised by that link. Flyer22 (talk) 18:19, 18 September 2015 (UTC)