Pharyngula

Sexiest man living?

After South Park made such a botch of its portrayal, this might be some vindication: Salon names Richard Dawkins as one of the sexiest men living. It’s a bit gushy, I’m afraid.

Wonder is sexy. Knowledge is sexy. And embodying both as much as any man in the world today is a man in a tweed jacket riding his bike around the Oxford University campuses, the damp English breeze sweeping a curtain of silver hair from the delicate bones of his face. Yes, those cheekbones, those piercing eyes, that pursed bow of a mouth — but that brain, oh that brain, oh, god, that brain — is what makes Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist and the most famous atheist in the world, the sexiest man around.

Dawkins is the professor I never had an affair with, whose very sentence structure threatens to weaken my concentration on the content of his words. Call me deluded: I ache for his atheism; I reel from his reasoning. He is my James Bond, a well-attired, fearless seeker of truth in the face of nihilism. And yet, for all his pedigree, he enthusiastically appeared this fall on “South Park” to spread the gospel of science, his dashing cartoon figure covered in the feces of a teacher who scoffs at evolution.* While scatology isn’t my thing, straddling the highest of the ivory highbrow with the glorious lowest of the low: Now that’s sexy.

I dream of his perfectly-accented voice — Oxbridge softened by a childhood spent in, sigh, East Africa — whispering to me from his latest book, “The God Delusion,” a defense of endless curiosity in the face of omnipresent theism. “If the demise of god will leave a gap, different people will fill it in different ways. My way includes a good dose of science, the honest and systematic endeavor to find out the truth about the real world.” Take me with you, Richard: You put the “sex” in sexagenarian. Let us clinch in a godless embrace, crying out to what we know does not exist, searching, searching evermore.

Personally, he’s not my type…but still, it’s good to see an atheist and a scientist described in such flattering terms.

*The article is incorrect to assume that Dawkins had anything at all to do with that South Park episode, though.

Comments

  1. #1 junk science
    November 17, 2006

    After South Park made such a botch of it’s portrayal, this might be some vindication

    I can’t imagine something like this embarrassing me any less, but maybe Dawkins has a bigger ego than I do.

    I do have a mild Rupert Giles crush on him, though.

  2. #2 Kristine
    November 17, 2006

    Somebody else said it, so I guess I can go ahead and make a fool of myself!

    Yes, those cheekbones, those piercing eyes, that pursed bow of a mouth…Call me deluded: I ache for his atheism; I reel from his reasoning…I dream of his perfectly-accented voice…”

    I don’t think it’s too gushy!

    *Swoons*

    But: “but that brain, oh that brain, oh, god, that brain…” Oh what, that brain? Gotta find another expression…

  3. #3 Ichthyic
    November 17, 2006

    I do have a mild Rupert Giles crush on him, though.

    meh, tend to hero worship evolutionary biologists who actually spend more time working out in the field, myself.

  4. #4 Zeno
    November 17, 2006

    Isaac Asimov celebrated the sexiness of intelligence in one of his TV Guide essays back in April 1967. He based his comments on his young daughter’s fascination with Star Trek‘s Mr. Spock. When he asked her why she liked Spock so much, she replied, “He’s so smart!” Asimov then took “smart is sexy” as the theme of his article (naturally pointing out that this new discovery implied that he was therefore sexy, too).

    For some reason, this theme has not had a lot of staying power.

  5. #5 Dan
    November 17, 2006

    Having just finished The Ancestor’s Tale this morning, I also find myself with a bit of a man-crush on Sir Richard.

    Smart is sexy, no matter what the Homo troglodytes tribespeople say or do.

  6. #6 junk science
    November 17, 2006

    I also find myself with a bit of a man-crush on Sir Richard.

    Pardon my sexist objectification, but that’s hott.

    I don’t know if it’s the intelligence that gets me so much as the indignant bafflement at stupid people. I feel you, Professor, I really do.

  7. #7 octopod
    November 17, 2006

    Slightly embarrassed, I must agree with all of this. Especially this: “Dawkins is the professor I never had an affair with, whose very sentence structure threatens to weaken my concentration on the content of his words.”

    And now I feel like the worst sort of really sketchy fangirl. Bah.

  8. #8 Victoria Fox
    November 17, 2006

    Wll cn’t rsst cmmntng n vry blg tht ctchs my y. k my nswr n sxy mn s mbrrssng. :)

    thnk tht Sn Cnnry, Krs Krstfrsn, Nck Nlt, Ptrck Swyz, ntn Bndrs, Th mn h plyd Fx Mldr n X-fls, Th mn wh plys Swyr n Lst, th mn wh plyd Mr. k nd th mn wh plys tht rb n lst r sxy. h nd whvr t s tht plys Hnk Mccy .K. Th Bst n th Thrd X-Mn s sxy.

    Th rsn thnk Sn, Krs nd Nck r sxy, s bcs f thr prsnlts, th wy thy ct nd thr ntllgnc.

    s fr Swyz nd Bndrs, Th wy thy dnc nd th fct tht lk thr bds. Nw Fx Mldr, lk hs chrctr nd hs hr.

    Nw Swyr, Mr. k nd th rb, thr jst flt sxy, n dbt bt t.

    Nw Hnk Mccy, lk hs tttd nd th wy h’s blt, h s sxy.

    Wll nw tht y knw my nswrs, g hd nd lgh.

    h nd frgt t mntn, Thdr Rsvlt, Chrls Drwn, D Vnc, lng wth mny thrs tht wldtk m frvr t nm ff. thnk thr sxy, bcs f th mn thy wr, thr prsnlts nd th mrks thy md n hstry.

    Prsnnlly dn’t cr wht mn lks lk. Wht ttrcts m t mn, s hs prsnlty, hs ntllgnc nd th fct tht h cn hld p hs nd f cnvrstn. Y cn ht rt, bks, hstry nd nythng ls thts ntllctlly stmltng. lk mn fr wh h s.

  9. #9 apostrophe cop
    November 17, 2006

    It’s more effective when a reference to a “botched portrayal” gets its punctuation right in the first sentence, innit?

    Love ya, PZ– and happy holidays!

  10. #10 G. Tingey
    November 17, 2006

    Ellen Terry: “Oh, Mr Shaw, imagine if we had an affair, and our child had your brains and my looks!”
    GBS: “Yes, but suppose it had YOUR brains and my looks.”

  11. #11 Peter
    November 17, 2006

    meh, tend to hero worship evolutionary biologists who actually spend more time working out in the field, myself.

    There’s plenty of scientists working out in the field. Far too few contributing to the public understanding of science.

  12. #12 Cairnarvon
    November 17, 2006

    I’d certainly hit it.

    It’s a shame Darwin himself was such an ugly man.

  13. #13 DrFrank
    November 17, 2006

    Having seen the Dawkins South Park episode I personally don’t think that it was that insulting to Dawkins at all. His position was portrayed with about as much accuracy as you could expect from comedians who can’t be bothered to do much research.

    He was certainly portrayed in a much more friendly fashion than either Paris Hilton or Mel Gibson.

    Also, for all the ladies, I shook hands with the man himself just this Tuesday in Oxford ;) I was going to try and make him dedicate my book to the “Allied Atheists Alliance” but he wasn’t doing any dedications, unfortunately.

  14. #14 Linda
    November 17, 2006

    I have to agree. Intelligence is very sexy. Prof Dawkins is definitely “crush” material. I wonder if it’s just my ovaries trying to get an evolutionary advantage for their contents. :-) Please forgive me.

  15. #15 Randy
    November 17, 2006

    Oh yeah? Well I’ve had a crush on his wife for oh…25 years or so. Ok sure, she might not be Romana any more but she was the best companion to the Dr. ever.

  16. #16 Confluence
    November 17, 2006

    Hey, Darwin wasn’t ugly!

    OK, so he was balding and had a bit of a unibrow, but he was kinda cute.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Charles_Darwin_by_G._Richmond.jpg

  17. #17 Molly, NYC
    November 17, 2006

    While conceding Dawkins’ general babeliciousness, I’m still waiting for the “sexiest women” list that features someone of that age.

  18. #18 SEF
    November 17, 2006

    Richard Dawkins’ reward is Lalla Ward and Lalla’s is Richard. Sometimes the nice guys (and gals) actually do win – showing that it pays (ie more than in the usual ways, eg being its own reward) to be one of those “dangerous” intellectual types of which the backwards caveman types are so scared and resentful.

  19. #19 PZ Myers
    November 17, 2006

    I can think of lots of women in science that I’d put on such a sexiest women list, but there’s a catch: making such a list would be interpreted as judging them on their appearance, and I think most women have had enough of that. It’s another symptom of the patriarchy, but at least when guys are put on that kind of list, there aren’t a bunch of peers and bosses who will use it to judge him unserious, or accuse him of using his sex appeal to climb to the top.

  20. #20 MissPrism
    November 17, 2006

    Ewww. Ewwwwwww.

  21. #21 MissPrism
    November 17, 2006

    OK, once more with words.

    This squicks me out, and I’m hard-pressed to say why. I think it’s because I feel conflating wonder and fascination at what someone’s teaching you with a sexual attraction for them is a really unhealthy thing.

  22. #22 PZ Myers
    November 17, 2006

    I feel the same way, actually. I met Dawkins, and I assure you that there wasn’t even the slightest spark of sexual chemistry…not that I expected one, or that that is a strike against him.

    And I promise that my students don’t ever feel the frisson of my animal magnetism — I shut it off when I go to work in the morning. I think, actually, I flip it to “repel”.

  23. #23 Warren
    November 17, 2006

    So who’s the guy who wrote the article, anyway?

  24. #24 stogoe
    November 17, 2006

    DrFrank, was the Allied Atheists Alliance the sea otters’ faction?

  25. #25 Anton Mates
    November 17, 2006

    I think it’s because I feel conflating wonder and fascination at what someone’s teaching you with a sexual attraction for them is a really unhealthy thing.

    What, you have a problem with the erotic dimension of pedagogy? Damn repressive liberals!

    I don’t think this case is all that creepy myself–knowledge is sexy, and Dawkins isn’t actually the author’s professor or anything, so there’s no unhealthy power dynamic going on. But no, he doesn’t do much for me. Just doesn’t strike me as all that emotionally aware.

    Now Gould–cuddly Marxist bear of a man–there’s a sex symbol.

  26. #26 Coragyps
    November 17, 2006

    Sexiest men living, huh? The bastards lost my application form again this year!

  27. #27 Rachael
    November 17, 2006

    You know, I’ve been worried that it’s wrong for a 23 year old to be girlie crushing on scientists.

    I mean – shouldn’t I be more interested debating his ideas? Instead, I’d rather gush over how he tries – so charmingly hard – not to smirk everytime he’s about to say something clever. <3 <3

    At least I’m not alone. :)

    Ooo, Dawkins. He’s certainly the sexiest man in my world! (Next to my geekish, software developing, husband of course… and maybe Valentino Braitenberg.)

  28. #28 MissPrism
    November 17, 2006

    I’m not saying knowledge isn’t sexy, Anton. (You should see my boyfriend’s publication list. Fwoar!) And of course, the Salon author’s over-egging it for laughs, so I shouldn’t be taking it so seriously. But the knowledge-for-sex transaction she claims to hanker for creeps me out.

    Perhaps that’s partly because the “days of pawing” ain’t so lost in the mists of time as that article suggests.

  29. #29 RedMolly
    November 17, 2006

    That’s so unfair. Dawkins is MY swooning girlie-crush man! Darn it… I guess I’ll have to content myself with Beck and/or Neil Gaiman after all. No competition there.

  30. #30 Sakurai
    November 17, 2006

    I have to agree that South Park’s portrayal of Dawkins was actually fairly neutral, not especially unflattering (the only thing about it that bothered me is that I think the real Dawkins is smart enough to know a transgendered woman isn’t “really a man”). The depiction of future atheism seemed more like a send-up of ignorant ideas about atheism being a religion in itself (with future people swearing “Science H. Logic” for instance). The end of the episode, in the new timeline which has gotten rid of all “isms”, could be considered a more realistic portrayal of a fact-based world – of course they don’t call themselves atheists (if there are no strong theists, there’s no need to describe yourself that way, just like we don’t bother to call ourselves “abolitionists” or “suffragettes” today), and although they still have war, it’s over a land dispute rather than ideology.
    I doubt this was really what the creators intended, and there was some rather mealy-mouthed stuff about “maybe believing in god makes god exist” injected in, but mostly it goes to show that South Park, for all its claims to be ‘controversial’, really goes to great lengths to avoid taking a firm stand on anything.

  31. #31 Pete K
    November 17, 2006

    Ironic that someone is so eager to share their genes with the guy who introduced us to the very reason why we’re so eager to propagate genes in the first place!(oh, and memes)…

  32. #32 makita
    November 17, 2006

    I have to say, I agree wholeheartedly. There is no greater turn-on than a smart atheist man, almost no matter what he looks like (*blush*). I have this huge crush on a professor. I took his journal club several years in a row, just to hear him talk science. Never did have that affair with him though, I’m worried that he might disappoint me. Also, I’ll never manage to get quite to his level of sophisticated scientific thinking.

  33. #33 llewelly
    November 17, 2006

    This squicks me out, and I’m hard-pressed to say why. I think it’s because I feel conflating wonder and fascination at what someone’s teaching you with a sexual attraction for them is a really unhealthy thing.

    Could this be because the teacher-student relationship is often perceived as an adult-child relationship?

  34. #34 False Prophet
    November 17, 2006

    While conceding Dawkins’ general babeliciousness, I’m still waiting for the “sexiest women” list that features someone of that age.

    Posted by: Molly, NYC | November 17, 2006 08:33 AM

    Dame Judi Dench as “M” in the recent Bond films is trĂ©s hawt! Something about the aura of authority she brings to the character. Definitely the best “M” the series ever had, and I’m quite pleased they kept her for the reset.

    And Julie Christie’s cameo in Troy showed that even into her 60s, she still has sex appeal.

  35. #35 Warren
    November 17, 2006

    Re smart is sexy — yes, it is. It might well explain how it is that we have such a disproportionately large … well, sex organ, so to speak.

  36. #36 octopod
    November 17, 2006

    Huh. Odd, that comment about Gould above: although I fangirl Gould shamelessly, I don’t think I could ever say I had a crush on him. He was super awesome, and were he still living I’d be utterly willing and prepared to jump through any necessary hoops to get him to take me on as a grad student so I could follow him around and try to absorb some of the awesome, but the idea of making eye contact with him doesn’t make me bite my lip as it does with Dawkins.

    I guess I’m…kinda shallow. Oh well, chalk another one up to human frailty.

    And PZ: your post on why you wouldn’t do an analogous column on women was absolutely, elegantly spot-on. So glad to see someone who continues to Get It.

  37. #37 Hoary Pucoon
    November 17, 2006

    I saw Steven Jay Gould speak at the Field Museum in Chicago. He started out nicely dressed in sports coat, slacks and tie. But then, he got hot and took off his jacket– loosened his tie– took off his tie– rolled up his sleeves– He was a very enthusiastic speaker, waving his arms and twisting his body. His shirt came untucked and before long we had an unobstructed view of his belly button. I have to tell you, by the end of his lecture I was a lot less interested in his talk than in how far his strip was going to go.

  38. #38 Hoary Pucoon
    November 17, 2006

    I saw Steven Jay Gould speak at the Field Museum in Chicago. He started out nicely dressed in sports coat, slacks and tie. But then, he got hot and took off his jacket– loosened his tie– took off his tie– rolled up his sleeves– He was a very enthusiastic speaker, waving his arms and twisting his body. His shirt came untucked and before long we had an unobstructed view of his belly button. I have to tell you, by the end of his lecture I was a lot less interested in his talk than in how far his strip was going to go.

  39. #39 brightmoon
    November 17, 2006

    I have to agree. Intelligence is very sexy. Prof Dawkins is definitely “crush” material. ….pz i already got over the crush i had on you ;)

    but if you mention something about development i could revive it …..intelligent men really ARE sexy

  40. #40 Anton Mates
    November 17, 2006

    Darn it… I guess I’ll have to content myself with Beck and/or Neil Gaiman after all. No competition there.

    Except for, in the latter case, practically every literate Goth girl on the planet. And they can kick pretty hard.

  41. #41 Victoria Fox
    November 17, 2006

    mmm………..ths s mbrssng t sy. spclly bcs th prsn t’s bt s prbbly gng t rd t.

    PZ Myrs: s vry sxy mn. Hs knwldg, hs prsnlty nd hs bdy. vrll h s sxy mn.

    ‘m s mbrrssd bt hd t sy s. My fc s s rd s hll nd ‘m grnng lk n dt.

  42. #42 Victoria Fox
    November 17, 2006

    h yh lft n t.

    lv PZ Myrs sns f hmr nd rmntc mgs. Ppl kp syng t’s wrd. Hy mn wht’s wrd bt rmnc. knw ll f y hv sx, n wy r nthr. :)
    Bttrfls hv sx n th r, wth n f thm psd dwn. Clck n my nm t th nd f my pst, Chck t my Bdy rt gllry ndr pblc phts n my prfl. lt m knw whch n s yr fvrt.

    Hnstly, ‘v nvr hd sx n ny wy. Nt tht vry ml snc ws 10yrs ld hsn’t skd. ‘v nvr vn bn n dt mch lss kssd ml.

    Thn gn, ‘v bn t bsy wth my dctn nd fmly. t ctlly fnd tm fr rltnshp wth nyn.

    Fr th pst 4yrs ‘v tkn cr f my ncl, wh ws strtng kmthrpy. h pssd wy lst yr, g, 17th t th g f 64. H hd bn tkn t hspc fv dys bfr, hd hlpd hm nt th mblnc, h ws nbl t brth.

    S n gst 17th t 12:16p.m. ws wlkng dwn th hll f th hsptl t g s hm. ws 3ft frm th dr nd my csn cm t f hs rm cryng nd sd tht h hd jst pssd wy.

    ddn’t knw wht t d, jst st dwn nd strd t my my shs, thnkng bt ll th fn w’d hd n th pst. bt hw n my 12th brthdy h tk m t th lk t rd hs bt nd rd n th nnrtb plld bhnd th bt. vry hppy flng nd th gd tms rshd thrgh m. Thn thy wr gn nd strtd cryng. ddn’t tlk t nyn fr th nxt t dys. jst sht dwn, bcs ll cld thnk f ws ‘ll nvr hv gd lgh wth hm gn.

    plgz fr rnng yr blg nd bng dprssng.
    S nt ncr tpc. Hw ws vryns dy?

  43. #43 Victoria Fox
    November 18, 2006

    dn’t cr wht ppl thnk. PZ Myrs s sxy. :) :) :)
    N dbt bt t, hs ntllgnc, hs knwldg, hs sns f hmr. Hs d f rmnc. :)

    bt y h’s prtty dmn gd n bd. “gggls”

    ‘m srry tht ws nprprt, bt bt t’s tr. :)

  44. #44 Carlie
    November 18, 2006

    No one’s mentioned Carl Zimmer yet? He might not be an Actual Scientist(tm), but he can sure communicate it well. Intelligence combined with a good vocabulary is teh hawt.

  45. #45 Lynne
    November 19, 2006

    I’ve read Dawkin’s books but can’t recall what he looks like, though now I’m certainly curious. Steven Jay has been my bedtime companion for years — when I need to read myself to sleep he’s the tops! Then there was that longhaired radical paleontologist — I thought he was a doll. Richard Feynman has always been described as having had tremendous sex appeal. Having a crush on a professor when student and teacher are age peers is a wonderful thing except that there’s still a power inequity that could affect grading.
    But I want — no need — to see some women mentioned in this context. If smart is sexy, let’s identify some women who are both, and if they choose to misinterpret the list as being a ranking of their physical attractiveness they’ve not been reading carefully. I’ve always wanted to ask people to name three geniuses, because I figure they’ll give me the names of three men. And then I want them to name three women geniuses, because I know intelligence is distributed equally between genders. But I don’t think anyone could do it — I can’t. Having always been smart and sexy I noticed in the days of my youth that most men find me intimidating and offensive when they realize I’m smarter than they are. If we identify some role models and publicly laud smart women for being sexy as well, things might change and women won’t be secretly wishing that we could trade thirty points off our IQ for babedom.

  46. #46 raincoaster
    November 19, 2006

    You know what the Salon editors look like, right?

  47. #47 SEF
    November 19, 2006

    With female scientists, one of the problems you are up against is how people are perceived to age. By the time someone has built up a large enough body of work that you might consider them, they are likely to be at least middle-aged (if not old and even dead!). For evolutionary biological reasons accompanying sexual fertility, the changes in appearance which accrue to aging men are still seen as sexy while those affecting women tend not to be.

    Marie Curie’s sex appeal is probably very much a matter of taste even in the earliest pictures around. Rosalind Franklin might well have been considered a serious “babe” by most though. For a living example, you could try Olivia Judson. There isn’t really a shortage of attractive women in science. They just lack exposure – in the best possible taste of course …

  48. #48 llewelly
    November 19, 2006

    hm, SEF, I think you missed the point.

    I’d list some examples of women scientists I think are sexy-because-they-are-smart but then I’d feel sheepish about posting on their blogs.

  49. #49 llewelly
    November 19, 2006

    And then I want them to name three women geniuses,

    Hypatia, Ada Lovelace, Marie Curie, Susan B Anthony, Judith Curry.

    Not all are scientists. but they’re all sexy. I’ll admit I don’t know how many I’d have named if you had simply asked me to name 3 geniuses, absent context.

  50. #50 Victoria Fox
    November 19, 2006

    Why s t tht whn t d mn knwldg ws, thy lwys gt pst nd cll m nms. ‘v mt mn wh r ctlly qt fw yrs ldr thn m nd thy cll m btch, whn crrct thm n smthng tht thy thght ws tr bt wsn’t. My brthr s jst s smrt s m, whn h tlls nthr gy smthng tht thy dn’t knw bt shld, thr lk thrs tht smrt kd. Bt tll thm smthng nd gt clld btch nd thy wn’t tlk t m. Yh sr ‘m prtty grl bt whts s bd bt m bng smrt t. Hrs pctr f m, frm bdy pntng cnvntn wnt t whl bck. K:\PHTS\24.jpg

  51. #51 PZ Myers
    November 19, 2006

    Dudes. You are so being trolled.

  52. #52 Victoria Fox
    November 19, 2006

    my pctr ddn’t cm p n thr s clck n my nm t th nd f ths pst nd t shld cm p.

    PS: Nt my rl hr, ts wg. My hr s ctlly crly blck wth lght brwn hghlghts, t gs hlf wy dwn my bck.

  53. #53 Sea Creature
    November 19, 2006

    PZ, I’m just plain uncomfortable with an (supposedly) underage girl advertising pictures of herself on your blog.

  54. #54 Sea Creature
    November 19, 2006

    PZ, I’m just plain uncomfortable with an (supposedly) underage girl advertising pictures of herself on your blog.

  55. #55 PZ Myers
    November 19, 2006

    What underage girl? I suspect “Victoria Fox” is a young man between the ages of 15 and 30 who has probably never even had a conversation with a woman.

    But I think his/her/its strange trolling game has gone on quite far enough. The weird person posting from 76.0.247.16 is gone, and will be eradicated on sight from now on.

  56. #56 Victoria Fox
    November 19, 2006

    ‘m fml/14yrs/cllg stdnt/nt my pctr, ggl srch, bdy rt phts. ‘ll nt pst n yr sght ny lngr f y wsh. vrythng sy s tr, nvr ld t y, hv n rsn t l t y. S Gdby Swthrt.

  57. #57 SEF
    November 19, 2006

    I think you missed the point.

    I don’t think so. Not unless you are claiming that Richard Dawkins could only be considered sexy because he’s smart and that otherwise he’d be a complete “dog” (or whatever the current/appropriate term for bad-looking would be)? I thought the point did include him having some superficially attractive features as well as the deeper ones.

  58. #58 Lynne
    November 19, 2006

    If this group isn’t smart enough to bypass any remnants of biological hardwiring that equate sexiness with reproductive ability, especially given the impact surplus humans are having on our planet’s ability to sustain us, post-menopausal women are most certainly doomed to live lonely lives, regardless of their intelligence… I can think of many examples of sexy older women from the entertainment field — Joan Collins, Lauren Bacall, Candice Bergen, Sharon Stone, Jane Fonda. I always thought Janet Reno was hot. Tall, strong and smart. All the skeptics groups I’ve followed bemoan the fact that women just aren’t involved…maybe women don’t like feeling excluded while the men chum about by one-upping one another. Oh, yeah — that’s a remnant of biological hardwiring, too!

  59. #59 llewelly
    November 19, 2006

    If this group isn’t smart enough to bypass any remnants of biological hardwiring that equate sexiness with reproductive ability …

    If PZ’s dream comes true, we’ll be able to change the biological hardwiring.

  60. #60 Mmoa
    November 19, 2006

    I personally find Prof. Dawkins physically attractive as well as having the ‘smart’ appeal that everyone’s on about. Much like Richard Feynmann, or a younger Stephen Hawking…

  61. #61 Lynne
    November 21, 2006

    Hormones. Women’s hormones change as they age far more than do those of men. As rational beings with free will (at least some of us), we don’t intend to procreate from every sexual act, but the hormones that make women capable of reproduction are the appeal we call sexiness.

    And we really haven’t biologically evolved past the stage where most women died from some complication of childbearingand men had serial families. This vast cohort of intellectually functioning post-menopausal women is a new thing for society.

    We’ve agreed that smart can be sexy, and that even SJGould can be sexy so it isn’t all physique. But can anyone identify women in their fifties who are known for being smart and sexy?

    Or does sexiness literally end with the hormones? That’s irrational, because the hormones are easily revived and supplemented whereas intelligence and a body of work have nothing to do with whether one does or does not have hormones.

    Are women on artificial hormones perceived to be “sexier” then those who are not?

    Though now I am a fifty-one year old home-schooler (at least for my post-graduate studies) I was once a fourteen year old girl, so I remember hormones. Probably a good thing there was no Internet then!

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