Taking the pill for past 40 years ‘has put women off masculine men’

Interesting. I have always wondered how Johnny Depp and Leonardi DiCaprio could be so popular among the younger women. Could this be the reason? All I know is that I prefer men who are respected by other men and who carry authority naturally and quietly and don’t look better than me in black tights and a crop top.  ~5700


By David Derbyshire
Last updated at 4:33 PM on 08th October 2009

It ushered in the 1960s sexual revolution and gave women control over their own fertility.

But the Pill may also have changed women’s taste in men, according to a study.

Scientists say the hormones in the oral contraceptive suppress a woman’s interest in masculine men and make boyish men more attractive. Although the change occurs for just a few days each month, it may have been highly influential since use of the Pill began more than 40 years ago.

50sClassic men: In the Fifties, more masculine men like Burt Lancaster and Kurt Douglas were considered attractive

seanTough guys: In the Sixties rebels like Sean Connery and Steve McQueen made women weak at the knees

If the theory is right, it could partly explain the shifting in tastes from macho 1950s and 1960s stars such as Kirk Douglas and Sean Connery to the more wimpy, androgynous stars of today, such as Johnny Depp and Russell Brand.

Dr Alexandra Alvergne, of the University of Sheffield, says the Pill could also be altering the way women pick their mates and could have long-term implications for society.

‘There are many obvious benefits of the Pill for women, but there is also the possibility that the Pill has psychological side-effects that we are only just discovering,’ she said. ‘We need further studies to find out what these are.’

The links between the Pill and sexual preferences are highlighted in a paper in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

Scientists have long known that a woman’s taste in men changes over her menstrual cycle.

During the few days each month when women are fertile – around the time of ovulation – they tend to prefer masculine features and men who are more assertive.

On these fertile days, women are also more attracted to men who are ‘genetically dissimilar’, Dr Alvergne said. Picking a partner whose genetic make-up is unlike their own increases the chances of having a healthy child.

johnBig hair: Long locks like John Travolta and Ryan O’Neal’s hit the spot in the Seventies

rob loweSofter look: Pin-ups like Rob Lowe and Michael J. Fox were popular in the Eighties

On days when women are not fertile, their tastes swing towards more feminine, boyish faces and more caring personalities, researchers have shown.

However, if women are taking the Pill they no longer have fertile days.

That means they no longer experience the hormonal changes that make them more attracted to masculine men and those with dissimilar genetic make-up.

Although the effect is subtle, Dr Alvergne said it could alter women’s view of male attractiveness. ‘It is a possibility – but there is no evidence of this yet,’ she said. ‘We need a lot more research in this area.’ In her paper, Dr Alvergne reviewed seven studies showing how the Pill can change women’s behaviour.

She also found evidence from three studies that the Pill can affect the way women are looked at by men.

Past studies have shown that men find women more attractive around the time of ovulation, possibly because women have evolved instinctive ways, by their natural scent or their behaviour, of alerting men that they are fertile. One study showed that lap dancers get bigger tips at the time of the month when they are most fertile.

Dr Alvergne said the use of the Pill could influence a woman’s ability to attract a mate by reducing her attractiveness to men.

johnnyGirly locks: Heart throbs of the Nineties had flowing hair

zacTweeny pin-ups: 2009 favourites look cheeky and boyish like Zac Efron

Her co-author at Sheffield, Dr Virpi Lumma, said: ‘The ultimate outstanding evolutionary question concerns whether the use of oral contraceptives when making mating decisions can have long-term consequences on the ability of couples to reproduce.’ An increasing number of studies suggest that the Pill is likely to have an impact on human mating decisions and subsequent reproduction.

‘If this is the case, Pill use will have implications for both current and future generations, and we hope that our review will stimulate further research on this question,’ said Dr Lumma.

The changing fashions for film stars appear to show a shift from masculine men in the 1950s – before the advent of the Pill – to more baby-faced stars today.

Many of the biggest box office draws are boyish in appearance, rather than classically rugged. The top Hollywood earners of last year include Will Smith, Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio and Hugh Jackman. Other boyish film stars include Jude Law.

The rise of such stars could also be explained by cynical attempts to market films and merchandise at an ever younger age group.

Nobel Prize and its winners

Whaddaya know: The Nobel Prize isn’t the elite commendation that it may seem to be. How can it be when nominators can nominate Adolph Hitler; Stanley “Tookie” Williams, mass murderer and early leader of the CRIPS gang, and KFI RADIO broadcaster Bill Handel. To all the Bill Handel fans, hang fire: This is not a dig against him.

Stanley “Tookie” Williams, mass murderer, gang leader, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee

Stanley “Tookie” Williams, mass murderer, gang leader, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee

Given that almost anyone can expedite getting someone nominated, how elite and precious could that Nobel Prize list of winners be? In the days when Tookie Williams, on Death Row for his murdering sprees, was fighting for his life for a pardon, someone managed to get him nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize (for the anti-gang books he wrote while on Death Row) in an attempt to show that Williams was worthy of a second chance.

To ensure that the convicted criminal Williams would not benefit from the glow of a Peace Prize nomination and get that stay of execution, Handel set out to discount the prestige of the Nobel Prize itself. He contacted a local California assemblyman to nominate him/Handel to make the point that anyone could be nominated. Handel went on the books as being a nominee and he went boisterously public about the ploy via his radio show. That ploy might have had at least some effect. In December, 2005, Tookie Williams was executed by lethal injection in California.


Here’s more about the Nobel Prize:

Being nominated for the Nobel Prize isn’t as big a deal as it sounds

Occasionally, somebody will use the fact that they were nominated for the Nobel Prize as some sort of proof that they are a qualified or well-respected person. Except that it proves no such thing.

This isn’t like the Academy Awards or the Pulizter Prize for which receiving a nomination means that you are one of a handful of finalists. For the Nobel Prize committee, nomination is just the first step, and there is no restriction on how many people can be nominated. In particular, the list of people authorized to submit nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize includes “members of national assemblies and governments of states.” For the United States, this means that any

Bill Handel, KFI Talk Radio

Bill Handel, KFI Talk Radio

member of the Executive Branch and any member of Congress can submit a nomination. Deputy Under-Secretary of Transportation? Sure.

The easiest way in is to convince a House Representative to submit a nomination for you, since there are over 400 of those positions, and each one represents fewer than a million people. Representatives are known for being quirky, so shop around. I’m sure you’ll find somebody who would be willing to submit your name. It costs them nothing, after all.

According to the rules of the Nobel Committee, the list of nominees (and nominators) is kept secret for fifty years. You can search the database of Peace Prize nominees from 1901 to 1951 to see whether your favorite figure or organization is in it.

With a nod to Godwin’s Law,† I point out that even Adolf Hitler was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.


THE DOLLS, Chapter 1 / Introductions

In a place far away, there is a house of dolls that live their own doll lives. Each doll has a story, some sunnier than others and some darker. The dolls all have their own room. There is a dining room on the first floor where they meet for meals and a large yard with a gazebo in the back.   As life for us humans can be a winding road sometimes or a smooth drive at other times, so these dolls’ lives  have twists and turns.  At present in the dollhouse, one senses a grey veil of unrest and anxiety.


The House / Click image to enlarge it.

The House / Click image to enlarge it.

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow: THE DOLLS (Version 1b)
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Identical twins who were separated at birth: Amazing similarities

Have you ever wondered if you had an identical twin somewhere who not only looked like you but made uncannily similar life decisions, liked and disliked the same things, and had the same habits? Have I? Yes, and identical twinship has always fascinated me because of what it tends to indicate about Nature vs Nurture, including how intelligence and talents are genetic or environmental.

Better minds than mine have fought over this because it seems that going down a genetic road leads or could lead to very dark places, and there are forces which move to stop the studies that go in that direction. As for me, I have grown more respect for genes as a factor in how one lives one’s life, since studies of identicals who were split up at birth show that in spite of living in very different environments, they were very much alike.   ~5700


James Arthur Springer and his identical twin, James Edward Lewis

Click image to enlarge it / Jim Lewis and Jim Springer

Click image to enlarge it / Jim Lewis and Jim Springer

In the most widely publicized study of this type, launched in 1979, University of Minnesota psychologist Thomas Bouchard and his colleagues have chronicled the fates of about 60 pairs of identical twins raised separately. Some of the pairs had scarcely met before Bouchard contacted them, and yet the behaviors and personalities and social attitudes they displayed in lengthy batteries of tests were often remarkably alike.

The first pair Bouchard met, James Arthur Springer and James Edward Lewis, had just been reunited at age 39 after being given up by their mother and separately adopted as 1-month-olds. Springer and Lewis, both Ohioans, found they had each married and divorced a woman named Linda and remarried a Betty. They shared interests in mechanical drawing and carpentry; their favorite school subject had been math, their least favorite, spelling. They smoked and drank the same amount and got headaches at the same time of day.

Another source says:

The twin boys were separated at birth, being adopted by different families. Unknown to each other, both families named the boys Jim. And here the coincidences just begun. Both James grew up not even knowing of the other, yet both sought law-enforcement training, both had abilities in mechanical drawing and carpentry, and each had married women named Linda. They both had sons whom one named James Alan and the other named James Allan. The twin brothers also divorced their wives and married other women – both named Betty. And they both owned dogs which they named Toy. Jim Lewis and Jim Springer finally met in February 9, 1979 after 39 years of being separated.

Oskar Stohr and Jack Yufe (No photos available for these two.)

Equally astounding was another set of twins, Oskar Stohr and Jack Yufe. At first, they appeared to be a textbook case of the primacy of culture in forming individuals — just the opposite of the Lewis-Springer pair. Separated from his twin six months after their birth in Trinidad, Oskar was brought up Catholic in Germany and joined the Hitler Youth. Jack stayed behind in the Caribbean, was raised a Jew and lived for a time in Israel. Yet despite the stark contrast of their lives, when the twins were reunited in their fifth decade they had similar speech and thought patterns, similar gaits, a taste for spicy foods and common peculiarities such as flushing the toilet before they used it.

Daphne Goodship and Barbara Herbert

Separated At Birth - CBS News-1Daphne Goodship and Barbara Herbert first met when they were 40. Debbie was raised Jewish and Sharon was raised Catholic.

They, too, have discovered remarkably similar life experiences. “We discovered we had a miscarriage the same year, followed by two boys and a girl in that order,” says Barbara.

They admit that they’ve also cooked the same meal from the same recipe book on the same day, without knowing it.

Segal called Daphne and Barbara the “giggle twins” because they laugh and fold their arms the same way.

Because they never had to compete with each other, these twins believe they were freer to express their genetic potential. “You are what you are,” says Barbara.

Daphne Goodship and Barbara Herbert first met when they were 40. Debbie was raised Jewish and Sharon was raised Catholic.

They, too, have discovered remarkably similar life experiences. “We discovered we had a miscarriage the same year, followed by two boys and a girl in that order,” says Barbara.

They admit that they’ve also cooked the same meal from the same recipe book on the same day, without knowing it.

Segal called Daphne and Barbara the “giggle twins” because they laugh and fold their arms the same way.

Because they never had to compete with each other, these twins believe they were freer to express their genetic potential. “You are what you are,” says Barbara.

Adriana and Tamara

Separated At Birth - CBS NewsTamara Rabi is a city girl raised Jewish. Adriana Scott is Catholic and raised in the suburbs. But they have many similarities in spite of growing up in different homes.

They’re both night people, they both love to dance, they both want to have a boy and a girl (in that order) and they both use Pantene shampoo.

They’re both “B” students, even though Tamara attended a top private school and Adriana went to public school. And the subject that gives them both the most trouble? Math.

They look remarkably alike, but they’re not exactly alike. Tamara has a birthmark over her right eyebrow. And Adriana had braces for five years.

Plus, Tamara says she’s a little more outgoing than Adriana, who admits she’s a very shy person.

Segal, however, says it’s a scientific phenomena that Adriana and Tamara act alike and even dance the way they do: “All of us are comfortable in certain ways because of the way our bodies are made. And if all of us had identical twins, they’d be sitting exactly as we are.”

Tom and Steve

Separated At Birth - CBS News-2Identical twins Tom Patterson and Steve Tazumi met four years ago.

Tom is from rural Kansas, he was raised Christian and his parents were janitors. Steve, raised as a Buddhist, lives in Philadelphia. His father was a pharmacist.

However, Tom and Steve chose the same careers. “It’s phenomenal,” says Steve. “He owned a body building gym and I owned a body building gym. We’re both 100 percent into fitness.”

But there are differences in these twins, too. Steve says he’s more party oriented while Tom is more family oriented.

Debbie and Sharon

Separated At Birth - CBS News-3Debbie Mehlman and Sharon Poset were brought up in different faiths and different traditions. But their habits are incredibly similar. When they get excited, they cross their eyes.

“Our dads would have said the same,” says Sharon. “Don’t roll your eyes at me, young lady.”

Segal noticed a lot of similarities when the twins danced to mambo music in an experiment tape.

“We wanna see how their bodies move,” says Segal. “And here, they can’t see each other, but they’re moving the same way.”

But there are differences, too. Debbie says she likes to work out — something her sister, Sharon, doesn’t do. “I don’t look that bad,” she says.

And other links that might interest you

Video: In the womb: Identical twins:


The Mystery of Twins: Washington Post

Why do identical twins have different fingerprints? Why do we have fingerprints to begin with?

Twin Kills Self After Brother Dies

“Antichrist” Is the Most Beautiful Piece of Muddled Art You Might Never See

Movies made to offend or shock the public because some director believes himself to have a more enlightened view to preach to ”the dull, stupid, and misinformed“ have never been my first choice for viewing, but this one’s got me curious, and since I like Willem Dafoe, I might see it if it comes to DirecTV because it does seem intriguing. If I am wrong about its bewitching capabilities and this is just another arrogant auteur playing with people while he sips white wine (or maybe cheap beer, for effect), then I won’t be out the price of a movie ticket.  Meanwhile, don’t spoil the ending for me.   ~5700


C. Robert Cargill,

It’s rare that I find myself truly indifferent to a film — especially a film that is so clearly and openly divisive. But that’s exactly how I feel about Antichrist: completely indecisive. I see both sides, understanding the people who love it, voraciously devouring every lyrical moment, while simultaneously getting why people hate the living crap out of it. A deliberately offensive opus of shock, this film will at IFC Films some moment find something disagreeable for everybody. But unlike most films that rely upon shock, director Lars von Trier has no intention of making you laugh. Quite the contrary. He wants to make you recoil. He wants to challenge your sense of morality and taste. And he wants to make you feel, one way or another.

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe

Charlotte Gainsbourg and Willem Dafoe

But that’s not necessarily a good thing. By now you’ve most likely heard about it. Widely panned at Cannes by some, praised by others, and completely spoiled in the press, especially on the Drudge Report in which its final scenes were spoiled in headlines splashed across the front page. It is not a nice film. It is dark, brooding, melancholy, and more than a little mean-spirited. Loaded

IFC Films from top to bottom with nudity, sexuality, and even a slow-motion shot that will itself ensure that this gets the dreaded NC-17 rating (as well it should for the level of adult content in this), it is at times a bit distracting. There’s so much nudity in this thing that I almost feel as if it should be renamed Lars Von Trier’s I Hate Pants! There are even a few scenes in which the characters lack pants for no good reason. But then again, there’s a lot of things in this that some would argue are here for no good reason. It is violent, bloody, and disturbingly sexual for a goodly portion of the film. Not in small doses. The majority of the film aims to offend you in one manner or another.

So why is it getting rave reviews? Because it is also one of the most beautifully shot, stylish, artistic films you will ever see in your life. Von Trier has abandoned his long maligned style of needlessly handheld nausea-inducing camera work and invested in such newfangled gadgets as tripods and steadycams, and he uses them to great effect, crafting a lush palate upon which he paints fear, grief, agony, and torment. The story revolves around a married couple played brilliantly by Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg (named in the credits as He and She), who in the opening sequence lose their only child — a youngster who takes a header out of a third story window. Defoe is a therapist who decides to treat his wife, who is now crippled by grief over the loss of her son. But as the story develops, we begin to see that Gainsbourg has more than bereavement troubling her. She might, in fact, be completely bonkers. But at the same time, they exist in a forest which may or may not be alive — populated with a number of bizarre, possibly sentient animals and trees.

What’s it all about? Hell if I know. I’ve heard a number of theories both for and against. But what is absolutely clear is that while Von Trier succeeds at crafting a masterful piece of moving art, he manages not to impart upon the audience a single, tangible idea that they all share. Everyone walks out with a different impression, but not in a good way. Arguments are about whether the film is decidedly misogynistic or wildly feminist; whether Defoe is crazy or whether the couple deserves everything that happens to them. I’ve run through the film a number of times in my head and discussed it with some of the best online film minds in the world and found not a person with a clear grasp of exactly what Von Trier is trying to say.

What is certain is that he means to offend and he does just that. This movie will get under your skin and will delight cinephiles with its visuals, but it is a muddled mess of message and story that ultimately will leave you scratching your head wondering what the hell it was all about. Not at all a film for the mainstream, Antichrist is exclusively for those film buffs who delight in watching films that the critics argue about and vary wildly on. But this critic gives it a solid C. Worth the watch once, but never again.

Official Trailer of “Antichrist”

Spiderman star Willem Dafoe plays alongside Charlotte Gainsbourg in one of this year’s most controversial movies: Lars von Trier’s Antichrist..