Remember that old line about girls who strip because they’re paying their way through college? (Actually knew a girl in Michigan who did too.) Well, the next stripper you meet might just be stripping for science.
The Economist reports that:
Dr Miller is an evolutionary psychologist—and the author of the theory that the large brains of humans evolved to attract the opposite sex in much the same way that a peacock’s tail does. His latest foray, into the flesh-pots of Albuquerque, is intended to investigate an orthodoxy of human mating theory. This is that in people, oestrus—the outward signs of ovulation—has been lost, so that men cannot tell when women are fertile.
The results support the idea that if evolution has favoured concealed ovulation in women, it has also favoured ovulation-detection in men. The average earnings per shift of women who were ovulating was $335. During menstruation (when they were infertile) that dropped to $185—about what women on the Pill made throughout the month. The lessons are clear. A woman is sexier when she is most fertile. And if she wishes to earn a good living as a dancer, she should stay off the Pill.
I love science. Every time I get all down in the mouth about the world I live in, it always steps in with something that just makes my day, be it investigating the existence of parallel universes, delivering a classy smackdown to Intelligent Designers… or using strippers to investigate the mysteries of human mating.
Coming to the report, I’d like to start by correcting the good doctor’s impression that “academics may be unfamiliar with the gentlemen’s club sub-culture”. If my memories of various university towns are anything to go by, then the only thing academics might be unfamiliar with is the term “gentlemen’s clubs”. They generally know them better as “strip clubs”. This might shock you, doctor, but not everybody hangs out at the local joint for scientific research. That’s why they don’t serve liquor at these clubs – it sort of encourages the visitors to keep their un-gentlemanly impulses bottled. Or so I have heard.
Actually, reading the magazine, I realized I don’t know enough about these clubs. I mean, $335 from $185? What on earth goes on for that extra $150 when she’s fertile? Those are some gret big powerful fertility cues, I’m thinking. I’m struggling to keep my mind out of the gutter but it’s kind of hard.
But can you imagine the poor slob who walks into his favorite joint and thinks, Wow there’s just something about Crytsal today. I wonder if she’ll let me take her home tonight? And then nine months later, finds out exactly what the ‘something’ was.