“Blondes” in Newsweek!

Posted in book reviews, magazine articles, news by jenapincott on September 29, 2008

Here’s my interview with Newsweek.com, discussing various aspects of BLONDES, from pheromones to hair, and waist-to-hip ratios to “cheating genes.”

POLL: Would you test him for the “cheating gene”?

Posted in Polls and Surveys by jenapincott on

Imagine there’s a genetic test that could reveal your man’s chances of being a cheater — or, at least, a difficult long-term companion. Would you make him take it?  Turns out we’re one step closer to having the option.

Can your genes make you cheat? is one question posed in BLONDES.  To answer, I mention recent studies on the monogamous prairie vole and the role of vasopressin, a hormone associated with monogamy.  Prairie voles are much more monogamous than their cousins, the montane vole, and the difference might boil down to different variants of vasopressin receptor genes in the two species. (Vasopressin receptors exist in regions of the brain related to trust, reward, and bonding, including the ventral tegmental area or VTA.)  Scientists have  since speculated that men, too, might vary in their vasopressin receptor genes….and that might make all the difference between faithful guys and cheating rats.

Now there’s more concrete evidence that men do indeed differ in their vasopressin receptor genes, and that that a single genetic variation affects their love lives.  Hasse Wallum , a medical epidemiologist at the Karolinska Institute, found that men who had one or two copies of allele RS3 334, a variant of a vasopressin receptor gene, were more likely to have relationship crises than men who lacked the variant. The wives of guys with the variant cited more relationship problems than did women married to men without the variant.  Interestingly, studies have also found that autistic men are more likely to have copies of this wayward gene variant.

Although the study stresses that men with RS3 334 alleles aren’t guaranteed to be romantic duds and deadends — after all,  the effects are modest, other genes may be involved, and cultural factors have their sway — but it inspires the imagination.  What do you do if your man has the “cheating” gene, putting your relationship at greater risk of strife and infidelity?  Do you still date him – or do you dump him?  Would you even want to know? 

So, do you test him?

(Thoughts welcome in comment box below.)

A telltale wiggle?

Posted in news by jenapincott on September 25, 2008

I couldn’t help but to post the latest news on the science of the “wiggle walk” — a study that shows that trained experts can tell if a woman has vaginal orgasms based on her gait.

As discussed in Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?, much has already been made of the way women walk. For instance, the wigglier the walk, the curvier the woman, and — surprisingly — the more likely she is not to be ovulating.

In the current study, sixteen Belgian woman provided a history of their sexual behavior, including the ability to have vaginal orgasms from intercourse alone , and then were videotaped walking in a public place. Two sexologists and two sexologists-in-training, all of whom were unaware of the women’s sexual histories, were asked to guess which women could achieve vaginal orgasm. Judging from the way the women swiveled and sashayed, the experts were accurate about 80 percent of the time.

What is it about the saunter of a vaginally orgasmic woman that gives her away? The answer, according to the researchers, Aurelie Nicholas and Stuart Brody, involves differences in stride length and vertebral rotation. Easily-orgasmic women have a gait that “comprises fluidity, energy, sensuality, freedom.” Whether it’s due to unimpaired, unlocked pelvic muscles that release the flow of energy — or simple sexual self-confidence — remains to be seen.

Personally, I think it’s all interesting, but I’d like to see a bigger n here: 16 women and 4 sexologists is a tiny study. Plus, if there’s something to it, would the gaits be distinctive to the “untrained” eye? Reminds me of what I was told when I was thirteen years old. I spent a summer picking tobacco with a crew of farm workers who insisted they could tell whether a woman is a virgin based on her walk. Those guys also taught me how to spit.

“Blondes” in the New York Post!

Posted in news by jenapincott on September 16, 2008

The New York Post‘s Page Six mentioned “Blondes,” teasing out the part about people having an unconscious bias for taller men — along with evidence that taller men are more likely to have larger genitals. (See Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent book, Blink, for further details on the height of Fortune 500 company CEOs.)

“Blondes” in Glamour!

Posted in magazine articles, news by jenapincott on September 13, 2008

The October issue of Glamour has a three-page article on DO GENTLEMEN REALLY PREFER BLONDES?! The writer liked the bits about ovulating women, body language, likability and long-term attraction. It’s titled “Five Times You’re Sexy to Men….and Don’t Even Know It!”

POLL (women only): Does size really matter?

Posted in Polls and Surveys by jenapincott on September 10, 2008

When more than 25,000 women responded to the penis size question in a survey taken by MSNBC/Elle, most — 85 percent — were totally satisfied with their partner’s size. Only a small minority — little more than 1 in every 10 women — wanted their man to be larger, and even fewer women — about 1 in 50 — wanted their partners to be smaller.

Pose the penis question to men and the results are strikingly different. When more than 25,000 guys in the study were asked if they were satisfied with the size of their privates, nearly half desired to be larger down there, even if they saw themselves as average in size. (FYI, the average size of an erect penis is 5.3 in. or 13.5 cm.)

The big question, as discussed in BLONDES: If women are so satisfied with their men, why do men give themselves short shrift?

“Blondes” in Redbook

Posted in magazine articles, news by jenapincott on September 6, 2008

See Redbook‘s article on Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?

review in Library Journal!

Posted in book reviews, news by jenapincott on

Last week, the book got a starred review in Publishers Weekly. This week, a very nice review in Library Journal — the reviewer agreeing with the book’s premise that “it becomes obvious that we are aware of only a small part of what drives our choices when it comes to choosing whom to marry or with whom we have a sexual relationship,” and describing the text as “well-written, entertaining, and easy-to-understand.”


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