Single girls have always grumbled that good-looking men are difficult to
But science may have just proved them right – because beautiful women are
more likely to have daughters than their plainer counterparts, according to a
As parents tend to pass on genes that determine looks, this could result in
handsome men becoming rather thin on the ground.
And it may also explain why many models have daughters who follow in their
glamorous footsteps – such as Yasmin Le Bon, who is signed to the same modelling
agency as daughter Amber, and Jerry Hall, whose daughters Elizabeth and Georgia
Jagger have both taken to the catwalk.
Dr Satoshi Kanazawa, of the London School of Economics, analysed data from
a survey of 17,000 babies born inBritainin March 1958 and tracked them
throughout their lives.
At the age of seven, their attractiveness was rated by their teachers. When
they reached 45, they were asked about the gender of any children they had.
Those rated as attractive were equally likely to have a son or daughter as
their first child – but the unattractive sorts were more likely to have a
Put another way, the beautiful women were more likely to have daughters
than those who were less blessed in the looks department, the journal
Reproductive Sciences will report.
A previous study of 2,000 Americans suggested that women are becoming more
beautiful over the generations because attractive women have more children than
plain ones – and a higher proportion of their offspring are girls.
Dr Kanazawa believes that parents tend to produce children who benefit from
their own attributes. Beauty, he says, is of more benefit to a woman than a man,
and so it pays for attractive women to have daughters.
But couples blessed with strength and aggression rather than looks are
better off having boys, as these characteristics are of more use to males.