The article "Cavemen Preferred Blondes",
reprinted from The Times, appeared in Wellington's Dominion Post on 4th March
2006. Written by Roger Dobson and Abul Taher, it suggested that all human
hair-colours and eye-colours other than dark brown arose in Northern Europe
because many men died hunting, and women who had varied colours in their hair
and eyes competed more successfully for scarce men. After the Ice Age -- the
theory goes -- the only food fit for humans in Northern Europe was the animals
that grazed on the only vegetation around -- grass. So hunting was the only
way to get food, and therefore men were indispensible to women as hunters.
In other parts of the world, there was more edible vegetation around for humans
That leads me to speculate about the selection pressures on men in that
environment. The men who survived would presumably all have been able to get
a female to mate with (unless polygamy was practised), but hunting would have
created its own selective pressures. The types of men who tended to die when
hunting (if this event was not random) would not have many descendants, and
the groups whose men were not good hunters might have died out altogether.
It may be that cavemen hunted in teams, especially when hunting big game
such as mammoths. If this was the case, the groups who survived and left the
most descendants might have been those whose menfolk were not scared to sacrifice
themselves for the good of the group as a whole. In such groups, the bravest
men would have left the most descendants, because the best-looking (blonde
or readheaded) women* would have favoured them. Initially,
that would have made little difference, because even the cowardly men would
have been able to get a woman. But the female children of a cowardly man and
an unattractive woman would have had difficulty getting a man to mate with
and produce descendants in the next generation down, because they would have
been likely to have been unattractive, too.
If many men also died protecting their womenfolk and children from man-eating
predators that invaded their caves, that would also have favoured the survival
of groups that selected for bravery and chivalry in men.
This may explain why chivalry and Feminism have flourished
more in Northern Europe (and places colonised by Northern Europeans) than
in other parts of the world. Feminism is intrinsically irrational,
because it gives the special privilege of victim status to women -- without
bothering to first compare all the disadvantages suffered by men with those
suffered by women. This irrational theory needs the menfolk to be chivalrous
for it to be accepted -- otherwise it would not be taken seriously. Some specific
aspects of Feminist irrationality can be found in articles listed on the page
* It would be interesting to compare the apparent
attractiveness of new and different haircolours in prehistoric times with
the way fashions change so frequently nowadays.