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The biology behind *The Bachelor*

April 10th, 2004 · 1 Comment

I’ve never seen the show but I’ve seen quite a few commercials for it while watching ice-skating on ABC. Those clips are enough to convince me why I wouldn’t want to watch it. I don’t understand why people would want to participate in it. It’s clear why a man would want women to compete for him: who wouldn’t want to be fought for? But I don’t know why the women are willing to do it. All that cattiness…has no appeal to me although I wonder whether ABC thinks that those who like watching Sasha Cohen and Michelle Kwan battle for a trophy on the ice would be happy watching other women fight for other things….

Then the other day I saw this link via Dean’s World to this article (and illustrative picture) in Nature titled: Caustic comments get girls a date: Women scorn each other at certain times of the month in fight for men

We’re all guilty of making a snide comment about someone’s appearance at one time or another. But a new study hints that women may instinctively use catty comments as a weapon in the dating game.


The research shows that when women are at the most fertile point in their monthly cycle they tend to have a lower opinion of other women’s looks1. And that’s not just because of mood swings. Menstrual phase had no effect on how the same women rated the looks of men, reports Maryanne Fisher of York University in Toronto, Canada.


Poor ratings in the study might translate to disparaging remarks in the real world, says Fisher. Looking down on others may be an effective tactic in the fight to snare an attractive man, she concludes. “If you go into a nightclub washroom, you often hear women putting other women down,” she says.

“A lot of feminists don’t want to admit it, but I think there’s a lot of competition between women,” says Charles Crawford, an evolutionary psychologist at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, Canada. It’s natural that this competition should be strongest when fertility is at a peak, he adds.

Fisher plans to do the study again to look more closely at the hormonal changes that might cause such a shift in opinion. She suspects that rising oestrogen levels are the key factor, and aims to take saliva swabs from future study volunteers to see if she’s right.

So now I get it…the biology behind The Bachelor…they take the women and lock them up until they get in sync and start all getting catty at the same time…..

Tags: news

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Dean Esmay // Apr 10, 2004 at 8:32 am

    Combine this with the two things I mentioned in this article on Universal Flirting and you start to realize that the human animal’s courtship is every bit as interesting to watch and study as any area of biology.