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PULLING POWER; Or how the brainiest blokes get best women.

Byline: KATRINA TWEEDIE

THEY are mocked as weeds or swots, but men lacking in the looks department have the upper hand when it comes to finding a mate - because a man's sexiest organ is his brain.

Women are more attracted to clever men and find brains a bigger turn-on than good looks and muscles.

They are genetically programmed to fancy brains over brawn - and it has been like that for thousands of years.

And, distasteful as it may seem to men, women are responsible for increasing the intelligence of the human race.

Historically, when it comes to settling down, women have always spurned the local Adonis, Hercules or George Clooney.

Instead, they've chosen men like Woody Allen, Andrew Lloyd Webber or Chris Evans.

They may not be oil paintings, but their wit and intelligence have made them irresistible to discerning females.

And when our female ancestors were smart enough to pick brains over brawn when choosing a mate, they inadvertently increased human intelligence by starting an evolutionary selection process that eventually created our powerful brain.

Choosing clever clogs as mates has resulted in the brain tripling in size over 2.5 million years, according to a report in The New Scientist - proof that when it comes to certain parts of a man's body, size IS important.

When beautiful Marilyn Monroe chose gifted - but hardly handsome - writer Arthur Miller to be her husband, she was only obeying her instincts.

And dozens of celebrities, who could have the pick of the bunch, have followed suit.

AFTER years of gracing the catwalk with gorgeous male models, Kate Moss has chosen Mr Normal to be the father of her baby.

Pale and weedy, Jefferson Hack is no head-turner, but it was his brain, not his looks, that made him a successful magazine executive - and Kate's choice.

The theory might also explain how balding, bearded author Salman Rushdie - famous for literature not looks - managed to charm model Padmi Lakshmi.

But then the showbiz pages are packed with stunning models and actresses on the arms of men who make Herman Munster look like Tom Cruise.

The same has happened in the world of politics and business. How else can you explain the sexual success of Robin Cook, William Hague and Bill Gates, all of whom have had no trouble in finding mates?

And other research also indicates that women prefer brain over brawn. A recent Californian study shows that women who are not on the Pill favour intelligent, creative men when they are most likely to conceive and men with greater wealth and looks at other times of the month.

Experts from Germany's University of Ulm have compared the size of a human brain to a sexual ornament such as a peacock's tail or a lion's mane, whose size has no obvious survival advantages except to attract females.

BUT the idea that evolution has been influenced by sex appeal was first suggested by Charles Darwin almost 170 years ago.

He was convinced that only female choice during mating could explain these flamboyant traits in animals.

The German scientists also claim to have the first evidence that the X chromosome is responsible for intelligence.

Women possess two X chromosomes and men have one X and one Y chromosome.

The scientists say that a woman's second X chromosome dampens the effect of the intelligence genes, making her less likely to be mentally-subnormal or brilliant.

History shows there have been more male geniuses and more mentally- subnormal males than females.

But the new genetic evidence will do nothing to persuade those who believe that our big brains can be explained without resorting to theories of sexual selection.

David Houle, an expert on sexual selection and mate choice at Florida State University, says our large brains could simply be the result of natural selection.

Thousands of years ago a handsome, dishy fella may not have lasted long in the wilderness where his more intelligent counterpart was better at finding berries, killing mastodons or surviving winters.

But humanity should be grateful, men especially. Because if our female ancestors had preferred bright red rumps, men might still be sporting these and keeping company with gorillas and chimps in Africa.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 24, 2002
Words:697
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