Men are evolving to be more attractive, proving that English naturalist Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory still holds true for humans in the modern age, says a new study.
Researchers have found that human customs, such as marriage, have not slowed the drive of natural selection — and men are evolving traits to increase their mating success, which could include factors like good looks or intelligence which might help them achieve success.
This is because mating with more partners increases the chance of reproductive success for a man, whereas it doesn’t for a woman, the Daily Mail reported.
A popular misconception is that humans stopped evolving when they took up farming and embraced monogamy. But evidence from detailed church records of almost 6,000 people born in Finland between 1760 and 1849 suggests this is not so.
The researchers looked at economic status, births, deaths and marriages to examine four key natural selection factors.
They were survival to adulthood, mate access, mating success and fertility.
They found that the Finns’ natural selection opportunities were on a par with those seen in the wild.
The new findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Co-author Dr Alexandre Courtiol, from the Wissenschaftskolleg Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin, Germany, said: “Characteristics increasing the mating success of men are likely to evolve faster than those increasing the mating success of women.”