Behind The Headlines

Header Image by Shriram Rajagopalan – Gelada Baboon in Bronx Park South, NYC

From the Baboons in the News department – a recent article about baboon mating got some play on multiple news outlets.  Basically the story is that male baboons were found to be more discerning than expected when it comes to selecting their female partners.

Humans had assumed that the size and color of a female baboon’s backside would be the determining factor.

That turned out to be untrue, and Homo sapiens headline writers had something of a field day with it.

Admittedly, baboon sexuality is not a common topic of intense discussion among ordinary people.  But we can easily assign a certain shallowness to baboon habits, and so it doesn’t take long to come up with a theory of how the laws of baboon attraction might work.

But when that theory is suddenly turned bass-ackwards, there is a surprising amount uniformity in the creative response.

Hmm.  Somebody sounds disappointed.  Are our confounded expectations really The Story here?  Who’s the shallow one now?

Instead of discovering baboons mating in an orgy of butt-centric fascination, researchers found male baboons are drawn to females who take a longer time to start ovulating again after giving birth.  Why?  Perhaps the guys think their offspring have a better chance of survival when mom is unencumbered by additional suitors.

Granted, the co-parenting skills of male baboons are not put in a flattering light by this preference. He basically wants the girl who’s going to be tied to the youngsters for the longest stretch of uninterrupted time.

That, it seems to me, is the real story.  Yet I didn’t see this headline anywhere:

For Male Baboons, It’s All About When The Rearing Ends.

But seriously, would it kill you to take them for an afternoon so I can catch up on my sleep?

What attracts?

40 thoughts on “Behind The Headlines”

  1. When I was dating I never had a simple formula for choosing partners. And if I ever had such a formula, I might be embarrassed to list it here. I didn’t think a lot about finding a woman who would rear my children successfully, especially when I was dating after my sixtieth birthday.

    If I can’t list what I was looking for, I can at least say that big butts were not it. For about a year I was in the Weight Watcher’s program. Going to those meetings was interesting, for I was the only rooster in a room filled with plump hens. I used to regret not being turned on by big butts, for those meetings sure offered a lot to like if I had a taste for that.

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  2. For physical appearance my aesthetic senses prefers big brown eyes, red hair, freckles, dimples, dark skin (not tanned), high cheek bones, long necks, long real eye lashes, thick dark hair. I am drawn to these features more in small children than adults.

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  3. Hey all. Dale – I laughed so hard when I got to “It’s All About When The Rearing Ends” that I choked on my French fry (we have a food truck here today).

    Considering how badly I’ve chosen (twice), I should probably re-think this. Longish hair, dry wit, suspenders, rolled up sleeves. Must be a reader, camper, traveler.

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  4. So it quiet today because nobody knows what attracts them? Or knows but doesn’t want to admit it? Or it’s just too pretty a day and everybody is outside?

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  5. Any number of physical features will make my heart go pitter-patter, but I have long since discovered that other characteristics are vastly more important. Intelligence, a generous spirit and a good sense of humor are absolute requirements for a relationship to last for me. So is empathy and being a good listener.

    God knows that Hans and I have had our trials and tribulations during our 35 years together. We each have traits that drives the other nuts, but I think it’s safe to say that we’ve both learned to focus more on the things that we like about each other. We disagree on all kinds of stuff, but agree on the essentials that makes our relationship viable – and most of the time – even enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cookies. I’m baking cookies today to send off to a certain college student in Seattle, who has a birthday next week. I’m finding them quite attractive. Coconut-Lime-Chocolate Chip Cookies, Anzac Biscuits, and Coffee Crunch Bars, anybody?

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  7. If they’re not attracted to big butts, then what does attract them?? I saw a picture on Huff Po recently of a woman trapped in her car. There were at least 20 baboons swarming all over it. They’d broken her side mirror and the windshield wipers off, opened the luggage carrier on top of the car, and pulled all of her belongings out onto the ground. She’s sitting there with her mouth wide open and, I’m sure, in shock! Maybe they were just bored. Or looking for snacks?

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  8. My grand daughter is in sixth grade, in other words in that world where attraction is expressed in teasing. Plus she is in a group of girls mean ahead of their years. My grand daughter has an advanced Ipod with which she can communicate, but there have been many issues about cyber-bullying. My grand daughter only has one social medium, I think maybe Instagrams, but other kids set up accounts in her name in places like Twitter. She has had to block most of her classmates from her account, which leaves he isolated. She is very resilient, but how ugly it all gets. Childhood should be more innocent for linger.

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    1. That’s terrible, Clyde. Kids have always been cruel toward other kids, but today’s social media pushes this to a whole new level, especially since the cruelty can be veiled in anonymity.

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    2. Daughter’s best friend showed her affection for a boy in her Grade 5 class by kicking him in the shins. Not very subtle, I admit, but what would you expect from a ranch girl whose grandfather was a champion saddle bronc rider?

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  9. Like VS, I’ve struck out twice. I wasn’t even attracted to the first one. We just sort of fell (oozed?) into being married.
    I’d say that cleaverness is high on the list. My HS boyfriend and one college BF had that in good quantities but it didn’t lead to forever.

    HS boyfriend will be in town for a board meeting this weekend and we’ll be having dinner together on Saturday. We saw each other in 1988 and 2008 (every 20 – starting with breakup in 1968) so sightings are getting closer together. He still makes my heart go pit-a-pat but I’ve begun to be aware of his shortcomings, too.

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  10. Out of the gate from my divorce 11 years ago, I went rather crazy dating all sorts of inappropriate men, many 20 years younger. After about five years of this insanity, I revised my profile to read: no yellow or crooked teeth, no beer belly, and at least be employed. Funny, how this increased the “hits”. Not so funny is that when I did agree to meet a few of these men, most of them had yellow, crooked teeth and beer bellies.

    Don’t men ever look at themselves in a mirror??

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Always more attracted to men with dark hair than with blonde hair. Too many blondes in my family, so blondes were boring. Husband had dark brown (now salt and pepper) curly hair. It was not a surprise when we did some genetic testing and found he was of Slovak gypsy heritage. He sure looks the part. That, and his piercing intellect and sweet disposition clinched the deal

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  12. i remember in high school in the art room heather was ever present. she was a bubble. fun and effervescent. we had a great time laughing and creating art in a group setting. she was hugly attractive to me with big curley hair and a beautiful face with clydes freckles and great cheekbones then one day she made the comment after i told her she was pretty that she appreciated it but how could i say that to a woman with a monster butt and no tits. you know what i hadnt noticed. she was right and i could help but notice each and every time i saw her thaereafter but i still found her attractive as could be. it was then i realized that no matter how attractive you may be if you put yourself under the microscope you can find things to bitch about. everyone knows which features they dont like about themselves.
    and thanks for th ewarning cb if i ever thought about asking you out i wont do it now with my crooked teeth and my beer belly and maybe ill find wotrk.
    my woman attractions used to be based on a roman nose ala sophia loren. i am also attracted to souls and am getting better at spotting those as a spiritually attractive person walks by. especially one with a roman nose.

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