Dancing advertises "sexual quality"

by Limbic on December 30, 2005

Dancing advertises sexual quality – Study of Jamaicans shows symmetrical dancers shake it better.

Women love a guy who can dance, right? Well, a study using Jamaican volunteers might explain why. The results suggest that men who are better at busting a move also have more to offer as a mate.

Researchers led by William Brown of Rutgers University in New Jersey filmed more than 180 teenagers shaking it down, and converted the films into computer-animated, androgynous dancing figures. When shown the animated dancers, viewers gave higher ratings to dances performed by people who in reality had more symmetrical bodies and were generally more attractive.

The effect was stronger for women watching male dances than for men watching women. And the dances performed by men scored more highly overall than those by women, Brown and his colleagues report in Nature.

“An initial surprise was that males were better dancers than females overall. But in retrospect we should have predicted this,” says Brown. Because females generally shoulder a greater burden in reproduction, it is understandable that women should be more choosy when picking a partner, he says. Men might therefore be under more pressure to perform on the dance floor.”

It’s not just the dancefloor pal!

Make sure you check out the videos that accompany the article. The “asymmetrical” male subject has a classic nerd dance.

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