Psychologist Linda Mealy, PhD, of the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota demonstrates how many of the meeting behaviors of animals echo our own behavior, particularly in the use of carefully chosen objects to entice the female. For example, the bowerbirds of Australia collect brightly colored objects that they display for the females consideration in the cleared area called the court. Some select only blue decorations; others collect the plumage of a rare bird of paradise. These gifts offer a female the chance to assess how good the male is at accruing resources and how well he will provide.
In many cases, the quality of these gifts – which are not really so different from the diamond solitaire that traditionally accompanies a marriage proposal – can weigh heavily in a female bowerbird’s decision about whether or not to mate with a given male. We don’t have to look too far to find parallels in human society as well. Indeed, many women are likely to favor the man with the resources to buy her that house in the country, or the status car and jewelry she’s always longed for.
Ask any woman what’s most important in a prospective mate, and 9 times out of 10, she’ll say “a sense of humor”. It’s my theory that this is another, more modern way of sniffing out his ability to accrue resources. A sense of humor takes intelligence and indicates charm: Surely, these are far more useful skills in earning a good living in today’s world than big pectoral muscles or a square jaw.
Dr. Marianne Legato, Professor Emerita of Clinical Medicine at Columbia University is an internationally known academic physician, author, lecturer, and specialist in gender-specific medicine. She is founding member of the International Society for Gender Medicine and also the founder and director of The Partnership for Gender-Specific Medicine at Columbia University and its next iteration, The Foundation for Gender-Specific Medicine. These enterprises are the first collaborations between academic medicine and the private sector focused solely on gender-specific medicine: the science of how normal human biology differs between men and women and of how the diagnosis and treatment of disease differs as a function of gender and sex. Her ground breaking textbook on Gender-and Sex Specific Medicine has been published in 2017 in the 3rd edition.
She has published extensively on Gender and Sex Specific Medicine, both scientifically and for the lay public. She is also the founding editor of the journal Gender Medicine, and the Journal Gender and Genome, published for the scientific community. In 1992, Dr. Legato won the American Heart Association’s Blakeslee Award for the best book written for the lay public on cardiovascular disease. She is a practicing internist in New York City and has been listed each year in New York Magazine’s “Best Doctors” since the feature’s inception in 1993.