Research for the following paper was conducted in December 2013. After its rejection from several scientific journals and my mom’s refrigerator, I have submitted it to The Crimson and its audience for peer review.
I know that I’m pretty attractive. But it’s always nice to get some reassurance, especially from the studs at Business Insider.
The blog—renowned for articles like “The Traffic In New York City Is Totally Bananas Right Now” or their revealing exposè “Why You Should Buy a Home in a Good School District”—recently ranked Harvard men above Harvard women in attractiveness. Its results are partly based on findings from the Web site Date My School, which ranked Harvard guys second in its “Hotness Index” of Boston schools. The girls, by contrast, came in dead last.
Personally, I don’t agree with the rankings. I think the women here are more attractive than the men—probably because they have larger breasts than the men. However, these findings do support what seems like a pretty commonly held undergraduate belief that the guys are hotter than the girls. At least, that’s the opinion I’ve heard from guys. I haven’t heard much from the girls, even though I do talk to girls. Definitely.
So among some guys at least, there is a constant, whispered debate going around about the cause behind this new gender gap. And one explanation reigns over all the others: the H-bomb.
The “H-bomb” theory goes as follows: when a man “drops the H-bomb” by revealing at a party that he is a Harvard student, his attractiveness rises significantly. For Harvard women, the opposite happens.
Those who are proponents of the theory, having mastered SLS 20, are well-versed in the evidence behind why the H-bomb works. They say that women like to associate security—financial, intellectual, physical, or otherwise—with their mates, which a Harvard degree often signals. The men, by contrast, want to have a more dominant and sexual role, making the supposed smarts and sexual shyness signaled by a Harvard background a negative in female attractiveness.
In other words, women are gold diggers and men are sex-hounds. And they all can be ranked on objective scales.
The theory is something I really believe in. The evidence is there. And what other explanation could there be for the difference we see in these totally objective attractiveness measures? Still, there are doubters.
I’m pretty sure I’m right, though. But I had to be certain. That’s why I decided to test out the H-bomb over winter break at a California school I was visiting with some friends. I brought a tape-recorder along and recorded a few conversations with girls there. The following is what happened.