Re: A hairy question

Bryce Platt (
Sat, 27 May 1995 00:12:48 MST

In article <> (Ben Diebold) writes:
>From: (Ben Diebold)
>Subject: Re: A hairy question
>Date: Sat, 20 May 1995 14:24:35 -0500

>In article <>,
>Lemonhead <> wrote:

>> > HARRY R. ERWIN ( said:
>> > : Chimps go bald.
>> >
>> Does anybody have any theories for the reasons for balding? I
>> heard or read somewhere years ago that balding somehow makes men more
>> attractive by making them "distinguished" or something- I think there was
>> a comparison made to the gorillas silverback. I don't buy it altogether
>> though. Any evidence that male balding chimps are moreattractive mates
>> to female chimps? Any other theories explaining balding?

>Shouldn't attributes that are sexually selected be attributes that are
>manifest closer to the time of reproduction? I mean, while bald men
>certainly can father children, don't most men have children, or at least
>are selected as mates, before they really go bald? Does incipient baldness

>I don't know if I'm making sense, but I would expect sexually selected
>attributes to be more characteristic of younger men, rather than older. Of
>course, probably most sexually selected attributes are separate from the
>issue of age altogether.

>Am I making any sense?


I find I agree with the [assumed/perceived] drift of Ben's argument. Baldness
seems more an example of a neutral trait than a selected-for [positive or
negative] trait. What needs be asked, are there any genes linked to the
baldness genes that ARE selected against/for? My guess is NO, with a
first-level analysis being , if there were a selective advantage/disadvangtage
for baldness, everyone would be bald (selected for) or baldness would be
extremely rare (selected against).