I got a lot of crap last week for my post on “Why Guys May Like You Better If You Don’t Wear Perfume.” As one of our readers pointed out, it was supposed to be tongue in cheek but apparently I failed miserably. But even my lousy science writing wasn’t nearly as bad this beauty science story linking hair color and aggression.
Bad ass blondes?
According to the Times Online, a study at the University of California showed that women with lighter hair color are more aggressive and “warlike.” Shocking, eh? But before all the blondes in the audience start sending in hate mail, let me tell you the rest of the story.
Thank god for science bloggers like Ryan Sager at True Slant who do their homework. Ryan questioned the results in the Times article so he sent an email to the author asking for clarification. It turns out the author DID NOT publish the study in question. The author told Ryan, and I quote, “I’m afraid you, and thousands of others for that matter, have been badly misinformed. I have never done any research that shows blondes are more aggressive, entitled, angry or ‘warlike’ than brunette or redheads.” In fact, when the author did break his data down by hair color in actually showed the opposite effect! Apparently the Times Online were sloppy fact checkers, to say the least.
So, there are two things you should take away from today’s post: blondes are not more aggressive then brunettes and red heads and you should always be skeptical when you read science reports in the press. Even when they come from the Beauty Brains!
Thanks to the Skeptics Guide to the Universe podcast for introducing us to this story.