This blog from Mindhacks reports a study by anthropologists that attacks the findings of studies by evolutionary psychologists that suggest that there are universal signals of health in human beings and that these signals form the basis of human mate selection:

"Sear and Marlowe criticize evolutionary psychologists who have argued that physical size influences mating decisions in all societies. That argument rests largely on self-reports of Western college students and analyses of personal advertisements in U.S. newspapers for dating partners, they say."

There is an important general point about the validity of a lot of psychological research in this paper and the Mindhacks blog is well worth reading. Once again it raises the point that lots of research uses students as participants:

"In fact, the authors state that "The findings suggest that members of WEIRD [Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic] societies, including young children, are among the least representative populations one could find for generalizing about humans".

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