Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Blonde Extinction

A theory for the evolution of blonde hair and blue eyes in Europe has been proposed, linking the sudden rise of the blonde gene with a shortage of males in the population.

The study argues that blond hair originated in the region because of food shortages 10,000-11,000 years ago. Until then, humans had the dark brown hair and dark eyes that still dominate in the rest of the world. Almost the only sustenance in northern Europe came from roaming herds of mammoths, reindeer, bison and horses. Finding them required long, arduous hunting trips in which numerous males died, leading to a high ratio of surviving women to men.

The proponent of the theory believes it is supported by research showing that blonde hair is an indicator of higher oestrogen levels in the body.

There is also research showing that the time of the natural blonde may be short lived.

A study by the World Health Organisation found that natural blonds are likely to be extinct within 200 years because there are too few people carrying the blond gene. According to the WHO study, the last natural blond is likely to be born in Finland during 2202.

There's still no explanation for the tendency of some blondes to be, shall we say, a little dense.

Jodie Kidd, 27, the blonde model, disagrees with the theory: “I don’t think being blonde makes you more ripe for sexual activity. It’s much more to do with personality than what you look like. Beauty is much deeper than the colour of your hair.”

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