HOLLYWOOD'S most beautiful couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, are in the grip of evolutionary forces that made it almost inevitable that their child would be a girl.
According to research, attractive parents are 26% more likely to have a daughter than a son as their first child. It is an inexorable process that has resulted in women becoming increasingly more attractive than men.
This is because of differing "evolutionary strategies" that each sex has adopted to survive, claim researchers at the London School of Economics.
While reproductive success for males depends largely on the status of the father (as sons from higher-status families inherit their position and are in turn able to protect and invest in their offspring), daughters' reproductive successes mostly depend on their youth and attractiveness. "We have shown two things," said Dr Satoshi Kanazawa, who led the research. "Beautiful parents have more daughters than ugly parents, because physical attractiveness is heritable and because daughters benefit from attractiveness more than sons.
Researchers rated their beauty according to height, weight and apparent age, all factors that can be used to judge basic attraction levels without subjective viewpoints.
Yes, but did they factor in hunger?