Beautiful parents have girls first

Editor’s Note: Wow, the scientists are out in full force today. (See Gloria’s post below.) Considering that my only child is a boy, I think I will hide under a rock. -Elisa

This is one of the strangest study findings I’ve seen in a long time.

Here’s a link:  http://health.theledger.com/…

Research from the London School of Economics indicates that physically attractive couples are 36 percent more likely than unattractive couples to produce a girl as their first child.

Data are from a longitudinal study of US young people that has been following them since junior high or high school age; the youth were 18-25 in the most recent phase of the study.  The interviewers rated the youth on a 1-to-5 scale of attractiveness.  The researchers analyzed the data and found that those who were rated most attractive were more likely than others to have a girl as their first child.
It will be interesting to see whether the results hold up as the cohort continues to age; many of the respondents wouldn’t have had a first child yet.

The researchers believe that the finding goes along with evolutionary biology:

Why does this occur? Kanazawa said that the study supports the evolutionary theory that parents tend to produce offspring who benefit from their own attributes.

Parents who have traits likely to be more beneficial to boys – such as large size, strength, and aggression – are more likely to have boys. Parents who have traits likely to be more beneficial to girls – such as physical beauty – are more likely to have girls.

Kanazawa believes that men value physical appearance more than women do when seeking a partner, and so beauty, in general, is a better attribute to pass on to girls than to boys.

What do you think?  Do these findings make any sense to anyone else?