Frugal is the new sexy - a scientist says so!

In NewScientist's "Special Report: Brillant Minds Forecast the Next 50 Years,"  Geoffrey Miller predicts that flashy and expensive things will become less sexually appealing. People will realize that it shows a "pathetic unrealiability as a signal of individual merit or virtue." This is good news for the savvy spender. Just think: I have money, but will not spend too much in fear that it will take away my sexual appeal. Hey, it's Darwinian. The frugal person becomes the fittest to survive!

Applied evolutionary psychology should revolutionise life in three ways by 2056. First, Darwinian critiques of runaway consumer capitalism should undermine the social and sexual appeal of conspicuous consumption. Absurdly wasteful display will become less popular once people comprehend its origins in sexual selection, and its pathetic unreliability as a signal of individual merit or virtue.



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Guest's picture

spend less money, be sexier.  that's a new one.

Will Chen's picture

I know a couple of girls I would like to e-mail that to.

Will Chen's picture

How do you feel about it? Do you think that a guy who spends unwisely turns you off? 

Lynn Truong's picture

i think a man with a wallet bulge is definitely overcompensating for something.

Will Chen's picture

I only use credit cards.

Guest's picture

It would be wonderful, but I still think the majority of women are turned on by fancy cars and lavish spending. Frugality is certainly a sign of intelligence, which always sexy, but I think everyone wants the best of both worlds: the guy who can spend a ton without being an idiot because he actually has a boat load of cash.

Will Chen's picture

That's a good point John.

I guess it also depends on how you measure "frugality."

If Bill Gates flew first class instead of in his private jet, some might say he is being "frugal."

If I flew first class people will say "that's some fancy travel'n for a blogger."

Lynn Truong's picture

yes it's all relative. i would agree that most women find "rich" a sexy characteristic. i guess i'm referring more to the fact that it's more sexy to have the money in the bank account rather than in things like cars, jewelry, and other luxuries (if i had to choose one or the other)...

Guest's picture

So, in the next 49 years we are going to totally overcome millenia's worth of the habit of conspicuous consumption?   How absurd!

And to say that we would do that overcoming because of evolutionary selection is  the most amazingly absurd thing!  Evolutionary selection is what gave peacocks their huge tails--and surely that is the animal kingdom's equivalent of conspicuous consumption.  Have you noticed peahens beginning to choose the peacocks with the smaller, duller tails lately?

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

So do you think evolution will drive our consumption to even more absurd levels? The gap between the rich and the poor is widening everyday. Perhaps that supports your theory.