Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Smoking and sex

Here's a question -- why is it that "smoking" is considered "sexy"? Have you ever thought about it? You have a behavior, and this behavior consists of holding a white stick up to your mouth, and then blowing smoke back out of your mouth. What would cause people to think of "sex" when they see that behavior?

Here's a theory. Perhaps, way way back in the evolutionary chain, humans have a long-extinct ancestor that had long, thin, tusk-like incisors jutting out of its mouth. And perhaps, residually, our brains are programmed to recognize that "long incisors" means "good mate". So when a person puts a cigarette up to his or her mouth, it triggers the "long incisors" circuit in our brains, and cigarettes get associated with sex in that way. It sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? That's because it is ridiculous -- there must be a better theory.

In the book The Tipping Point by Malcomb Gladwell, Chapter 7 contains this fascinating research finding:

So it is not that "smoking" is sexy. It's that human beings who smoke tend to be far more sexual. People figure that out, and they learn to associate smokers with heightened sexuality. Therefore, "smoking" is considered "sexy".

That's my current theory anyway.

[See also Stiletto Heels and Cell phones and sex.]

<< Home
ARCHIVES © Copyright 2003-2005 by Marshall Brain


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?