I like to think about thinking. So when I was messing around with a girlfriend, and she asked “what are you thinking?” it really got me thinking. As far as I could tell, I wasn’t thinking anything! There wasn’t one thought it my head. All I was doing was acting, not thinking. How could this be? How could I be involved in something so enjoyable, and not have a single thought in my head?
The issue didn’t stop there, though. I realized that even when I look at attractive girls, there is nothing going on in my head. The idea of “men constantly try to picture women naked” or “men think about having sex with every attractive girl they see” doesn’t seem to apply to me, and I am guessing it doesn’t apply to many other guys either. When I see an attractive girl, all I do is stare. There is no thought process whatsoever, I am just looking. End of story.
Why is this? Why do I want to look at attractive girls? Why is it that when I am looking, nothing is going on in my head? And lastly, why am I so good at spotting attractive girls? I can spot an attractive girl in a large crowd basically instantly. Why? How? In this blog post, I hope to answer that question. Though, keep in mind that this theory is based on complete speculation.
There are many, many processes going on in your head all throughout the day. However, for the most part, you (meaning your conscious self) are completely unaware of these processes. You are only aware of a very few things that your brain feels is important enough to bump up to the conscious you, so that you are aware of it. Things that are often important are things that generally relate to our survival, be it food, novel stimuli, a threat, etc. Your brain directs your attention to it, so that you can take the appropriate action. Many neuroscientists think of attention as being a very big part of consciousness, so whatever your brain calls attention to, you are conscious of.
Besides novel stimuli, threats and food, the male brain is also very interested in finding reproductively fit females. Men have evolved to want to reproduce as much as possible--propagate those genes!! As a result, men are very interested in finding attractive girls (which equates to good genes).
We know why men are interested in finding attractive girls, as it is beneficial to reproduction. First, let’s define “attractive girl.” Men across cultures and decades all agree on a few very basic aspects of what makes a girl attractive. One of those features is the size of her waist in relation to her hips. Very young girls have a high hip to waist ratio, as do older women. However, girls who are reproductively fit will have a low hip to waist ratio (the wider hips are necessary for child birth, so they communicate to men that a girl is the right age where she is able to have babies). Studies have been done on this, and it turns out that 10:7 hip to waist ratio is found the most attractive. So in terms of what men are “on the lookout” for, are women who have a 10:7 hip to waist ratio.
Now, onto the question of why guys are so good at spotting these curvy girls! We know that one of the things men's brains are doing, is constantly scanning the visual plane, looking for anything that could be worth directing the conscious mind’s attention toward. And seeing how important it is to reproduce, the brain would also be scanning for reproductively fit females. I imagine that the system that is scanning for them would be very finely tuned to finding attractive girls and bringing them to the attention of the rest of the brain. It is most likely that this system is actually overly sensitive, since it would be beneficial to have a false positive (thinking you see an attractive girl, and being wrong) rather than missing attractive girls because you didn’t see them.
So in terms of why men are so good at spotting attractive girls, it is because our brain has an overly sensitive system which scans the visual plane, looking for anything that fits a 10:7 ratio curve.
That is one question down, so what about why there are no thoughts going on in my head when I have spotted one of these lovely ladies? Well, all the system in question is doing is bringing your attention to the girl—hoping other systems will take over, and you will get the guts to go talk to her or something. But seeing as reproducing is so important—nay, the most important thing an organism can do, the system exerts a lot of energy to make sure you are noticing this girl, so you don’t miss her.
Ultimately, when I am just starring, not thinking of anything, it's because my “find pretty girls” system is going crazy, and it is putting all my attention on the girl. And seeing as that is all that that system does, my brain won't be coming up with any other thoughts.
That’s all I got.