The Disappearing Blonde Gene

Status: Hoax reported as news
Peter Frost has an article in the current issue of Evolution and Human Behavior in which he argues that the trait for blonde hair evolved 10,000 years ago in northern Europe because men found blonde women to be attractive--and because there were more women than men, the women had to compete for the men. (I'm simplifying his argument a lot.) But I'm not bringing this up to make a point about Frost's article. Instead, I'm bringing it up because the London Times discusses his article and concludes with this observation:

Film star blondes such as Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Sharon Stone and Scarlett Johansson are held up as ideals of feminine allure. However, the future of the blonde is uncertain. A study by the World Health Organisation found that natural blonds are likely to be extinct within 200 years because there are too few people carrying the blond gene. According to the WHO study, the last natural blond is likely to be born in Finland during 2202.

They're referring, of course, to the story of the WHO Blonde Report, which was revealed to be a hoax back in 2002. The gene for blonde hair is not actually disappearing, nor did the WHO ever sponsor such a study. Did the Times not realize it was a hoax, or did the reporter slip this in as a joke?

Journalism Science

Posted on Mon Feb 27, 2006


well im a natural blond guy i was all white headed on up til i was 12 now i have yellow blond hair and im 19 and my daughter has blond hair also so we aint dying until all humans do lmao people r people
Posted by nick  in  north carolina  on  Sun Apr 19, 2009  at  01:25 AM
Who says that men prefer blondes? That's a mass media-produced stereotype.
Posted by Peter Micocci  in  Houston, Texas  on  Sat Jun 25, 2011  at  11:59 AM
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