|Of course, it helps if your astronuat looks like George Clooney!|
Bolstering our ongoing argument that space-faring heroes can be just as popular in romance as cowboys or Regency dukes comes this astonishing data from Matt Novak at Paleofuture.com. A 1962 survey of American women published in Parade Magazine found in the Cedar Rapids Gazette of Cedar Rapids, Iowa listed “astronaut” as the third sexiest profession for men, just after “doctor” and “writer”. (Personally, I find the second one just as surprising!)
“Scientist” followed just behind at number four and “engineer” also made the list at number seven. Of course, “actor”, “athlete”, “airline pilot”, “architect” and “executive” also made the top ten. But what I find amazing is the ladies’ love for what we would today call “nerds”, men with big brains. Novak acknowledges there were no details about the women surveyed (who they were or even how many there were), but it is clear they had their eyes on the future.
President Kennedy had set the course of his nation with an emphasis on science and progress, the bright, shining symbol of which was the space program. Is it any wonder that women who sought partners with money-making potential and good genes would look in the direction of science and space? God knows what they were thinking about the writers, but doctors, scientists, astronauts, engineers and pilots all made good sense in that context. Architects and executives were good bet, too, in a booming economy and an optimistic nation. Then, too, the early NASA astronauts were test and fighter pilots, used to risk taking and hard living. They had a very sexy image, despite NASA’s attempt to clean them up.
Ah, but you say, it’s a different world today. Compared to Jack Kennedy’s Camelot, we live in a dystopian pit of despair. A world of haves and have-nots, of lost hope and shrunken dreams. The mighty U.S. economy limps; science is honored only in commercial application; even the space program is a shadow of its former self. Unless we’re talking George Clooney, women don’t find astronauts sexy!
Or do they?
An Internet search revealed one recent Italian survey with rather mundane results on the professions women thought were sexiest for men. One thousand Italian women were surveyed and selected “policeman” as the sexiest profession.
The rest of the top ten for the Italian ladies:
As you can see, there are some cultural differences to be taken into account here. In no survey I can think of would you ever find “cook” on a list of sexy jobs in America. The Italians take their food very seriously.
The folks over at Way of the Player.com, however, conducted their own survey of “hundreds of beautiful women” to give us a much more relatable list of sexy professions for men (and, in case you need it, a pickup line for each). Topping the list? ASTRONAUT!!! Yes, in the survey, dated January 7, 2012, the women thought rocket jockey to be the sexiest job for guys. After all, WOTP says, astronauts are “scientists with huge muscles”. It’s a genetic double whammy! Take that, New York!
The rest of the list:
Plastic surgeon (?)
Sad to say, scientists and engineers have fallen off the lists. Doctors are barely hanging in there. (The reality of long years of med school, internship and residency before you get to the big bucks may be scaring the ladies off. Or maybe it’s because more women would rather be a doctor than marry one.) It certainly says something about our society that a bartender or a bricklayer or even a lawyer could be considered a better bet for a sexual partner than a physicist or a biologist.
But, hey, astronauts still rule! Just don’t tell anybody most of them are scientists! Focus on the muscles part. And mention George Clooney.