Dime store logic has argued, for as long as anyone can remember, that redheads would eventually become extinct because the gene (MC1R) for red hair is recessive. This is blatantly incorrect. While the gene is indeed recessive, there’s no scientific reason for it to be bred out of the gene pool. Take nearsightedness, for example – a much less desirable gene in terms of natural selection, it has yet to disappear from the human species. On the contrary, research has shown that these color anomalies might actually be healthy for the human gene pool.
A study out of the Université de Bretagne-Sud discovered that men approach redheads in a romantic setting much less than blondes or brunettes. The problem was not a lack of attraction, however. The men found the redheads MORE attractive and feared rejection. These reactions lead us to imagine that redheads might actually be genetically armed with a weapon for greater reproduction.
A different study, conducted by Denmark’s Aalborg University, produced fascinating facts about redheads: they are more susceptible to toothaches and cold temperatures, but less vulnerable to acute pain than blondes or brunettes. Additionally, they are able to withstand the effects of capsaicin, the compound that gives spicy food its burn. The study concluded that the red hair gene has more complex attributes than previously known, affecting the body far beyond hair color.
A recent study done at University of Tennessee and Dalton State College found that redheads are four times more likely to be at the top of a corporate ladder than demographics would have them. Could this mean that they have higher intelligence than blondes and brunettes?
What is clear is that redheads are far from being at the bottom of the genetic barrel. In fact, quite the opposite. You might be wise to hitch your own genetic legacy to a healthy redhead near you.