Opinion Columns & Blogs

Is nature to blame for Tiger’s follies?

So Tiger Woods likes to play with Barbie dolls, or, more specifically, Playboy centerfold-like women with appropriate hair, corresponding facial features and proportionately outsized bods;

the type of woman who would try to take a 15-minute fast track to fame and fortune via a reality show as it turns out.

Woods is continuing to take a well-deserved drubbing by his once-adoring public (not to mention his wife’s apparent expertise with fists and 9-iron). But the real victims here may be his paramours.

A study released Dec. 7 by UCSB biologists says females can be too attractive to the opposite sex — too attractive for their own good.

In a page taken out of “Revenge of the Nerds,” William Rice, a biology professor at UCSB, asks: “Can females be too good looking? Can there be disadvantages to being attractive? The answer is yes: If you are too attractive, you get too much male attention, and that interferes with your ability to function biologically.”

We’ve all witnessed the dating and mating game at one time or another at a bar or party. The female accents her best come-on features — some pout-inducing collagen here, a pushup device there — coupled with a come-hither/stay away look and the guys line up.

“Females are frequently subject to intense courtship ‘harassment’ from males attempting to obtain additional matings,” say researchers.

“These coercive activities can result in attractive females becoming less fit to reproduce — a factor that has a major effect on the entire population.

“When they court the females, the males sing to them … they dance and sing at the same time,” says the report.

And then as though putting the finger on Tiger himself, the report goes on to say: “This might sound romantic, and it would be if it only happened once. But males are doing it all the time. This courtship is unrelenting — like mosquitoes on a warm summer night.”

OK, so the UCSB study was actually about the mating habits of fruit flies, but I think we can extrapolate the same motivations in Woods: He simply can’t help himself.

Marc Pascal of the Moderate Voice believes Woods is everyman unshackled.

“Tiger is a worldwide celebrity … who has shown a strong sexual preference for natural and dyed blond women … Perhaps at his tender age, he didn’t get all his philandering out of his system and he should have waited until he was over 40 to get married. Alternatively, he just exemplifies the ‘natural proclivities’ in human nature when completely unrestrained by financial, social, technological, or ethical considerations.”

Another slightly different view was voiced by Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, who said that Woods “seems to have been bent on proving to himself that he could have any woman he wanted. But from the evidence, his aim wasn’t variety … ”

Of course it’s a stretch to compare a Tiger with a fruit fly. But, then again, when you’ve got the singular taste and libido of a horny gnat when it comes to infidelity, perhaps the comparison fits.

Bill Morem can be reached at bmorem@thetribunenews.com or 781-7852.