Why, for example, do women - moms - rebel against minivans, when they are so evidently superior to SUVs and crossovers in function and capacity? Compared with sport-utes, minivans drive better and get better gas mileage. They are safer and easier to park. With their sliding doors and flexible seating, they are more convenient. If females are evolutionarily hard-wired to put their offspring first, why do so many choose a tippy SUV or a barely less impractical crossover? Why is the minivan market cratering?
Apparently, it all goes back to the savanna. According to evolutionary psychology, females' value as potential mates was signaled by their youth (fertility) and sexual availability. A minivan, however, sends out the opposite signal, that the driver is older (old enough to already have offspring) and spoken for - off the reproductive market, so to speak. In a culture where women spend billions to create the illusion of youth, it's no wonder minivans have been fighting a market headwind.
But what about men? Ah, this is where my analysis gets fascinating (as if the foregoing weren't fascinating enough). Out on the savanna, the reproductively desirable male was older (a la Connery), of higher rank and status within the tribe and commanding more of its wealth. A female's innate programming tends to favor males with the potential to invest in her offspring, to commit resources to the family.
And that is why the 2008 Chrysler Town & Country Limited just might be the sexiest vehicle a man could ever drive.
Excerpted from the LA Times article, "Head of the Family," by Dan Neil
Read full article on LA Times web site.