1. James Bond Prefers Brunettes

    By Devin Zydel on 2009-06-07

    Gentlemen may prefer blondes, but according to a newly released academic study, that isn’t quite the case for James Bond.

    'Casino Royale's' Vesper Lynd and James Bond

    Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) and James Bond (Daniel Craig)

    According to the Telegraph, a group of researchers have found that the famous secret agent in fact prefers brunettes overall—specifically, those with long hair, an American accent and who carry weapons.

    This decidedly odd research information resulted from a group of academics who assessed the physical traits of 195 female characters in the first 20 official James Bond movies, then contrasted the characteristics of the 98 who had ‘sexual contact’ with Bond with those of the 97 who did not.

    Their findings have been published in the journal Sex Roles and are meant to examine how Bond girls have changed over the years as well as exploring what kind of women end up with 007.

    Unsurprisingly, those classified as Bond’s sexual partners tended to be younger, slimmer and more attractive than the women he does not bed. They are also less likely to wear glasses. Examples included Moonraker‘s Lois Chiles as Dr Holly Goodhead and Lana Wood as Plenty O’Toole in Diamonds Are Forever.

    Olga Kurylenko

    Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko)

    The average age of the women was estimated at 26. Overall, 46 were deemed to have had ‘strong’ sexual contact with Bond, while a further 52 were classified as having ‘mild’ contact (such as kissing).

    27% were blonde, while 40% had black hair, 19% brown and 9% red. For whatever reason, Bond more often ended up getting intimate with the dark-haired Bond girls. Furthermore, 18% of women with long hair were more likely to end up in a sexual situation with 007 than the 22% who had short hair.

    Bond girls with an American accent accounted for one-fourth of the total, but but those that did were more likely to have some form of sexual contact with Bond than the 43% who had a European accent of some kind.

    Gemma Arterton

    Agent Strawberry Fields (Gemma Arterton)

    ‘A majority of female characters engaged in some sexual activity, particularly those in major roles. And the great majority of sexual behaviours involved Bond himself,’ says the research team, led by Kimberly Neuendorf, professor of communication at Cleveland State University, Ohio.

    ‘Every Bond film has multiple female characters who variously tempt, distract, and assist James in his latest mission. At least one ‘Bond girl’ is particularly striking—a woman with an adventurous nature, cunning attributes, strong potential for romantic entanglement with Bond, and a sense of self-assurance, whose name—Pussy Galore, Honey Ryder, or Holly Goodhead, for example—is as provocative as the character she portrays.’

    On a negative note, the study also found that one in five female characters were dead by the end of the movie, including many who had had sexual contact with Bond.

    Caterina Murino

    Solange (Caterina Murino)

    On a bizarre note, Bond was more likely to have sexual contact with a woman if she used a weapon than if she did not. Two women attempted to kill 007 before sexual contact, two tried during sex, and a further 10 tried afterwards.

    ‘The women of Bond are eternally attractive,’ the report stated. ‘Their typically slender body type … is unchanged over time. The women of Bond continue to be portrayed in a rather limited and sex-stereotyped manner. The ultimate penalty for a woman in a Bond film—death—seems to accrue from promiscuity and daring to threaten the ultimate iconic masculine hero, James Bond.’

    ‘This study provides further evidence of the continued sexualisation, marginalisation, and disposability of women within Bond films. The Bond films glorify the sometimes chauvinistic persona of Bond.’

    ‘Bond single-handedly takes on any ‘bad guy’, saves the world and always gets the girl. Bond accomplishes these feats by the power of his wit and more importantly through violence.’

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