Laureate: Sex Drive Linked to Skin Color

ByABC News
November 24, 2000, 6:53 PM

B E R K E L E Y, Calif., Nov. 24 -- A Nobel laureates provocative speech on sunshine and sex complete with slides of bikini-clad women leftsome at the University of California, Berkeley, aghast.

James Watson, who co-discovered DNA, dumbfounded many at a guestlecture when he advanced his theory about a link between skin colorand sex drive.

Thats why you have Latin lovers, he said, according topeople who were there last month. Youve never heard of anEnglish lover. Only an English patient.

I realized right away that this was inappropriate, saidSusan Marqusee, an associate professor of biochemistry andmolecular biology.

Watson also said fat people are happy and thin people moreambitious, showing a slide of waif-like model Kate Moss looking sadto illustrate the point.

Marqusee said she walked out after a comment about men findingfat women sexually attractive. There wasnt any science, shesaid. These arent issues that one can state as fact.

No Comment From the Laureate

Watson has been traveling and does not comment on reaction tohis lectures, said Jeff Picarello, spokesman for the Cold SpringsHarbor Laboratory, where Watson is president.

Picarello said Watson has gotten positive reviews on the lecturebefore and is known for his sense of humor. Expounding on histheory that exposure to sunlight enhances sex drive, the mostlybald 72-year-old will announce that bald men have better sex,Picarello said. He says this with a twinkle in his eye. Itsfascinating, but at the same time its amusing.

Biology doctoral candidate Sarah Tegen said people were laughingat the beginning of Watsons lecture. But the laughter turnednervous as he developed his theme.

There was a lot of looking at the person next to you andsaying, I cant believe hes saying this, she said.

The problem, says Tegen, was that Watson didnt present thescience to back up his startling presentation.