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SAN MARCOS, Calif. (CAP) - Psychologists working with astronomers at the Palomar Observatory in southern California have revised their original hypothesis that women are from Venus and men are from Mars. Drawing from updated astronomical and behavioral data, they now believe it far more likely that men are actually from Pluto.
"Naturally some men might feel threatened by their new identity vis a vis the planetary system," observed Dr. Frank Marshall, department head at the Caltech School of Psycho-Astronomy. "But men should feel some compensation that Pluto is now considered King of the Belt."
Acknowledging that Mars is symbolic of strength and virility while Pluto is neither imposing nor even a little bit threatening, Dr. Marshall noted that "it is incommunicative and likes to hang out with other rocks."
Marshall and his colleagues began to suspect that men might not really be from Mars when the recent Mars probe began finding signs of ancient sources of water on the red planet, but no evidence of either malt or hops.
"We social scientists like to hold on to our preconceptions about the sexes," Marshall admitted. "But when the evidence piles up, we need to start looking at other astronomical role models."
Among them, a much more distant, some would say aloof, member of the earth's solar system that had recently been re-categorized from dwarf planet to the largest member in a belt of manly space rocks.
"Pluto caught our attention when it turned out not to be what it had led us to believe it was all along," said Marshall. "We felt a little used, but the light went on, if you know what I mean. I don't think we'll ever allow ourselves to fall into that trap again."
Marshall and his colleagues plan to publish their findings simultaneously in Scientific American and Psychology Today, concluding in their research that, if nothing else, "Pluto is also associated with a big dumb friendly dog, which can't hurt a guy's chances."