Wednesday, August 14, 2013

17 Interesting Facts About Physical Attraction

• Some theorists agree that people mate with others on the basis of the own level of physical attractiveness, known as assortative mating. According to this theory people who marry or get involved romantically are most likely to have a similar level of physical attractiveness. 

• There seems to be an agreement on universal standards of beauty. This means that in every culture, in different tribes and countries, there are some standards that are independent of cultural standards of beauty i.e. the importance of breast size in western cultures. These standards, just to name a few, involve a specific waist-hip ratio in women, and shoulder-waist in men, baby-faced features (large eyes, small noses) and a preference for symmetric faces. 

• It seems that women’s menstrual cycles affect their preferences for certain features in men. In some studies, women who are closer to ovulation phase prefer more masculine features in men that signal testosterone, like prominent cheekbones, beards, or a large jaw; while women closer to their non-fertile period exhibit preferences for features with baby faced features, such as large eyes, absence of facial hair, or more average faces. In women who take anti-conception pills this preference shift is not evident. This preference for testosterone markers near ovulation face have been shown in women to prefer deeper voices, more confident men, and those who shows more signs of competitiveness. 

• Mating and height seem to be related to high status, protection from danger, and dominance, although men tend to be larger than women.

• Facial femininity is important to men, highly feminine faces are shown to be more attractive than average in some studies. This includes small chins, large eyes, high cheekbones and full lips. Facial femininity seems to be a marker of reproductive value, fertility, and youthfulness.

• There is contradictory evidence on the preference of women for masculine or feminine faces. In some studies women prefer more masculine faces and in other more feminine features. Broad chin and robust bodies are associated with higher reproductive success, while men with feminine faces are perceived to be warmer, more agreeable, and more honest than men with masculine faces. It seems that masculine faces are related to body and facial symmetry and are a special marker of testosterone in the body. 

• Digital manipulations of facial symmetry and the averageness of a face composites of several photos into one have shown to be a sign of preference in men and women. It seems that both symmetry and averageness reflects genetic quality and resistance to pathogens. 

• In a wide variety of cultures men prefer a lower than average waist to hip ratio and larger breasts, as a sign of fecundity and fertility. 

• Storing fat in the hips and buttocks area in females seems to be described as a marker of genetic quality and an efficient metabolism and hormonal balance. Storing fat in the abdominal area on the other hand shows inefficient metabolic and hormonal processes. 

• It seems that a ‘V’ shape, or a mesomorphic type, is preferred by women, such as more lean and muscular types. It seems that it is related to markers of nutritional balance and hormonal proficiency. 

• The color, luster, and volume of hair all indicate age and health. The hair of younger women is judged to be of higher quality than that of older women, and it is primarily younger women who choose to wear their hair long.

• It seems that attractive people are judged to be more extroverted, more social, more intelligent, and more assertive than less attractive people. This is called the stereotype of what is beautiful is good, and shows that people systematically attribute more positive personality traits to attractive people than to their less attractive counterparts. However, they might also be thought of as vain, superficial, or dumb. It is evident that this inference affects positively those who are attractive, especially in romantic or professional environments. 

• Adults and children are biased toward attractive people. Studies show that even infants stare at attractive people longer than unattractive people. Lessons begin early, how many ugly heroes are there in children’s tales vs. the number of ugly villains?

• Does the hard-to-get effect exist? It seems that we prefer people who are moderately selective to those who are non-selective or too selective and that we are turned off by those who reject us. Psychological reactions can increase or decrease attraction.

• Social status universally is a clue to the control of resources. Greater social status bestows children with better opportunities. Women consistently rate social status as being more desirable in a partner than men do in several experiments. For women, social status rated only slightly less important than good financial prospects

• Universal tendency in desired age for potential mate: Men tend to seek younger women and women tend to desire older men.

• Men and women become jealous for different reasons. Men become most upset by sexual infidelity. Women feel more threatened by emotional infidelity.

Gangestad, S.W., & Scheyd, G. J. (2005). The evolution of physical attractiveness. Annual Review of Anthropology, 34, 523–54
Johnston, V. S. (2006). Mate choice decisions: The role of facial beauty. Trends in Cognitive Science, (10), 9 –13.
Jonason, P.K. (2009). The value of physical attractiveness: Modeling biological and social variables. Journal of Social Psychology, 149, 229-240.

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