Physical attractiveness is the degree to which a person's physical features are considered aesthetically pleasing or beautiful. The term often implies sexual attractiveness or desirability, but can also be distinct from either. There are many factors which influence one person's attraction to another, with physical aspects being one of them. Physical attraction itself includes universal perceptions common to all human cultures such as facial symmetry, sociocultural dependent attributes and personal preferences unique to a particular individual.
In many cases, humans subconsciously attribute positive characteristics, such as intelligence and honesty, to physically attractive people. From research done in the United States and United Kingdom, it was found that the association between intelligence and physical attractiveness is stronger among men than among women. Evolutionary psychologists have tried to answer why individuals who are more physically attractive should also, on average, be more intelligent, and have put forward the notion that both general intelligence and physical attractiveness may be indicators of underlying genetic fitness. A person's physical characteristics can signal cues to fertility and health, with statistical modelling studies showing that the facial shape variables that reflect aspects of physiological health, including body fat and blood pressure, also influence observers' perceptions of health. Attending to these factors increases reproductive success, furthering the representation of one's genes in the population.
Men, on average, tend to be attracted to women who have a youthful appearance and exhibit features such as a symmetrical face, full breasts, full lips, and a low waist-hip ratio. Women, on average, tend to be attracted to men who are taller than they are and who display a high degree of facial symmetry, masculine facial dimorphism, upper body strength, broad shoulders, a relatively narrow waist, and a V-shaped torso.
General contributing factors
Generally, physical attractiveness can be viewed from a number of perspectives; with universal perceptions being common to all human cultures, cultural and social aspects, and individual subjective preferences. The perception of attractiveness can have a significant effect on how people are judged in terms of employment or social opportunities, friendship, sexual behavior, and marriage.
Some physical features are attractive in both men and women, particularly bodily and facial symmetry, although one contrary report suggests that "absolute flawlessness" with perfect symmetry can be "disturbing". Symmetry may be evolutionarily beneficial as a sign of health because asymmetry "signals past illness or injury". One study suggested people were able to "gauge beauty at a subliminal level" by seeing only a glimpse of a picture for one-hundredth of a second. Other important factors include youthfulness, skin clarity and smoothness of skin; and "vivid color" in the eyes and hair. However, there are numerous differences based on gender.
A 1921 study of the reports of college students regarding those traits in individuals which make for attractiveness and repulsiveness argued that static traits, such as beauty or ugliness of features, hold a position subordinate to groups of physical elements like expressive behavior, affectionate disposition, grace of manner, aristocratic bearing, social accomplishments and personal habits.
Grammer and colleagues have identified eight "pillars" of beauty: youthfulness, symmetry, averageness, sex-hormone markers, body odor, motion, skin complexion and hair texture.Traditionally in Samoa, body fat was acceptable or attractive.
Neural correlates of perceiving attractiveness
Most studies of the brain activations associated with the perception of attractiveness show photographs of faces to their participants and let them or a comparable group of people rate the attractiveness of these faces. Such studies consistently find that activity in certain parts of the orbitofrontal cortex increases with increasing attractiveness of faces. This neural response has been interpreted as a reaction on the rewarding nature of attractiveness, as similar increases in activation in the medial orbitofrontal cortex can be seen in response to smiling faces and to statements of morally good actions. While most of these studies have not assessed participants of both genders or homosexual individuals, evidence from one study including male and female hetero- and homosexual individuals indicate that some of the aforementioned increases in brain activity are restricted to images of faces of the gender participants feel sexually attracted to.
With regard to brain activation related to the perception of attractive bodies, one study with heterosexual participants suggests that activity in the nucleus accumbens and the anterior cingulate cortex increases with increasing attractiveness. The same study finds that for faces and bodies alike, the medial part of the orbitofrontal cortex responds with greater activity to both very attractive and very unattractive pictures.
Women, on average, tend to be more attracted to men who have a relatively narrow waist, a V-shaped torso, and broad shoulders. Women also tend to be more attracted to men who are taller than they are, and display a high degree of facial symmetry, as well as relatively masculine facial dimorphism. Women, regardless of sexual orientation, tend to be less interested in a partner’s physical attractiveness than men.
Studies have shown that ovulating heterosexual women prefer faces with masculine traits associated with increased exposure to testosterone during key developmental stages, such as a broad forehead, prominent nose and cheekbones, large jaw and strong chin. The degree of differences between male and female anatomical traits is called sexual dimorphism. Female respondents in the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle were significantly more likely to choose a masculine face than those in menses and luteal phases, (or in those taking hormonal contraception). This distinction supports the sexy son hypothesis, which posits that it is evolutionarily advantageous for women to select potential fathers who are more genetically attractive, rather than the best caregivers. However, women's likeliness to exert effort to view male faces does not seem to depend on their masculinity, but to a general increase with women's testosterone levels.
It is suggested that the masculinity of facial features is a reliable indication of good health, or, alternatively, that masculine-looking males are more likely to achieve high status. However, the correlation between attractive facial features and health has been questioned. Sociocultural factors, such as self-perceived attractiveness, status in a relationship and degree of gender-conformity, have been reported to play a role in female preferences for male faces. Studies have found that women who perceive themselves as physically attractive are more likely to choose men with masculine facial dimorphism, than are women who perceive themselves as physically unattractive. In men, facial masculinity significantly correlates with facial symmetry—it has been suggested that both are signals of developmental stability and genetic health. One study called into question the importance of facial masculinity in physical attractiveness in men arguing that when perceived health, which is factored into facial masculinity, is discounted it makes little difference in physical attractiveness. In a cross-country study involving 4,794 women in their early twenties, a difference was found in women's average "masculinity preference" between countries.
A study found that the same genetic factors cause facial masculinity in both males and females such that a male with a more masculine face would likely have a sister with a more masculine face due to the siblings having shared genes. The study also found that, although female faces that were more feminine were judged to be more attractive, there was no association between male facial masculinity and male facial attractiveness for female judges. With these findings, the study reasoned that if a woman were to reproduce with a man with a more masculine face, then her daughters would also inherit a more masculine face, making the daughters less attractive. The study concluded that there must be other factors that advantage the genetics for masculine male faces to offset their reproductive disadvantage in terms of "health", "fertility" and "facial attractiveness" when the same genetics are present in females. The study reasoned that the "selective advantage" for masculine male faces must "have (or had)" been due to some factor that is not directly tied to female perceptions of male facial attractiveness.
In a study of 447 gay men in China, researchers said that tops preferred feminized male faces, bottoms preferred masculinized male faces and versatiles had no preference for either feminized or masculinized male faces.
In Middle English literature, a beautiful man should have a long, broad and strong face.
A study that used Chinese, Malay and Indian judges said that Chinese men with orthognathism where the mouth is flat and in-line with the rest of the face were judged to be the most attractive and Chinese men with a protruding mandible where the jaw projects outward were judged to be the least attractive.
Symmetrical faces and bodies may be signs of good inheritance to women of child-bearing age seeking to create healthy offspring. Studies suggest women are less attracted to men with asymmetrical faces, and symmetrical faces correlate with long term mental performance and are an indication that a man has experienced "fewer genetic and environmental disturbances such as diseases, toxins, malnutrition or genetic mutations" while growing. Since achieving symmetry is a difficult task during human growth, requiring billions of cell reproductions while maintaining a parallel structure, achieving symmetry is a visible signal of genetic health.
Studies have also suggested that women at peak fertility were more likely to fantasize about men with greater facial symmetry, and other studies have found that male symmetry was the only factor that could significantly predict the likelihood of a woman experiencing orgasm during sex. Women with partners possessing greater symmetry reported significantly more copulatory female orgasms than were reported by women with partners possessing low symmetry, even with many potential confounding variables controlled. This finding has been found to hold across different cultures. It has been argued that masculine facial dimorphism (in men) and symmetry in faces are signals advertising genetic quality in potential mates. Low facial and body fluctuating asymmetry may indicate good health and intelligence, which are desirable features. Studies have found that women who perceive themselves as being more physically attractive are more likely to favor men with a higher degree of facial symmetry, than are women who perceive themselves as being less physically attractive. It has been found that symmetrical men (and women) have a tendency to begin to have sexual intercourse at an earlier age, to have more sexual partners, and to have more one-night stands. They are also more likely to be prone to infidelity. A study of quarterbacks in the American National Football League found a positive correlation between facial symmetry and salaries.
Double-blind studies found that women prefer the scent of men who are rated as facially attractive. For example, both males and females were more attracted to the natural scent of individuals who had been rated by consensus as facially attractive. Additionally, it has also been shown that women have a preference for the scent of men with more symmetrical faces, and that women's preference for the scent of more symmetrical men is strongest during the most fertile period of their menstrual cycle. Within the set of normally cycling women, individual women's preference for the scent of men with high facial symmetry correlated with their probability of conception. Men's body odor is also affected by their diet, with women expressing preferences for male body odor associated with increased dietary fruit and vegetable and protein content, and reduced carbohydrate content.
Studies have explored the genetic basis behind such issues as facial symmetry and body scent and how they influence physical attraction. In one study in which women wore men's T-shirts, researchers found that women were more attracted to the bodily scents in shirts of men who had a different type of gene section within the DNA called major histocompatibility complex (MHC). MHC is a large gene area within the DNA of vertebrates which encodes proteins dealing with the immune system and which influences individual bodily odors. One hypothesis is that humans are naturally attracted by the sense of smell and taste to others with dissimilar MHC sections, perhaps to avoid subsequent inbreeding while increasing the genetic diversity of offspring. Furthermore, there are studies showing that women's natural attraction for men with dissimilar immune profiles can be distorted with use of birth control pills. Other research findings involving the genetic foundations of attraction suggest that MHC heterozygosity positively correlates with male facial attractiveness. Women judge the faces of men who are heterozygous at all three MHC loci to be more attractive than the faces of men who are homozygous at one or more of these loci. Additionally, a second experiment with genotyped women raters, found these preferences were independent of the degree of MHC similarity between the men and the female rater. With MHC heterozygosity independently seen as a genetic advantage, the results suggest that facial attractiveness in men may be a measure of genetic quality. General genetic heterozygosity has been demonstrated to be related to attractiveness in that people with mixed genetic backgrounds (i.e., mixed race people) as seen as more attractive than people with a more similar genetic parents (i.e., single race people).
A 2010 OkCupid study on 200,000 of its male and female dating site users found that women are, except those during their early to mid-twenties, open to relationships with both somewhat older and somewhat younger men; they have a larger potential dating pool than men until age 26. At age 20, women, in a "dramatic change", begin sending private messages to significantly older men. At age 29 they become "even more open to older men". Male desirability to women peaks in the late 20s and does not fall below the average for all men until 36. Other research indicates that women, irrespective of their own age, are attracted to men who are the same age or older.
For the Romans especially, "beardlessness" and "smooth young bodies" were considered beautiful to both men and women. For Greek and Roman men, the most desirable traits of boys were their "youth" and "hairlessness". Pubescent boys were considered a socially appropriate object of male desire, while post-pubescent boys were considered to be "ἔξωροι" or "past the prime". This was largely in the context of pederasty (adult male interest in adolescent boys). Today, men and women's attitudes towards male beauty has changed. For example, body hair on men may even be preferred (see below).
A 1984 study said that gay men tend to prefer gay men of the same age as ideal partners, but there was a statistically significant effect (p < 0.05) of masculinity-femininity. The study said that more feminine men tended to prefer relatively older men than themselves and more masculine men tended to prefer relatively younger men than themselves.
The physique of a slim waist, broad shoulders and muscular chest are often found to be attractive to both females and males. Further research has shown that, when choosing a mate, the traits females look for indicate higher social status, such as dominance, resources, and protection. An indicator of health in males (a contributing factor to physical attractiveness) is the android fat distribution pattern which is categorized as more fat distributed on the upper body and abdomen, commonly referred to as the "V shape." When asked to rate other men, both heterosexual and homosexual men found low waist-to-chest ratios (WCR) to be more attractive on other men, with the gay men showing a preference for lower WCR (more V-shaped) than the straight men.
Women focus primarily on the ratio waist to chest or more specifically waist to shoulder. This is analogous to the waist to hip ratio (WHR) that men prefer. Key body image for a man in the eyes of a woman would include big shoulders, chest, and upper back, and a slim waist area. Research has additionally shown that college males had a better satisfaction with their body than college females. The research also found that when a college female's waist to hip ratio went up, their body image satisfaction decreased.
Some research has shown that body weight may have a stronger effect than WHR when it comes to perceiving attractiveness of the opposite sex. It was found that waist to hip ratio played a smaller role in body preference than body weight in regards to both sexes.
Psychologists Viren Swami and Martin J. Tovee compared female preference for male attractiveness cross culturally, between Britain and Malaysia. They found that females placed more importance on WCR (and therefore body shape) in urban areas of Britain and Malaysia, while females in rural areas placed more importance on BMI (therefore weight and body size). Both WCR and BMI are indicative of male status and ability to provide for offspring, as noted by evolutionary theory.
Females have been found to desire males that are normal weight and have the average WHR for a male. Females view these males as attractive and healthy. Males who had the average WHR but were overweight or underweight are not perceived as attractive to females. This suggests that WHR is not a major factor in male attractiveness, but a combination of body weight and a typical male WHR seem to be the most attractive. Research has shown that men who have a higher waist to hip ratio and a higher salary are perceived as more attractive to women.
In Middle English literature, a beautiful man should have a flat abdomen.
Men's bodies portrayed in magazines marketed to men are more muscular than the men's bodies portrayed in magazines marketed to women. From this, some have concluded that men perceive a more muscular male body to be ideal, as distinct from a woman's ideal male, which is less muscular than what men perceive to be ideal. This is due to the within-gender prestige granted by increased muscularity and within-gender competition for increased muscularity. Men perceive the attractiveness of their own musculature by how closely their bodies resemble the "muscle man." This "muscle man" ideal is characterized by large muscular arms, especially biceps, a large muscular chest that tapers to their waist and broad shoulders. Among Australian university students, the male body composition found to be most attractive (12.16 kg fat, 63.27 kg muscle) was in line with the composition that was perceived as healthiest, and was well within the healthy range.
In a study of stated profile preferences on Match.com, a greater percentage of gay men than lesbians selected their ideal partner's body type as "Athletic and Toned" as opposed to the other two options of "Average" or "Overweight".
In pre-modern Chinese literature, such as in Romance of the Western Chamber, a type of masculinity called "scholar masculinity" is depicted wherein the "ideal male lover" is "weak, vulnerable, feminine, and pedantic".
In Middle English literature, a beautiful man typically has thick, broad shoulders, a square and muscular chest, a muscular back, strong sides that taper to a small waist, large hands and arms and legs with huge muscles.
A 2014 study criticized previous studies based on the fact that they relied on images and used terms such as "small", "medium", and "large" when asking for female preference. The new study used 3D models of penises from sizes of 4 inches (10 cm) long and 2.5 inches (6.4 cm) in circumference to 8.5 inches (22 cm) long and 7 inches (18 cm) in circumference and let the women "view and handle" them. It was found that women overestimated the actual size of the penises they have experimented with when asked in a follow-up survey. The study concluded that women on average preferred the 6.5-inch (17 cm) penis in length both for long-term and for one-time partners. Penises with larger girth were preferred for one-time partners.
Height and erect posture
Females' sexual attraction towards males may be determined by the height of the man. The online dating Website eHarmony only matches women with taller men because of complaints from women matched with shorter men.
Other studies have shown that heterosexual women often prefer men taller than they are rather than a man with above average height. While women usually desire men to be at least the same height as themselves or taller, several other factors also determine male attractiveness, and the male-taller norm is not universal. For example, taller women are more likely to relax the "taller male" norm than shorter women. Furthermore, professor Adam Eyre-Walker, from the University of Sussex, has stated that there is, as of yet, no evidence that these preferences are evolutionary preferences, as opposed to merely cultural preferences. Still, the cultural perceived attractiveness preferences for taller men are powerful and confirmed by multiple studies. One study by Stulp found that "women were most likely to choose a speed-dater 25 cm taller than themselves."
Additionally, women seem more receptive to an erect posture than men, though both prefer it as an element within beauty. According to one study (Yee N., 2002), gay men who identify as "only tops" tend to prefer shorter men, while gay men who identify as "only bottoms" tend to prefer taller men.
In romances in Middle English literature, all of the "ideal" male heroes are tall, and the vast majority of the "valiant" male heroes are tall too.
Studies based in the United States, New Zealand, and China have shown that women rate men with no trunk (chest and abdominal) hair as most attractive, and that attractiveness ratings decline as hairiness increases. Another study, however, found that moderate amounts of trunk hair on men was most attractive, to the sample of British and Sri Lankan women. Further, a degree of hirsuteness (hairiness) and a waist-to-shoulder ratio of 0.6 is often preferred when combined with a muscular physique.
In a study using Finnish women, women with hairy fathers were more likely to prefer hairy men, suggesting that preference for hairy men is the result of either genetics or imprinting. Among gay men, another study (Yee N., 2002) reported gay males who identify as "only tops" prefer less hairy men, while gay males who identify as "only bottoms" prefer hairier men.
Testosterone has been shown to darken skin color in laboratory experiments. Despite this, the aesthetics of skin tone varies from culture to culture. Manual laborers who spent extended periods of time outside developed a darker skin tone due to exposure to the sun. As a consequence, an association between dark skin and the lower classes developed. Light skin became an aesthetic ideal because it symbolized wealth. "Over time society attached various meanings to these colored differences. Including assumptions about a person's race, socioeconomic class, intelligence, and physical attractiveness."
A scientific review published in 2011, identified from a vast body of empirical research that skin colour as well as skin tone tend to be preferred as they act as indicators of good health. More specifically, these indicators are thought to suggest to potential mates that the beholder has strong or good genes capable of fighting off disease.
More recent research has suggested that redder and yellower skin tones, reflecting higher levels of oxygenated blood, carotenoid and to a lesser extent melanin pigment, and net dietary intakes of fruit and vegetables, appear healthier, and therefore more attractive.
Research indicates that heterosexual men tend to be attracted to young and beautiful women with bodily symmetry. Rather than decreasing it, modernity has only increased the emphasis men place on women's looks. Evolutionary psychologists attribute such attraction to an evaluation of the fertility potential in a prospective mate.
Research has attempted to determine which facial features communicate attractiveness. Facial symmetry has been shown to be considered attractive in women, and men have been found to prefer full lips, high forehead, broad face, small chin, small nose, short and narrow jaw, high cheekbones, clear and smooth skin, and wide-set eyes. The shape of the face in terms of "how everything hangs together" is an important determinant of beauty. A University of Toronto study found correlations between facial measurements and attractiveness; researchers varied the distance between eyes, and between eyes and mouth, in different drawings of the same female face, and had the drawings evaluated; they found there were ideal proportions perceived as attractive (see photo). These proportions (46% and 36%) were close to the average of all female profiles. Women with thick, dark limbal rings in their eyes have also been found to be more attractive. The explanation given is that because the ring tends to fade with age and medical problems, a prominent limbal ring gives an honest indicator of youth.
In Persian literature, beautiful women are said to have noses like hazelnuts. In Arabian society in the Middle Ages, a component of the female beauty ideal was for women to have straight and fine noses. In Jewish Rabbinic literature, the rabbis considered a delicate nose to be the ideal type of nose for women. In Japan, during the Edo period, a component of the female beauty ideal was for women to have tall noses which were straight and not "too tall".
In a cross-cultural study, more neotenized (i.e., youthful looking) female faces were found to be most attractive to men while less neotenized female faces were found to be less attractive to men, regardless of the females' actual age. One of these desired traits was a small jaw. In a study of Italian women who have won beauty competitions, it was found that their faces had more "babyish" (pedomorphic) traits than those of the "normal" women used as a reference.
In a cross-cultural study, Marcinkowska et al. said that 18- to 45-year-old heterosexual men in all 28 countries surveyed preferred photographs of 18- to 24-year-old Caucasian women whose faces were feminized using Psychomorph software over faces of 18- to 24-year-old Caucasian women that were masculinized using that software, but there were differences in preferences for femininity across countries. The higher the National Health Index of a country, the more were the feminized faces preferred over the masculinized faces. Among the countries surveyed, Japan had the highest femininity preference and Nepal had the lowest femininity preference.
Michael R. Cunningham of the Department of Psychology at the University of Louisville found, using a panel of East Asian, Hispanic and White judges, that the Asian, Hispanic and White female faces found most attractive were those that had "neonate large eyes, greater distance between eyes, and small noses" and his study led him to conclude that "large eyes" were the most "effective" of the "neonate cues". Cunningham also said that "shiny" hair may be indicative of "neonate vitality". Using a panel of blacks and whites as judges, Cunningham found more neotenous faces were perceived as having both higher "femininity" and "sociability". In contrast, Cunningham found that faces that were "low in neoteny" were judged as "intimidating". Cunningham noted a "difference" in the preferences of Asian and white judges with Asian judges preferring women with "less mature faces" and smaller mouths than the White judges. Cunningham hypothesized that this difference in preference may stem from "ethnocentrism" since "Asian faces possess those qualities", so Cunningham re-analyzed the data with "11 Asian targets excluded" and concluded that "ethnocentrism was not a primary determinant of Asian preferences." Rather than finding evidence for purely "neonate" faces being most appealing, Cunningham found faces with "sexually-mature" features at the "periphery" of the face combined with "neonate" features in the "center of the face" most appealing in men and women. Upon analyzing the results of his study, Cunningham concluded that preference for "neonate features may display the least cross-cultural variability" in terms of "attractiveness ratings" and, in another study, Cunningham concluded that there exists a large agreement on the characteristics of an attractive face.
In computer face averaging tests, women with averaged faces have been shown to be considered more attractive. This is possibly due to average features being more familiar and, therefore, more comfortable.
Commenting on the prevalence of whiteness in supposed beauty ideals in his book White Lies: Race and the Myth of Whiteness, Maurice Berger states that the schematic rendering in the idealized face of a study conducted with American subjects had "straight hair," "light skin," "almond-shaped eyes," "thin, arched eyebrows," "a long, thin nose, closely set and tiny nostrils" and "a large mouth and thin lips", though the author of the study stated that there was consistency between his results and those conducted on other races. Scholar Liu Jieyu says in the article White Collar Beauties, "The criterion of beauty is both arbitrary and gendered. The implicit consensus is that women who have fair skin and a slim figure with symmetrical facial features are pretty." He says that all of these requirements are socially constructed and force people to change themselves to fit these criteria.
One psychologist speculated there were two opposing principles of female beauty: prettiness and rarity. So on average, symmetrical features are one ideal, while unusual, stand-out features are another. A study performed by the University of Toronto found that the most attractive facial dimensions were those found in the average female face. However, that particular University of Toronto study looked only at white women.
A study that used Chinese, Malay and Indian judges said that Chinese women with orthognathism where the mouth is flat and in-line with the rest of the face were judged to be the most attractive and Chinese women with a protruding mandible where the jaw projects outward were judged to be the least attractive.
A 2011 study, by Wilkins, Chan and Kaiser found correlations between perceived femininity and attractiveness, that is, women's faces which were seen as more feminine were judged by both men and women to be more attractive.
A component of the female beauty ideal in Persian literature is for women to have faces like a full moon.
In Japan, during the Edo period, a component of the female beauty ideal was for women to have long and narrow faces which were shaped like ovals.
In Jewish Rabbinic literature, the rabbis considered full lips to be the ideal type of lips for women.
Classical Persian literature, paintings, and miniatures portrayed traits such as long black curly hair, a small mouth, long arched eyebrows, large almond shaped eyes, a small nose, and beauty spots as being beautiful for women.
A study where photographs of several women were manipulated (so that their faces would be shown with either the natural eye color of the model or with the other color) showed that, on average, brown-eyed men have no preference regarding eye color, but blue-eyed men prefer women of the same eye color.
Through the East Asian blepharoplasty cosmetic surgery procedure, Asian women can permanently alter the structure of their eyelid. Some people have argued that this alteration is done to resemble the structure of a Western eyelid while other people have argued that this is generally done solely to emulate the appearance of naturally occurring Asian double eyelids.
A study that investigated whether or not an eyelid crease makes Chinese-descent women more attractive using photo-manipulated photographs of young Chinese-descent women's eyes found that the "medium upper eyelid crease" was considered most attractive by all three groups of both sexes: white people, Chinese and Taiwanese nationals together as a group, and Taiwanese and Chinese Americans together as a group. Similarly, all three groups of both genders found the absence of an eye crease to be least attractive on Chinese women.
In the late sixteenth century, Japanese people considered epicanthic folds to be beautiful.
A study that used Russian, American, Brazilian, Aché, and Hiwi raters, found that the only strong distinguisher between men and women's faces was wider eyes relative to facial height for women, and this trait consistently predicted attractiveness ratings for women.
In Arabian society in the Middle Ages, a component of the female beauty ideal was for women to have dark black eyes which are large and long and in the shape of almonds. Furthermore, the eyes should be lustrous, and they should have long eyelashes.
A source written in 1823, said that a component of the Persian female beauty ideal was for women to have large eyes which are black in color. In Persian literature, beautiful women are said to have eyes that are shaped like almonds.
In Chinese, the phrase "lucent irises, lustrous teeth" (Chinese: 明眸皓齒) is used to describe a beautiful woman with "clear eyes" and "well-aligned, white teeth", and the phrase "moth-feeler eyebrows" (Chinese: 蛾眉) is used to denote a beautiful woman by describing her eyebrows as being thin and arched like moth antennae. In the Chinese text "The Grotto of the Immortals" (Chinese: 遊仙窟) written during the Tang dynasty period, narrow eyes were the preferred type of eyes for women, and, in the Chinese text "Jeweled Chamber Secrets" (Chinese: 玉房秘訣) from the Six Dynasties period, the ideal woman was described as having small eyes.
In Japan, during the Edo period, one piece of evidence, the appearance of the "formal wife" of Tokugawa Iesada as determined by "bone anthropologist" Suzuki Hisashi, indicates that large eyes were considered attractive for women, but, another piece of evidence, the 1813 Japanese text "Customs, Manners, and Fashions of the Capital" (Japanese: 都風俗化粧伝), indicates that large eyes were not considered attractive for women.
Cross-cultural data shows that the reproductive success of women is tied to their youth and physical attractiveness such as the pre-industrial Sami where the most reproductively successful women were 15 years younger than their man. One study covering 37 cultures showed that, on average, a woman was 2.5 years younger than her male partner, with the age difference in Nigeria and Zambia being at the far extreme of 6.5 to 7.5 years. As men age, they tend to seek a mate who is ever younger.
25% of eHarmony's male customers over the age of 50 request to only be matched with women younger than 40. A 2010 OkCupid study, of 200,000 users found that female desirability to its male users peaks at age 21, and falls below the average for all women at 31. After age 26, men have a larger potential dating pool than women on the site; and by age 48, their pool is almost twice as large. The median 31-year-old male user searches for women aged 22 to 35, while the median 42-year-old male searches for women 27 to 45. The age skew is even greater with messages to other users; the median 30-year-old male messages teenage girls as often as women his own age, while mostly ignoring women a few years older than him. Excluding the 10% most and 10% least beautiful of women, however, women's attractiveness does not change between 18 and 40, but if extremes are not excluded "There's no doubt that younger [women] are more physically attractive—indeed in many ways beauty and youth are inextricable. That's why most of the models you see in magazines are teenagers".
Pheromones (detected by female hormone markers) reflects female fertility and the reproductive value mean. As females age, the estrogen-to-androgen production ratio changes and results in female faces to appear more and more masculine (thus appearing less "attractive"). In a small (n=148) study performed in the United States, using male college students at one university, the mean age expressed as ideal for a wife was found to be 16.87 years old, while 17.76 was the mean ideal age for a brief sexual encounter. However, the study sets up a framework where "taboos against sex with young girls" are purposely diminished, and biased their sample by removing any participant over the age of 30, with a mean participant age of 19.83. In a study of penile tumescence, men were found most aroused by pictures of young adult females.
Signals of fertility in women are often also seen as signals of youth. The evolutionary perspective proposes the idea that when it comes to sexual reproduction, the minimal parental investment required by men gives them the ability and want to simply reproduce 'as much as possible.' It therefore makes sense that men are attracted to the features in women which signal youthfulness, and thus fertility. Their chances of reproductive success are much higher than they would be should they pick someone older—and therefore less fertile.
This may explain why combating age declines in attractiveness occurs from a younger age in women than in men. For example, the removal of one's body hair is considered a very feminine thing to do. This can be explained by the fact that aging results in raised levels of testosterone and thus, body hair growth. Shaving reverts one's appearance to a more youthful stage and although this may not be an honest signal, men will interpret this as a reflection of increased fertile value. Research supports this, showing hairlessness to considered sexually attractive by men.
Research has shown that most heterosexual men enjoy the sight of female breasts, with a preference for large, firm breasts. However, a contradictory study of British undergraduates found younger men preferred small breasts on women. Smaller breasts were widely associated with youthfulness. Cross-culturally, another study found "high variability" regarding the ideal breast size. Some researchers in the United Kingdom have speculated that a preference for larger breasts may have developed in Western societies because women with larger breasts tend to have higher levels of the hormones estradiol and progesterone, which both promote fertility.
A study by Groyecka et al., in which they examined Poles and Yali of New Guinea, demonstrated that men judgements of breast appearance is affected by the occurrence of breast ptosis (i.e., sagginess, droopiness). Greater breast ptosis (more sagging breasts) is perceived as less attractive and attributed to a woman of older age. These findings are coherent with previous research that link breast attractiveness with female youthfulness. Unlike breast size, breast ptosis seems to be a universal marker of female breast attractiveness.
A study showed that men prefer symmetrical breasts. Breast symmetry may be particularly sensitive to developmental disturbances and the symmetry differences for breasts are large compared to other body parts. Women who have more symmetrical breasts tend to have more children.
Historical literature often includes specific features of individuals or a gender that are considered desirable. These have often become a matter of convention, and should be interpreted with caution. In Arabian society in the Middle Ages, a component of the female beauty ideal was for women to have small breasts. In Persian literature, beautiful women are said to have breasts like pomegranates or lemons. In the Chinese text "Jeweled Chamber Secrets" (Chinese: 玉房秘訣) from the Six Dynasties period, the ideal woman was described as having firm breasts. In Sanskrit literature, beautiful women are often said to have breasts so large that they cause the women to bend a little bit from their weight. In Middle English literature, beautiful women should have small breasts that are round like an apple or a pear.
Biological anthropologist Helen E. Fisher of the Center for Human Evolution Studies in the Department of Anthropology of Rutgers University said that, "perhaps, the fleshy, rounded buttocks... attracted males during rear-entry intercourse." In a recent study, using 3D models and eye-tracking technology Fisher's claim was tested and was shown that the slight thrusting out of a woman's back influence how attractive others perceive her to be and captures the gaze of both men and women. Bobbi S. Low et al. of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, said the female "buttocks evolved in the context of females competing for the attention and parental commitment of powerful resource-controlling males" as an "honest display of fat reserves" that could not be confused with another type of tissue, although T. M. Caro, professor in the Center for Population Biology and the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, at University of California, Davis, rejected that as being a necessary conclusion, stating that female fatty deposits on the hips improve "individual fitness of the female", regardless of sexual selection.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is an important determinant to the perception of beauty. Even though the Western ideal is for a thin woman, some cultures prefer plumper women, which has been argued to support that attraction for a particular BMI merely is a cultural artifact. The attraction for a proportionate body also influences an appeal for erect posture. One cross-cultural survey comparing body-mass preferences among 300 of the most thoroughly studied cultures in the world showed that 81% of cultures preferred a female body size that in English would be described as "plump".
Availability of food influences which female body size is attractive which may have evolutionary reasons. Societies with food scarcities prefer larger female body size than societies that have plenty of food. In Western society males who are hungry prefer a larger female body size than they do when not hungry.
BMI has been criticised for conflating fat and muscle, and more recent studies have concentrated on body composition. Among Australian university students, the most attractive body composition for women (10.31 kg fat, 42.45 kg muscle) was found to be lower in fat than both the most healthy appearing composition, and below the healthy range.
In the United States, women overestimate men's preferences for thinness in a mate. In one study, American women were asked to choose what their ideal build was and what they thought the build most attractive to men was. Women chose slimmer than average figures for both choices. When American men were independently asked to choose the female build most attractive to them, the men chose figures of average build. This indicates that women may be misled as to how thin men prefer women to be. Some speculate that thinness as a beauty standard is one way in which women judge each other and that thinness is viewed as prestigious for within-gender evaluations of other women. A reporter surmised that thinness is prized among women as a "sign of independence, strength and achievement." Some implicated the fashion industry for the promulgation of the notion of thinness as attractive.
East Asians have historically preferred women whose bodies had small features. For example, during the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history, women in Chinese harems wanted to have a thin body in order to be attractive for the Chinese emperor. Later, during the Tang Dynasty, a less thin body type was seen as most attractive for Chinese women. In Arabian society in the Middle Ages, a component of the female beauty ideal was for women to be slender like a "cane" or a "twig". In the Chinese text "Jeweled Chamber Secrets" (Chinese: 玉房秘訣) from the Six Dynasties period, the ideal woman was described as not being "large-boned".
In the Victorian era, women who adhered to Victorian ideals were expected to limit their food consumption to attain the ideal slim figure. In Middle English literature, "slender" women are considered beautiful.
A WHR of 0.7 for women has been shown to correlate strongly with general health and fertility. Women within the 0.7 range have optimal levels of estrogen and are less susceptible to major diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and ovarian cancers. Women with high WHR (0.80 or higher) have significantly lower pregnancy rates than women with lower WHRs (0.70–0.79), independent of their BMIs. Female waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) has been proposed by evolutionary psychologists to be an important component of human male mate choice, because this trait is thought to provide a reliable cue to a woman's reproductive value.
Both men and women judge women with smaller waist-to-hip ratios more attractive. Ethnic groups vary with regard to their ideal waist-to-hip ratio for women, ranging from 0.6 in China, to 0.8 or 0.9 in parts of South America and Africa, and divergent preferences based on ethnicity, rather than nationality, have also been noted. A study found the Machiguenga people, an isolated indigenous South American ethnic group, prefer women with high WHR (0.9). The preference for heavier women, has been interpreted to belong to societies where there is no risk of obesity.
Most men tend to be taller than their female partners. It has been found that, in Western societies, most men prefer shorter women. Having said this, height is a more important factor for a woman when choosing a man than it is for a man choosing a woman. Men tend to view taller women as less attractive, and people view heterosexual couples where the woman is taller to be less ideal. Women who are 0.7 to 1.7 standard deviations below the mean female height have been reported to be the most reproductively successful, since fewer tall women get married compared to shorter women. However, in other ethnic groups, such as the Hadza, study has found that height is irrelevant in choosing a mate.
In Middle English literature, 'tallness' is a characteristic of ideally beautiful women.
A study using Polish participants by Sorokowski found 5% longer legs than average person leg to body ratio for both on man and woman was considered most attractive. The study concluded this preference might stem from the influence of leggy runway models. Another study using British and American participants, found "mid-ranging" leg-to-body ratios to be most ideal.
A study by Swami et al. of British male and female undergraduates showed a preference for men with legs as long as the rest of their body and women with 40% longer legs than the rest of their body. The researcher concluded that this preference might be influenced by American culture where long legged women are portrayed as more attractive.
Marco Bertamini criticized the Swami et al. study for using a picture of the same person with digitally altered leg lengths which he felt would make the modified image appear unrealistic. Bertamini also criticized the Swami study for only changing the leg length while keeping the arm length constant. After accounting for these concerns in his own study, Bertamini's study which used stick figures also found a preference for women with proportionately longer legs than men. When Bertamini investigated the issue of possible sexual dimorphism of leg length, he found two sources that indicated that men usually have slightly proportionately longer legs than women or that differences in leg length proportion may not exist between men and women. Following this review of existing literature on the subject, he conducted his own calculations using data from 1774 men and 2208 women. Using this data, he similarly found that men usually have slightly proportionately longer legs than women or that differences in leg length proportion may not exist between men and women. These findings made him rule out the possibility that a preference for women with proportionately longer legs than men is due proportionately longer legs being a secondary sex characteristic of women.
According to some studies, most men prefer women with small feet, such as in ancient China where foot binding was practiced.
In Jewish Rabbinic literature, the rabbis considered small feet to be the ideal type of feet for women.
Men have been found to prefer long-haired women. An evolutionary psychology explanation for this is that malnutrition and deficiencies in minerals and vitamins causes loss of hair or hair changes. Hair therefore indicates health and nutrition during the last 2–3 years. Lustrous hair is also often a cross-cultural preference. One study reported non-Asian men to prefer blondes and Asian men to prefer black-haired women.
A component of the female beauty ideal in Persian literature is for women to have black hair, which was also preferred in Arabian society in the Middle Ages. In Middle English literature, curly hair is a necessary component of a beautiful woman.
The way an individual moves can indicate health and even age and influence attractiveness. A study reflecting the views of 700 individuals and that involved animated representations of people walking, found that the physical attractiveness of women increased by about 50 percent when they walked with a hip sway. Similarly, the perceived attractiveness of males doubled when they moved with a swagger in their shoulders.
Skin color and radiance
A preference for lighter-skinned women has been documented across many cultures. A 2010 study found a preference for lighter-skinned women in New Zealand and California. In parts of Africa and Asia, skin bleaching is common. The universality of this preference however has been questioned by a 2006 study on men of the Bikosso tribe in Cameroon which found no consistent preference for either lighter or darker skinned women.
Skin color preferences may shift over time, as in Western culture, where tanned skin used to be associated with the sun-exposed manual labor of the lower-class, but since the mid-20th century it has generally been considered more attractive and healthier than before, with sun tanning becoming fashionable.
There are some subtle changes in women's perceived attractiveness across the menstrual cycle. During their most fertile phase, we can observe some changes in women's behavior and physiology. A study conducted by G. Miller (2007) examined the amount of tip earnings by lap dancers across the menstrual cycle. He found that dancers received nearly 15 USD more when they were near ovulation than during the rest of the month. This suggests that women either are more attractive during ovulation phase, or they experience a significant change in their behavior. Some other studies have found that there are subtle differences in women's faces when in their fertile phase. Bobst and Lobmaier (2012) created 20 prototyped photographs, some of a female during ovulation and some during the luteal phase. Men were asked to choose the more attractive, the more caring and the more flirtatious faces. They found a significant preference for the follicular phase (ovulation). This suggests that subtle shape differences in faces occurring during the female's ovulation phase are sufficient to attract men more. This idea is supported by another study, where a similar experiment was done. Men and women had to judge photographs of women's faces taken during their fertile phase. They were all rated more attractive than during non-fertile phase. They are some subtle visible cues to ovulation in women's faces, and they are perceived as more attractive, leading to the idea that it could be an adaptive mechanism to raise a female's mate value at that specific time (when probability of conception is at its highest).
Women's attractiveness, as perceived by men and women, slightly differs across her menstrual cycle, being at peak when she is in her ovulation phase. Jones et al. (2008), focused on women's preferences for masculinity, apparent health and self-resemblance and found that it varies across the cycle. They explained that the function of the effects of menstrual cycle phase on preferences for apparent health and self-resemblance in faces is to increase the likelihood of pregnancy.
During the follicular phase (fertile), females prefer more male's traits (testosterone dependent traits such as face shape) than when in non-fertile phase. Those findings have been found in the voice, showing that females’ preferences for more masculine voices over feminine voices increase the fertile phase of the menstrual cycle.
But not only females' preferences vary across cycle, their behaviours as well. Effectively, men respond differently to females when they are on ovulatory cycle, because females act differently. Women in the ovulatory phase are flirtier with males showing genetic fitness markers than in low fertile phase. It has been shown in some studies that women high in estrogen are generally perceived to be more attractive than women with low levels of estrogen, based on women not wearing make-up. High estrogen level women may also be viewed as healthier or to have a more feminine face.
Similarly, a study investigated the capacity of women to select high quality males based on their facial attractiveness. They found that facial attractiveness correlated with semen quality (good, normal, or bad depending on sperm morphology and motility). The more attractive a man's face is, linked to his sperm being of better quality.
Sexual ornaments are seen in many organisms; in humans, females have sexual ornamentation in the form of breasts and buttocks. The physical attraction to sexual ornaments is associated with gynoid fat, as opposed to android fat, which is considered unattractive. In human females, proximate causes of the development of sexual ornaments are associated with the predominance of estrogen in puberty. The activation of estrogen receptors around the female skeletal tissue causes gynoid fat to be deposited in the breasts, buttocks, hips and thighs, producing an overall typical female body shape. Specifically, female breasts are considered more attractive when symmetrical, rather than asymmetrical, as this is thought to reflect good developmental stability.
Sexual ornaments are considered attractive features as they are thought to indicate high mate value, fertility, and the ability to provide good care to offspring. They are sexually selected traits present for the purpose of honest signalling and capturing the visual attention of the opposite sex, most commonly associated with females capturing the visual attention of males. It has been proposed that these ornaments have evolved in order to advertise personal quality and reproductive value. Honest signalling with sexual ornaments is associated with ultimate causation of these evolved traits. The evolution of these ornaments is also associated with female-female competition in order to gain material benefits provided by resourceful and high status males. In humans, once these sexual ornaments develop, they are permanent. It is thought that this is associated with the long-term pair bonding humans engage in; human females engage in extended sexual activity outside of their fertile period. This relates to another ultimate cause of sexual ornaments with function in obtaining non-genetic material benefits from males. In other animal species, even other primate species, these advertisements of reproductive value are not permanent. Usually, it is the point at which the female is at her most fertile, she displays sexual swellings.
Adolescence is the period of time whereby humans experience puberty, and experience anatomical changes to their bodies through the increase of sex hormones released in the body. Adolescent exaggeration is the period of time at which sexual ornaments are maximised, and peak gynoid fat content is reached. In human females, the mean age for this is approximately 16 years. Female breasts develop at this stage not only to prepare for reproduction, but also due to competition with other females in displaying their reproductive value and quality to males.
Possible gender differences for preferences
For both men and women, there appear to be universal criteria of attractiveness both within and across cultures and ethnic groups. When considering long term relationships, some studies have found that men place a higher emphasis on physical attractiveness in a partner than women do. On the other hand, some studies have found few differences between men and women in terms of the weight they place on physical characteristics when they are choosing partners for short-term relationships, in particular with regard to their implicit, as opposed to explicitly articulated, preferences. Other recent studies continue to find sex differences for long-term relationships. There is also one study suggesting that only men, not women, place greater priority on bodily compared to facial attractiveness when looking for a short-term as compared to a long-term partner.
Some evolutionary psychologists, including David Buss, have argued that this long-term relationship difference may be a consequence of ancestral humans who selected partners based on secondary sexual characteristics, as well as general indicators of fitness which allowed for greater reproductive success as a result of higher fertility in those partners, although a male's ability to provide resources for offspring was likely signaled less by physical features. It is argued that the most prominent indicator of fertility in women is youth, while the traits in a man which enhance reproductive success are proxies for his ability to accrue resources and protect.
Studies have shown that women pay greater attention to physical traits than they do directly to earning capability or potential to commit, including muscularity, fitness and masculinity of features; the latter preference was observed to vary during a woman's period, with women preferring more masculine features during the late-follicular (fertile) phase of the menstrual cycle. Additionally, women process physical attractiveness differently, paying attention to both individual features and the aesthetic effect of the whole face. A 2003 study in the area concluded that heterosexual women are about equally aroused when viewing men or women. Heterosexual men were only aroused by women. This study verified arousal in the test subjects by connecting them to brain imaging devices. Notably, the same study reported arousal for women upon viewing animals mating.
Bonnie Adrian's book, Framing the Bride, discusses the emphasis Taiwanese brides place on physical attractiveness for their wedding photographs. Globalization and western ideals of beauty have spread and have become more prevalent in Asian societies where brides go through hours of hair and makeup to "transform everyday women with their individual characteristics into generic look-alike beauties in three hours' time." These brides go through hours of makeup to transform themselves into socially constructed beauty.
According to strategic pluralism theory, men may have correspondingly evolved to pursue reproductive strategies that are contingent on their own physical attractiveness. More physically attractive men accrue reproductive benefits from spending more time seeking multiple mating partners and relatively less time investing in offspring. In contrast, the reproductive effort of physically less attractive men, who therefore will not have the same mating opportunities, is better allocated either to investing heavily in accruing resources, or investing in their mates and offspring and spending relatively less time seeking additional mates.
Facial similarity and racial preferences
Several studies have suggested that people are generally attracted to people who look like them, and they generally evaluate faces that exhibit features of their own ethnic or racial group as being more attractive. Although both men and women use children's "facial resemblance" to themselves in "attractiveness judgments," a greater percentage of women in one study (37% n=30) found hypothetical children whose faces were "self-morphs" of themselves as most attractive when compared to men (30% n=23). The more similar a judged person is toward the judging person, the more the former is liked. However, this effect can be reversed. This might depend on how attractiveness is conceptualized: similar members (compared to dissimilar ones) of the opposite sex are judged as more likable in a prosocial sense. Again, findings are more ambiguous when looking for the desiring, pleasure related component of attractiveness. This might be influenced by the measure one uses (subjective ratings can differ from the way one actually reacts) and by situational factors: while men usually prefer women whose face resembles their own, this effect can reverse under stress, when dissimilar females are preferred.
A study by R. E. Hall in 2008, which examined determinations of physical attractiveness by having subjects look at the faces of women, found that race was sometimes a factor in these evaluations. In 2011, two studies found evidence that the ethnicity of a face influenced how attractive it was judged to be. A 2014 study by Tsunokai, McGrath and Kavanagh based on data from a dating website, the authors cited race as a factor in dating preferences by Asian-American men, both homosexual and heterosexual.
Perceptions of physical attractiveness contribute to generalized assumptions based on those attractions. Individuals assume that when someone is beautiful, then they have many other positive attributes that make the attractive person more likeable. This is referred to as the halo effect, also known as the 'beautiful-is-good' effect. Across cultures, what is beautiful is assumed to be good; attractive people are assumed to be more extroverted, popular, and happy. This could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy, as, from a young age, attractive people receive more attention that helps them develop these characteristics. In one study, beautiful people were found to be generally happier than less beautiful or plain people, perhaps because these outgoing personality traits are linked to happiness, or perhaps because beauty led to increased economic benefits which partially explained the increased happiness. In another study testing first impressions in 56 female and 17 male participants at University of British Columbia, personality traits of physically attractive people were identified more positively and more accurately than those who were less physically attractive. It was explained that people pay closer attention to those they find physically beautiful or attractive, and thus perceiving attractive individuals with greater distinctive accuracy. The study believes this accuracy to be subjective to the eye of the beholder. Recent results from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study confirmed the positive link between psychological well-being and attractiveness (higher facial attractiveness, lower BMI) and also found the complementary negative association with distress/depression. Even though connections and confounds with other variables could not be excluded, the effects of attractiveness in this study were the same size as the ones for other demographic variables.
In developed western societies, women tend to be judged for their physical appearance over their other qualities and the pressure to engage in beauty work is much higher for women than men. Beauty work is defined as various beauty “practices individuals perform on themselves or others to elicit certain benefits from a specific social hierarchy.” Being “beautiful” has individual, social and institutional rewards. Although marketers have started to target the “metro-sexual” male and produce hygiene and beauty products geared towards men, the expectations placed on them is less than women The time and money required for a man to achieve the same well-groomed appearance is much lower. Even in areas that men also face pressure to perform beauty work, such a haircuts/styling, the prices discrepancy for products and services are skewed. This phenomenon is called the "pink tax."
However, attractiveness varies by society; in ancient China foot binding was practiced by confining young girls' feet in tightly bound shoes to prevent the feet from growing to normal size causing the women to have an attractive "lotus gait". In England, women used to wear corsets that severely constricted their breathing and damaged vital internal organs, in order to achieve a visual effect of an exaggeratedly low waist-to-hip ratio.
People make judgments of physical attractiveness based on what they see, but also on what they know about the person. Specifically, perceptions of beauty are malleable such that information about the person's personality traits can influence one's assessment of another person's physical beauty. A 2007 study had participants first rate pictures for attractiveness. After doing distracting math problems, participants saw the pictures again, but with information about the person's personality. When participants learned that a person had positive personality characteristics (e.g., smart, funny, kind), that person was seen as more physically attractive. Conversely, a person with negative personality characteristics (e.g., materialistic, rude, untrustworthy) was seen as less physically attractive. This was true for both females and males. A person may be perceived as being more attractive if they are seen as part of a group of friends, rather than alone, according to one study.
Physical attractiveness can have various effects. A survey conducted by London Guildhall University of 11,000 people showed that those who subjectively describe themselves as physically attractive earn more income than others who would describe themselves as less attractive. People who described themselves as less attractive earned, on average, 13% less than those who described themselves as more attractive, while the penalty for being overweight was around 5%. According to further research done on the correlation between looks and earnings in men, the punishment for unattractiveness is greater than the benefits of being attractive. However, in women the punishment is found to be equal to the benefits. Another study suggests that more physically attractive people are significantly more likely on average to earn considerably higher wages. Differences in income due to attractiveness was much more pronounced for men rather than women, and held true for all ranges of income.
It is important to note that other factors such as self-confidence may explain or influence these findings as they are based on self-reported attractiveness as opposed to any sort of objective criteria; however, as one's self-confidence and self-esteem are largely learned from how one is regarded by his/her peers while maturing, even these considerations would suggest a significant role for physical appearance. One writer speculated that "the distress created in women by the spread of unattainable ideals of female beauty" might possibly be linked to increasing incidence of depression.
Many have asserted that certain advantages tend to come to those who are perceived as being more attractive, including the ability to get better jobs and promotions; receiving better treatment from authorities and the legal system; having more choices in romantic or platonic partners and, therefore, more power in relationships; and marrying into families with more money. Those who are attractive are treated and judged more positively than those who are considered unattractive, even by those who know them. Also, attractive individuals behave more positively than those who are unattractive. One study found that teachers tend to expect that children who are attractive are more intelligent, and are more likely to progress further in school. They also consider these students to be more popular. Voters choose political candidates who are more attractive over those who are less attractive. Men and women use physical attractiveness as a measure of how "good" another person is. In 1946, Soloman Asch coined the Implicit Personality Theory, meaning that the presence of one trait tends to imply the existence of other traits. This is also known as the halo effect. Research suggests that those who are physically attractive are thought to have more socially desirable personalities and lead better lives in general. This is also known as the "what-is-beautiful-is-good effect." Discrimination against or prejudice towards others based on their appearance is sometimes referred to as lookism.
Some researchers conclude that little difference exists between men and women in terms of sexual behavior. Other researchers disagree. Symmetrical men and women have a tendency to begin to have sexual intercourse at an earlier age, to have more sexual partners, to engage in a wider variety of sexual activities, and to have more one-night stands. They are also prone to infidelity and are more likely to have open relationships. Additionally, they have the most reproductive success. Therefore, their physical characteristics are most likely to be inherited by future generations.
Concern for improving physical attractiveness has led many persons to consider alternatives such as cosmetic surgery. It has led scientists working with related disciplines such as computer imaging and mathematics to conduct research to suggest ways to surgically alter the distances between facial features in order to make a face conform more closely to the "agreed-upon standards of attractiveness" of an ideal face by using algorithms to suggest an alternative which still resembles the current face. One research study found that cosmetic surgery as a way to "boost earnings" was "not profitable in a monetary sense." Some research shows that physical attractiveness has a marginal effect on happiness.
- "People: Just Deserts". Time. May 28, 1945. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
... "the most perfect all-over beauty of all time." Runner-up: the Venus de Milo.
- "Says Venus de Milo was not a Flapper; Osteopath Says She Was Neurasthenic, as Her Stomach Was Not in Proper Place" (PDF). The New York Times. April 29, 1922. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
Venus de Milo ... That lady of renowned beauty...
- CBS News Staff (August 5, 2011). "Venus". CBS News. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
The classical vision of beauty exemplified in Greek art, such as the 2nd century B.C. Venus de Milo (a.k.a. Aphrodite of Milos), was an ideal carried through millennia, laying the basis for much of Western art's depictions of the human form.
- Kousser R (2005). "Creating the Past: The Vénus de Milo and the Hellenistic Reception of Classical Greece". American Journal of Archaeology. 109 (2): 227–250. doi:10.3764/aja.109.2.227.
- Wilkinson P (1998). Illustrated Dictionary of Mythology.
- Day J (2004). "Does the Old Testament Refer to Sacred Prostitution and Did It Actual Exist in Ancient Israel?". In McCarthy C, Healey JF (eds.). Biblical and Near Eastern Essays: Studies in Honour of Kevin J. Cathcart. Cromwell Press. pp. 2–21. ISBN 978-0-8264-6690-7.
- Singh NK (1997). Divine Prostitution. New Dehli: APH Publishing. pp. 4–6. ISBN 978-81-7024-821-7.
- Perkins D (November 19, 2013). Encyclopedia of China: History and Culture. Routledge. p. 581. ISBN 978-1135935627.
- Grammer K, Thornhill R (October 1994). "Human (Homo sapiens) facial attractiveness and sexual selection: the role of symmetry and averageness". Journal of Comparative Psychology. 108 (3): 233–42. doi:10.1037/0735-7036.108.3.233. PMID 7924253. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- Zeigler-Hill V, L M Welling L, Shackelford TK (2015). Evolutionary Perspectives on Social Psychology. United States: Springer Science+Business Media. p. 329. ISBN 978-3-319-12697-5.
...why, despite broad agreement, we see a wide variety of personal preferences.
- Dion K, Berscheid E, Walster E (December 1972). "What is beautiful is good". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 24 (3): 285–90. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.521.9955. doi:10.1037/h0033731. PMID 4655540.
- Kanazawa S (2011). "Intelligence and physical attractiveness". Intelligence. 39 (1): 7–14. doi:10.1016/j.intell.2010.11.003.
- Stephen ID, Tan KW (2015). "Healthy body, healthy face? Evolutionary approaches to health perception.". In Sheppard E, Haque S (eds.). Culture and Cognition: A Collection of Critical Essays. Peter Lang International Publishers.
- Stephen ID, Hiew V, Coetzee V, Tiddeman BP, Perrett DI (2017). "Facial Shape Analysis Identifies Valid Cues to Aspects of Physiological Health in Caucasian, Asian, and African Populations". Frontiers in Psychology. 8: 1883. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01883. PMC 5670498. PMID 29163270.
- Barelds-Dijkstra P, Barelds DP (March 2008). "Positive illusions about one's partner's physical attractiveness". Body Images. 5 (1): 99–108. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2007.07.004. PMID 18405868.
- Briscoe J (January 17, 2004). "Haven't I seen you somewhere before?". The Guardian. London. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
Evolutionary psychologists claim there is an underlying standard script for beauty – a foundation for what we find appealing that transcends culture and ethnicity. There are various absolutes. For instance, to judge someone beautiful, the eye requires symmetry.
- Nettle D (September 2002). "Women's height, reproductive success and the evolution of sexual dimorphism in modern humans" (PDF). Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 269 (1503): 1919–23. doi:10.1098/rspb.2002.2111. PMC 1691114. PMID 12350254.
- Glassenberg AN, Feinberg DR, Jones BC, Little AC, Debruine LM (December 2010). "Sex-dimorphic face shape preference in heterosexual and homosexual men and women". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (6): 1289–96. doi:10.1007/s10508-009-9559-6. PMID 19830539.
- Perrett DI, Lee KJ, Penton-Voak I, Rowland D, Yoshikawa S, Burt DM, Henzi SP, Castles DL, Akamatsu S (August 1998). "Effects of sexual dimorphism on facial attractiveness". Nature. 394 (6696): 884–7. Bibcode:1998Natur.394..884P. doi:10.1038/29772. PMID 9732869.
- Sell A, Lukazsweski AW, Townsley M (December 2017). "Cues of upper body strength account for most of the variance in men's bodily attractiveness". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 284 (1869): 20171819. doi:10.1098/rspb.2017.1819. PMC 5745404. PMID 29237852.
- Mautz BS, Wong BB, Peters RA, Jennions MD (April 2013). "Penis size interacts with body shape and height to influence male attractiveness". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 110 (17): 6925–30. doi:10.1073/pnas.1219361110. PMC 3637716. PMID 23569234.
- Lorenz K (2005). "Do Pretty People Earn More?". www.CNN.com.
- Dammann G (August 20, 2008). "Rules of attraction". The Guardian. London. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
scientists from Brunel University have revealed that physical attraction is all down to bodily symmetry.
- Kershaw S (October 8, 2008). "The Sum of Your Facial Parts". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
Scientists ... trained a computer to determine, for each individual face, the most attractive set of distances and then choose the ideal closest to the original face. ...
- Berri DJ (September 16, 2008). "Do Pretty-Boy Quarterbacks Make More Money?". The New York Times. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
Research, though, has indicated that what we think of as facial attractiveness is really just facial symmetry
- Willett E (October 29, 2008). "A person's face can say a lot: Helen's face is said to have launched a thousand ships, while Medusa's could turn men to stone. And even today we talk about individuals with 'a face that can stop a clock.'". The Leader-Post (Regina). Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
"people preferentially mate with, date, associate with, employ, and even vote for physically attractive individuals." ... Symmetry is one trait we find attractive (but only if the face is right-side up: your symmetric face will, alas, do nothing to help you attract a mate if you constantly stand on your head.
- Murphy C (December 4, 2003). "In the eye of the beholder?". BBC News. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
Art historians, anthropologists and human psychologists in general agree that it is the symmetry of a face, its perfect proportion, or indeed its averageness – where no feature stands out – that has consistently down the ages been deemed attractive. ...
- Burkeman O (April 24, 2010). "This column will change your life: The beauty in imperfection". The Guardian. London. Retrieved December 27, 2012.
Absolute flawlessness, it's long been observed, is disturbing. It offers no point of connection, and may help explain the "uncanny valley" effect, where almost-lifelike robots trigger revulsion in humans. ...
- McKeen S (February 10, 2006). "A beauty fix plumps up psyche and overall health". The Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on November 10, 2012. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
Evolution taught us to lust after symmetry – a nicely balanced body and face – because asymmetry signals past illness or injury. We therefore define beauty quite elegantly, right down to the most ideal ratio of hips to breasts and upper lip to lower lip. Singh says one study showed that people were able to gauge beauty at a subliminal level, when shown pictures for a mere one-hundredth of a second. Another study showed babies prefer pretty faces.
- Perrin FA (June 1921). "Physical Attractiveness and Repulsiveness". Journal of Experimental Psychology. 4 (3): 203–217. doi:10.1037/h0071949.
- Grammer K, Sainani KL (October 2015). "Q&A: Karl Grammer. Innate attractions". Nature. 526 (7572): S11. doi:10.1038/526S11a. PMID 26444367.
- Brewis, Alexandra A. (2011). Obesity: Cultural and Biocultural Perspectives. New Brunswick, New Jersey & London: Rutgers University Press. p. 132. Google Books link.
- Winston JS, O'Doherty J, Kilner JM, Perrett DI, Dolan RJ (January 2007). "Brain systems for assessing facial attractiveness". Neuropsychologia. The Perception of Emotion and Social Cues in Faces. 45 (1): 195–206. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.05.009. hdl:21.11116/0000-0001-9F80-B. PMID 16828125.
- Vartanian O, Goel V, Lam E, Fisher M, Granic J (2013). "Middle temporal gyrus encodes individual differences in perceived facial attractiveness". Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 7 (1): 38–47. doi:10.1037/a0031591.
- Wang T, Mo L, Mo C, Tan LH, Cant JS, Zhong L, Cupchik G (June 2015). "Is moral beauty different from facial beauty? Evidence from an fMRI study". Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 10 (6): 814–823. doi:10.1093/scan/nsu123. PMC 4448025. PMID 25298010.
- Tsukiura T, Cabeza R (January 2011). "Remembering beauty: roles of orbitofrontal and hippocampal regions in successful memory encoding of attractive faces". NeuroImage. 54 (1): 653–660. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.07.046. PMC 2962707. PMID 20659568.
- Tsukiura T, Cabeza R (January 2011). "Shared brain activity for aesthetic and moral judgments: implications for the Beauty-is-Good stereotype". Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 6 (1): 138–148. doi:10.1093/scan/nsq025. PMC 3023089. PMID 20231177.
- O'Doherty J, Winston J, Critchley H, Perrett D, Burt DM, Dolan RJ (January 1, 2003). "Beauty in a smile: the role of medial orbitofrontal cortex in facial attractiveness". Neuropsychologia. 41 (2): 147–155. doi:10.1016/s0028-3932(02)00145-8. hdl:21.11116/0000-0001-A0A6-E. PMID 12459213.
- Kranz F, Ishai A (January 2006). "Face perception is modulated by sexual preference". Current Biology. 16 (1): 63–68. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2005.10.070. PMID 16401423.
- Martín-Loeches M, Hernández-Tamames JA, Martín A, Urrutia M (September 2014). "Beauty and ugliness in the bodies and faces of others: an fMRI study of person esthetic judgement". Neuroscience. 277: 486–497. doi:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.07.040. PMID 25086316.
- Bailey & Gaulin & Agyei & Gladue, J.M. & S & Y & B.A (1994). "Effects of gender and sexual orientation on evolutionary relevant aspects of human mating psychology". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 66 (6): 1081–1093. doi:10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.521.
- Cangialosi T (2005). "Surgical Orthodontics Diagnosis and Treatment Planning" (PDF). Columbia University. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Penton-Voak IS, Perrett DI (January 2000). "Female preference for male faces changes cyclically: Further evidence". Evol Hum Behav. 21 (1): 39–48. doi:10.1016/S1090-5138(99)00033-1.
- Rhodes G (2006). "The evolutionary psychology of facial beauty". Annual Review of Psychology. 57 (1): 199–226. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.57.102904.190208. PMID 16318594.
- "Women's choice of men goes in cycles". BBC News. June 24, 1999. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
- Dawkins R (1999). The selfish gene. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0-19-286092-7.
- Kruger DJ, Fisher M, Jobling I (September 2003). "Proper and dark heroes as DADS and CADS". Human Nature. 14 (3): 305–317. doi:10.1007/s12110-003-1008-y. PMID 26190212.
- Wang H, Hahn AC, Fisher CI, DeBruine LM, Jones BC (December 2014). "Women's hormone levels modulate the motivational salience of facial attractiveness and sexual dimorphism" (PDF). Psychoneuroendocrinology. 50: 246–51. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2014.08.022. PMID 25244638.
- Fink B, Neave N, Seydel H (2007). "Male facial appearance signals physical strength to women". American Journal of Human Biology. 19 (1): 82–7. doi:10.1002/ajhb.20583. PMID 17160983.
- Rhodes G, Chan J, Zebrowitz LA, Simmons LW (August 2003). "Does sexual dimorphism in human faces signal health?". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 270 Suppl 1 (Suppl 1): S93–5. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2003.0023. PMC 1698019. PMID 12952647.
- Cellerino A (2003). "Psychobiology of facial attractiveness". Journal of Endocrinological Investigation. 26 (3 Suppl): 45–8. PMID 12834020.
- Little AC, Burt DM, Penton-Voak IS, Perrett DI (January 2001). "Self-perceived attractiveness influences human female preferences for sexual dimorphism and symmetry in male faces". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 268 (1462): 39–44. doi:10.1098/rspb.2000.1327. PMC 1087598. PMID 12123296.
- Gangestad SW, Thornhill R (July 2003). "Facial masculinity and fluctuating asymmetry". Evol Hum Behav. 24 (4): 231–241. doi:10.1016/S1090-5138(03)00017-5.
- Scott IM, Pound N, Stephen ID, Clark AP, Penton-Voak IS (October 2010). "Does masculinity matter? The contribution of masculine face shape to male attractiveness in humans". PLOS ONE. 5 (10): e13585. Bibcode:2010PLoSO...513585S. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013585. PMC 2965103. PMID 21048972.
- DeBruine LM, Jones BC, Crawford JR, Welling LL, Little AC (August 2010). "The health of a nation predicts their mate preferences: cross-cultural variation in women's preferences for masculinized male faces". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 277 (1692): 2405–10. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.2184. PMC 2894896. PMID 20236978.
- Lee AJ, Mitchem DG, Wright MJ, Martin NG, Keller MC, Zietsch BP (February 2014). "Genetic factors that increase male facial masculinity decrease facial attractiveness of female relatives". Psychological Science. 25 (2): 476–84. doi:10.1177/0956797613510724. PMC 4205959. PMID 24379153.
- Zheng L, Hart TA, Zheng Y (October 2013). "Attraction to male facial masculinity in gay men in China: relationship to intercourse preference positions and sociosexual behavior". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 42 (7): 1223–32. doi:10.1007/s10508-012-0057-x. PMID 23440561.
- Song G, Hird D (2013). Men and Masculinities in Contemporary China. Brill Publishers. p. 92. ISBN 978-90-04-26491-5.
- Song G (2004). The Fragile Scholar: Power and Masculinity in Chinese Culture. Hong Kong University Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-962-209-620-2.
- Curry WC (1916). The Middle English Ideal of Personal Beauty: As Found in the Metrical Romances, Chronicles, and Legends, of the XIII, XIV and XV Centuries. Baltimore: J.H. Furst Company. pp. 31, 75, 101–103, 107, 111–116, 118, & 123.
- Soh J, Chew MT, Wong HB (February 2007). "An Asian community's perspective on facial profile attractiveness". Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology. 35 (1): 18–24. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0528.2007.00304.x. PMID 17244134.
- Feng C (December 6, 2002). "Looking Good: The Psychology and Biology of Beauty". Stanford University. Archived from the original on January 13, 2012. Retrieved January 20, 2012.
- Penke L, Bates TC, Gow AJ, Pattie A, Starr JM, Jones BC, Perrett DI, Deary IJ (November 2009). "Symmetric faces are a sign of successful cognitive aging". Evolution and Human Behavior. 30 (6): 429–437. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.06.001. Lay summary – BBC News.
- Radford T (August 17, 2005). "How women dream of symmetrical men". The Guardian. London. Retrieved January 19, 2010.
The research once again confirms a hypothesis that beauty is not merely in the eye of the beholder: it is an indicator of genetic fitness. From a choice of computer-generated faces, volunteers routinely choose the most symmetrical as the most attractive. Physical symmetry is interpreted as a sign of good inheritance. And therefore, the theory goes, women in a position to conceive would be more attracted to someone more likely to engender the healthiest offspring.
- Thornhill R, Gangestad SW, Comer R (1995). "Human female orgasm and mate fluctuating asymmetry". Animal Behaviour. 50 (6): 1601–15. doi:10.1016/0003-3472(95)80014-X.
- Little AC, Jones BC, Waitt C, Tiddeman BP, Feinberg DR, Perrett DI, Apicella CL, Marlowe FW (May 2008). Reimchen T (ed.). "Symmetry is related to sexual dimorphism in faces: data across culture and species". PLOS ONE. 3 (5): e2106. Bibcode:2008PLoSO...3.2106L. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0002106. PMC 2329856. PMID 18461131.
- Zebrowitz L, Rhodes G (2004). "Sensitivity to "Bad Genes" and the Anomalous Face Overgeneralization Effect: Cue Validity, Cute Utilization, and Accuracy in Judging Intelligence and Health" (PDF). Journal of Nonverbal Behavior. 28 (3): 167–185. doi:10.1023/B:JONB.0000039648.30935.1b. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Etcoff N (2000). Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty. pp. 50–3, 185–7.
- Haselton MG, Gangestad SW (April 2006). "Conditional expression of women's desires and men's mate guarding across the ovulatory cycle". Hormones and Behavior. 49 (4): 509–18. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.10.006. PMID 16403409.
- Rikowski A, Grammer K (May 1999). "Human body odour, symmetry and attractiveness". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 266 (1422): 869–74. doi:10.1098/rspb.1999.0717. PMC 1689917. PMID 10380676.
- Gangestad SW, Thornhill R (May 1998). "Menstrual cycle variation in women's preferences for the scent of symmetrical men". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 265 (1399): 927–33. doi:10.1098/rspb.1998.0380. PMC 1689051. PMID 9633114.
- Zuniga A, Stevenson RJ, Mahmut MK, Stephen ID (January 2017). "Diet quality and the attractiveness of male body odor". Evolution and Human Behavior. 38 (1): 136–143. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.08.002.
- "The laws of sexual attraction". CNN. April 13, 2009. Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
... when women are ovulating, they produce copulins, a scent that attracts men....
- "Google Science Fair semi-finalist: I can taste your DNA". The Guardian. London. July 25, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) is a large gene family found in most vertebrates....
- Khan R (August 16, 2008). "Taking the pill might make your brother hawt?". Discover Magazine. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
Previous studies in animals and humans show that genes in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) influence individual odours and that females often prefer odour of MHC-dissimilar males, perhaps to increase offspring heterozygosity or reduce inbreeding. Women using oral hormonal contraceptives have been reported to have the opposite preference, raising the possibility that oral contraceptives alter female preference towards MHC similarity, with possible fertility costs.
- Roberts SC, Little AC, Gosling LM, Perrett DI, Carter V, Jones BC, Penton-Voak I, Petrie M (May 2005). "MHC-heterozygosity and human facial attractiveness". Evol Hum Behav. 26 (3): 213–226. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.09.002.
- Penn DJ, Damjanovich K, Potts WK (August 2002). "MHC heterozygosity confers a selective advantage against multiple-strain infections". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 99 (17): 11260–4. Bibcode:2002PNAS...9911260P. doi:10.1073/pnas.162006499. PMC 123244. PMID 12177415.
- Lewis MB (January 1, 2010). "Why are mixed-race people perceived as more attractive?". Perception. 39 (1): 136–8. doi:10.1068/p6626. PMID 20301855.
- Rudder C (February 16, 2010). "The Case For An Older Woman". OkTrends Dating Research from OkCupid. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
- Antfolk J, Salo B, Alanko K, Bergen E, Corander J, Sandnabba NK, Santtila P (2015). "Women's and men's sexual preferences and activities with respect to the partner's age: evidence for female choice". Evolution & Human Behavior. 36 (1): 73–79. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.09.003.
- Williams CA (1999). Roman homosexuality: ideologies of masculinity in classical antiquity. USA: Oxford University Press.
- Boyden T, Carroll JS, Maier RA (1984). "Similarity and Attraction in Homosexual Males: The Effects of Age and Masculinity-Femininity". Sex Roles. 10 (11/12): 939–948. doi:10.1007/BF00288516.
- Horvath T (February 1981). "Physical attractiveness: the influence of selected torso parameters". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 10 (1): 21–4. doi:10.1007/BF01542671. PMID 7212994.
- Braun MF, Bryan A (2006). "Female waist-to-hip and male waist-to-shoulder ratios as determinants of romantic partner desirability". Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 23 (5): 805–819. doi:10.1177/0265407506068264.
- Swami V, Tovée MJ (2008). "The Muscular Male: A Comparison of the Physical Attractiveness Preferences of Gay and Heterosexual Men". International Journal of Men's Health. 7 (1): 59–71. doi:10.3149/jmh.0701.59.
- Fan J, Dai W, Liu F, Wu J (February 2005). "Visual perception of male body attractiveness". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 272 (1560): 219–26. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2922. PMC 1634963. PMID 15705545.
- Appleton, I. (n.d.). Getting more female attention. Retrieved from http://www.sosuave.com/quick2/tip408.htm
- Catikkas F (2011). "Physical correlates of college students' body image satisfaction levels". Social Behavior and Personality. 39 (4): 497–502. doi:10.2224/sbp.2011.39.4.497.
- Furnham A, Tan T, McManus C (1997). "Waist-to-hip ratio and preferences for body shape: A replication and extension" (PDF). Personality and Individual Differences. 22 (4): 539–549. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(96)00241-3. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 28, 2016.
- Swami V, Tovee MJ (December 2005). "Male physical attractiveness in Britain and Malaysia: A cross-cultural study". Body Image. 2 (4): 383–393. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2005.08.001. PMID 18089203.
- Singh D (1995). "Female judgment of male attractiveness and desirability for relationships: Role of waist-to-hip ratio and financial status". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 69 (6): 1089–1101. doi:10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.2069.
- Dececco J, Wright L (2013). The Bear Book: Readings in the History and Evolution of a Gay Male Subculture. New York, NY: Routledge. p. 120. ISBN 978-1-56023-890-4.
- Frederick DA, Fessler DM, Haselton MG (March 2005). "Do representations of male muscularity differ in men's and women's magazines?". Body Image. 2 (1): 81–86. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2004.12.002. PMID 18089177.
- Johnston JR (2001). The American body in context: An anthology. USA: Scholarly Resources, Inc.
- Brierley ME, Brooks KR, Mond J, Stevenson RJ, Stephen ID (June 3, 2016). "The Body and the Beautiful: Health, Attractiveness and Body Composition in Men's and Women's Bodies". PLOS ONE. 11 (6): e0156722. Bibcode:2016PLoSO..1156722B. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0156722. PMC 4892674. PMID 27257677.
- Latinsky A (2012). "Public presentation of gendered bodies: A look at gay and lesbian online dating profiles". Sociation Today. 10 (2).
- Drummond MJ, Filiault SM (2007). "The long and the short of it: Gay men's perceptions of penis size". Gay & Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review. 3 (2): 121–129.
- Rettner R. "For One Night Stands, Girth Matters". LiveScience. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- Swami V, Einon D, Furnham A (December 2006). "The leg-to-body ratio as a human aesthetic criterion". Body Image. 3 (4): 317–23. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2006.08.003. PMID 18089235.
- Pierce, C.A. 1996; Cunningham, M.R. 1990; Pawlowski B, Dunbar RI, Lipowicz A 2000.
- Reitman V (April 26, 2004). "We clicked". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
- Sear R, Marlowe FW (October 2009). "How universal are human mate choices? Size does not matter when Hadza foragers are choosing a mate". Biology Letters. 5 (5): 606–9. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0342. PMC 2781963. PMID 19570778.
- Courtiol A, Raymond M, Godelle B, Ferdy JB (August 2010). "Mate choice and human stature: homogamy as a unified framework for understanding mating preferences". Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution. 64 (8): 2189–203. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2010.00985.x. PMID 20199563.
- Tall men 'top husband stakes'. BBC News. Retrieved October 15, 2009.
- Stulp G, Buunk A, Kurzban R (2013). "The height of choosiness: mutual mate choice for stature results in suboptimal pair formation for both sexes". Animal Behaviour. 86 (1): 37–46. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2013.03.038. hdl:11370/66f4623c-20b8-46a0-9542-04c78c7ec6b5.
- Buss D (2003) . The Evolution of Desire (second ed.). New York: Basic Books. pp. 38–40. ISBN 978-0-465-07750-2.
- Yee, N. (2002). Beyond Tops and Bottoms Correlations between Sex-Role Preference and Physical Preferences for Partners among Gay Men
- Dixson BJ, Dixson AF, Bishop PJ, Parish A (June 2010). "Human physique and sexual attractiveness in men and women: a New Zealand-U.S. comparative study". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (3): 798–806. doi:10.1007/s10508-008-9441-y. PMID 19139985.
- Dixson BJ, Dixson AF, Li B, Anderson MJ (2007). "Studies of human physique and sexual attractiveness: sexual preferences of men and women in China". American Journal of Human Biology. 19 (1): 88–95. doi:10.1002/ajhb.20584. PMID 17160976.
- Dixson AF, Halliwell G, East R, Wignarajah P, Anderson MJ (February 2003). "Masculine somatotype and hirsuteness as determinants of sexual attractiveness to women". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 32 (1): 29–39. doi:10.1023/A:1021889228469. PMID 12597270.
- Rantala MJ, Pölkki M, Rantala LM (2010). "Preference for human male body hair changes across the menstrual cycle and menopause". Behavioral Ecology. 21 (2): 419–423. doi:10.1093/beheco/arp206.
- Robins AH (1991). Biological perspectives on human pigmentation. Cambridge University Press.
- Jones, Trina (2000). Shades of Brown: The Law of Skin Color. Duke Law School.
- Tybur JM, Gangestad SW (December 2011). "Mate preferences and infectious disease: theoretical considerations and evidence in humans". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. 366 (1583): 3375–88. doi:10.1098/rstb.2011.0136. PMC 3189358. PMID 22042915.
- Stephen ID, Law Smith MJ, Stirrat MR, Perrett DI (December 2009). "Facial Skin Coloration Affects Perceived Health of Human Faces". International Journal of Primatology. 30 (6): 845–857. doi:10.1007/s10764-009-9380-z. PMC 2780675. PMID 19946602.
- Stephen ID, Coetzee V, Law Smith M, Perrett DI (2009). "Skin blood perfusion and oxygenation colour affect perceived human health". PLOS ONE. 4 (4): e5083. Bibcode:2009PLoSO...4.5083S. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005083. PMC 2659803. PMID 19337378.
- Stephen I, Coetzee V, Perrett DI (2011). "Carotenoid and melanin pigment coloration affect perceived human health". Evolution and Human Behavior. 32 (3): 216–227. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.09.003.
- Jones BC, Little AC, Burt DM, Perrett DI (2004). "When facial attractiveness is only skin deep". Perception. 33 (5): 569–76. doi:10.1068/p3463. PMID 15250662.
- Buss D (2003) . The Evolution of Desire (second ed.). New York: Basic Books. pp. 51–4. ISBN 978-0-465-07750-2.
- Browne KR (2006). "Sex, Power, and Dominance: The Evolutionary Psychology of Sexual Harassment". Managerial and Decision Economics. 27 (2–3): 145–158. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.484.5566. doi:10.1002/mde.1289.
- Tattersall I (June 11, 2000). "Whatever Turns You On: A psychologist looks at sexual attraction and what it means for humankind. Geoffrey Miller". The New York Times: Book Review. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
it turns out that symmetry of bodily structure is a fitness indicator, and symmetry is more easily detectable among large breasts than small ones.
- Jackson LB (1992). Physical appearance and gender: sociobiological and sociocultural perspectives. State University of New York Press.
- Macrae F (December 27, 2009). "Skin deep: Beautiful faces have Miss Average proportions". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
All were head shots of the same person with different distances from eyes to mouth or between the eyes. She was at her most attractive when the space between her pupils was just under half, or 46 per cent, of the width of her face from ear to ear. The other perfect dimension was when the distance between her eyes and mouth was just over a third, or 36 per cent, of the overall length of her face from hairline to chin. ...
- Miller L (2006). Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics. Berkley, California: University of California Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0-520-24508-2.
- Berscheid and Reis, 1998
- Fink B, Penton-Voak IS (2002). "Evolutionary Psychology of Facial Attractiveness". Current Directions in Psychological Science. 11 (5): 154–8. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.00190.
- Brizendine L (2006). The female brain. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 63. ISBN 978-0-7679-2010-0.
- Van Meter J (August 11, 2008). "About-Face". NY Mag. Retrieved July 30, 2012.
- Jayson S (March 31, 2011). "Study: Beautiful people cash in on their looks". USA Today. Retrieved July 15, 2011.
Numerous studies, including his earlier research, have concluded that beauty helps the budget by providing greater wealth in several ways: Better-looking people generally earn more money and marry those who are better-looking and higher-earning, he says.
- "How Big Is Your Limbal Ring?". Psychology Today. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- Milani F (1992). Veils and Words: The Emerging Voices of Iranian Women Writers. Syracuse University Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0-8156-0266-8.
- Lane EW (1883). Arabian Society in the Middle Ages: Studies from The Thousand and One Nights. London: Chatto and Windus, Piccadilly. pp. 214, 215, 216.
- Brayer, M.M. (1986). The Jewish Woman in Rabbinic Literature: A psychological perspective. Hoboken, New Jersey: Ktav Publishing House, Inc. ISBN 0-88125-071-6. p. 214.
- Kyo C (2012). The Search for the Beautiful Woman: A Cultural History of Japanese and Chinese Beauty. USA: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc. pp. 6, 15, 18, 19. ISBN 978-1-4422-1895-6.
- Jones D, Brace CL, Jankowiak W, Laland KN, Musselman LE, Langlois JH, Roggman LA, Pérusse D, Schweder B, Symons D (December 1995). "Sexual selection, physical attractiveness, and facial neoteny: cross-cultural evidence and implications". Current Anthropology. 36 (5): 723–48. doi:10.1086/204427.
- Kohl JV (2006). "The Mind's Eyes: Human Pheromones, Neuroscience, and Male Sexual Preferences". Psychology & Human Sexuality. 18 (4): 313–369. doi:10.1300/j056v18n04_03. Archived from the original on August 18, 2011.
- Sforza C, Laino A, D'Alessio R, Grandi G, Binelli M, Ferrario VF (January 2009). "Soft-tissue facial characteristics of attractive Italian women as compared to normal women". The Angle Orthodontist. 79 (1): 17–23. doi:10.2319/122707-605.1. PMID 19123721.
- Marcinkowska UM, Kozlov MV, Cai H, Contreras-Garduño J, Dixson BJ, Oana GA, et al. (2014). "Cross-cultural variation in men's preference for sexual dimorphism in women's faces". Biology Letters. 10 (4): 20130850. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2013.0850. PMC 4013689. PMID 24789138.
- Cunningham MR, Roberts AR, Barbee AP, Druen PB, Wu CH (February 1995). "Their ideas of beauty are, on the whole, the same as ours": Consistency and variability in the cross-cultural perception of female physical attractiveness". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 68 (2): 261–279. doi:10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.111.
- Cunningham MR (May 1986). "Measuring the Physical in Physical Attractiveness: Quasi-Experiments on the Sociobiology of Female Facial Beauty". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 50 (5): 925–935. doi:10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1685.
- From Cunningham (1986) Research with Western subjects disclosed significant consistency in evaluating attractiveness (Hatfield & Sprecher, 1986; Iliife, 1960). The females judged to be most attractive may have such similar facial features that they were hard to distinguish one from another (Light, Hollander, & Kayra-Stuart, 1981). Cross-cultural investigations on the judgment of facial attractiveness tended to highlight societal differences, but rough agreements in facial aesthetic preferences were shown by Asian-American and Caucasian females (Wagatsuma & Kleinke, 1979), Chinese, Indian, and English females judging Greek males (Thakerar & Iwawaki, 1979), South African and American males and females (Morse, Gruzen, & Reis, 1976), and blacks and whites judging males and females from both races (Cross & Cross, 1971).
- Buss D (2003) . The Evolution of Desire (second ed.). New York: Basic Books. pp. 54, 55. ISBN 978-0-465-07750-2.
- Berger M (1999). White lies: race and the myths of whiteness. Canada: Farrar, Strous and Giroux. ISBN 978-0-374-52715-0.
- Liu J (2008). "Sexualized Labour? 'White-collar Beauties' in Provincial China.". In Jackson S, Liu J, Woo J (eds.). East Asian Sexualities: Modernity, Gender and New Sexual Cultures. London: Zed Books. pp. 85–103. ISBN 978-0-374-52715-0.
- Tierney J (January 18, 2007). "The Waif From Ipanema". New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
women's aesthetic judgments are so influenced by other women. Men prefer the wider hips, and most likely could [sic] care less about high heels and handbags. Yet for many women all these things are essential to marking their beauty status with other women
- "Perfect face dimensions measured". BBC News. December 18, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
- Wilkins CL, Chan JF, Kaiser CR (October 2011). "Racial stereotypes and interracial attraction: phenotypic prototypicality and perceived attractiveness of Asians". Cultural Diversity & Ethnic Minority Psychology. 17 (4): 427–31. doi:10.1037/a0024733. PMID 21988581.
see bottom-left of p. 43
- Wilkes J (1823). Encyclopaedia Londinensis, or Universal Dictionary of Arts, Science and Literature. 19: 173. Missing or empty
- Howard N (1830). On Persian Poetry. Plymouth. p. 30.
- Kyo C (October 16, 2012). The Search for the Beautiful Woman: A Cultural History of Japanese and Chinese Beauty. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 9781442218956.
- Buckley S (January 1, 2009). The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9780415481526.
- Bonds AB (January 1, 2008). Beijing Opera Costumes: The Visual Communication of Character and Culture. University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 9780824829568.
- "Culture of Iran: Cosmetics, Styles & Beauty Concepts in Iran". www.iranchamber.com. Retrieved March 28, 2016.
- Laeng B, Mathisen R, Johnsen J (2007). "Why do blue-eyed men prefer women with the same eye color?". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 61 (3): 371–384. doi:10.1007/s00265-006-0266-1.
- Chee E, Choo CT (January 2011). "Asian blepharoplasty--an overview". Orbit (Amsterdam, Netherlands). 30 (1): 58–61. doi:10.3109/01676830.2010.535644. PMID 21281084.
- McCurdy JA, Lam SM (2005). Cosmetic Surgery of the Asian Face (2nd ed.). China: Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-58890-218-4.
- Hwang HS, Spiegel JH (March 2014). "The effect of "single" vs "double" eyelids on the perceived attractiveness of Chinese women". Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 34 (3): 374–82. doi:10.1177/1090820X14523020. PMID 24604790.
- Gill, R.D. (2004). Topsy-turvy 1585: A translation and explication of Luis Frois S.J.'s Tratado (treatise) listing 611 ways Europeans & Japanese are contrary. Paraverse Press. pp. 57–58. ISBN 0-9742618-1-5, ISBN 978-0-9742618-1-2
- Elia IE (September 2013). "A foxy view of human beauty: implications of the farm fox experiment for understanding the origins of structural and experiential aspects of facial attractiveness". The Quarterly Review of Biology. 88 (3): 163–83. doi:10.1086/671486. PMID 24053070.
- Hechter M (2011). Social Norms. Russell Sage Foundation. p. 300.
- Biello D (December 5, 2007). "What is the Best Age Difference for Husband and Wife?". Scientific American.
- Thornhill R, Gangestad SW (December 1999). "Facial attractiveness". Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 3 (12): 452–460. doi:10.1016/s1364-6613(99)01403-5. PMID 10562724.
- Young JA, Critelli JW, Keith KW (2005). "Male age preferences for short-term and long-term mating". Sexualities, Evolution & Gender. 7 (2): 83–93. doi:10.1080/14616660500035090.
- Quinsey, V.L. The Etiology of Anomalous Sexual Preferences in Men. Queen's University Department of Psychology.
- "Attraction and Relationships – The Journey from Initial Attachments to Romantic Love : Rozenberg Quarterly". rozenbergquarterly.com. Retrieved March 3, 2016.
- Barber N (1995). "The evolutionary psychology of physical attractiveness: Sexual selection and human morphology". Ethology and Sociobiology. 16 (5): 395–424. doi:10.1016/0162-3095(95)00068-2.
- Van den Berghe PL, Frost P (1986). "Skin color preference, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection: a case of gene-culture co-evolution?". Ethnic and Racial Studies. 9: 87–118. doi:10.1080/01419870.1986.9993516.
- Scientific proof that men look at women's breasts first and their face is almost last The Daily Telegraph
- Buss DM (2005). The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology. John Wiley and Sons. p. 325. ISBN 978-0-471-26403-3.
- Furnham A, Swami V (2007). "Perception of female buttocks and breast size in profile". Soc Behav Pers. 35 (1): 1–8. doi:10.2224/sbp.2007.35.1.1.
- Sugiyama LS (2005). "Physical Attractiveness in Adaptationist Perspective" (PDF). In Buss DM (ed.). Evolutionary Psychology Handbook. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 292–343.
- "Hourglass figure fertility link". bbc.co.uk. May 4, 2004. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- Groyecka A, Żelaźniewicz A, Misiak M, Karwowski M, Sorokowski P (July 2017). "Breast shape (ptosis) as a marker of a woman's breast attractiveness and age: Evidence from Poland and Papua". American Journal of Human Biology. 29 (4): n/a. doi:10.1002/ajhb.22981. PMID 28211217.
- Rodgers JE (2003). Sex: A Natural History. Macmillan. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-8050-7281-5.
- Wade, T. J. (2010). "The Relationships between Symmetry and Attractiveness and Mating Relevant Decisions and Behavior: A Review". Symmetry. 2 (2): 1081–1098. doi:10.3390/sym2021081.
- Pal, P. (1986). Indian Sculpture – Volume 1 – circa 500 B.C – A.D. 700. A catalogue of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Collection. Berkeley, Los Angeles & London: University of California Press. p. 32. ISBN 9780520059917
- Swami V, Jones J, Einon D, Furnham A (May 2009). "Men's preferences for women's profile waist-to-hip ratio, breast size, and ethnic group in Britain and South Africa". British Journal of Psychology. 100 (Pt 2): 313–25. doi:10.1348/000712608x329525. PMID 18625082.
- Fisher HE (1982). The Sex Contract: The Evolution of Human Behavior. New York: William Morrow & Company, Inc.
- Hawkins E (October 25, 2017). "Why arched backs are attractive". springer.com.
- Pazhoohi F, Doyle JF, Macedo AF, Arantes J (2017). "Arching the Back (Lumbar Curvature) as a Female Sexual Proceptivity Signal: an Eye-Tracking Study". Evolutionary Psychological Science. 4 (2): 1–8. doi:10.1007/s40806-017-0123-7.
- Caro TM, Sellen DW (1990). "The Reproductive Advantages of Fat in Women" (PDF). Ethology and Sociobiology. 11 (5): 1–66. doi:10.1016/0162-3095(90)90005-Q. hdl:2027.42/28785.
- Hebl MR, Heatherton TF (1997). "The Stigma of Obesity in Women: The Difference is Black and White". Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. 24 (4): 418.
- Tovée MJ, Reinhardt S, Emery JL, Cornelissen PL (August 1998). "Optimum body-mass index and maximum sexual attractiveness". Lancet. 352 (9127): 548. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(05)79257-6. PMID 9716069.
- Buss D (2003) . The Evolution of Desire (second ed.). New York: Basic Books. pp. 55, 56. ISBN 978-0-465-07750-2.
- Furnham, Adrian, Gianna Caroline Fischer, Lauren Tanner, Melanie Dias, and Alastair McClelland 1998.
- Brown PJ, Sweeney J (2009). "The Anthropology of Overweight, Obesity and the Body". AnthroNotes. 30 (1).
- Nettle D (November 2009). "Ecological influences on human behavioural diversity: a review of recent findings". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 24 (11): 618–24. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2009.05.013. PMID 19683831.
- Hellmich N (September 26, 2006). "Do thin models warp girls' body image?". USA Today. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
The widespread concern that model thinness has progressed from willowy to wasted has reached a threshold as evidenced by the recent actions of fashion show organizers.
- Witcomb GL, Arcelus J, Chen J (December 2013). "Can cognitive dissonance methods developed in the West for combatting the 'thin ideal' help slow the rapidly increasing prevalence of eating disorders in non-Western cultures?". Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry. 25 (6): 332–40. doi:10.3969/j.issn.1002-0829.2013.06.002. PMC 4054580. PMID 24991176.
- Silver AK (2004). Victorian Literature and the Anorexic Body. UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 38, 48. ISBN 978-0-511-03051-2.
- Brown JE, Potter JD, Jacobs DR, Kopher RA, Rourke MJ, Barosso GM, Hannan PJ, Schmid LA (January 1996). "Maternal waist-to-hip ratio as a predictor of newborn size: Results of the Diana Project". Epidemiology. 7 (1): 62–6. doi:10.1097/00001648-199601000-00011. JSTOR 3702758. PMID 8664403.
- Bjorn C (February 13, 2006). "The Rules of Attraction in the Game of Love". livescience.com. Retrieved January 9, 2006. Cite journal requires
- Singh D (December 2002). "Female mate value at a glance: relationship of waist-to-hip ratio to health, fecundity and attractiveness" (PDF). Neuro Endocrinology Letters. 23. 23 Suppl 4: 81–91. PMID 12496738.
- Buss D (2003) . The Evolution of Desire (second ed.). New York: Basic Books. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-465-07750-2.
- Wetsmana A, Marloweb F (July 1999). "How Universal Are Preferences for Female Waist-to-Hip Ratios? Evidence from the Hadza of Tanzania". Evolution and Human Behavior. 20 (4): 219–228. doi:10.1016/S1090-5138(99)00007-0.
- Horvath T (1979). "Correlates of physical beauty in men and women". Social Behavior and Personality.
- Fisher ML, Voracek M (June 2006). "The shape of beauty: determinants of female physical attractiveness". Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 5 (2): 190–4. doi:10.1111/j.1473-2165.2006.00249.x. PMID 17173598.
- Dixson BJ, Dixson AF, Li B, Anderson MJ (January 2007). "Studies of human physique and sexual attractiveness: sexual preferences of men and women in China". American Journal of Human Biology. 19 (1): 88–95. doi:10.1002/ajhb.20584. PMID 17160976.
- Marlowe F, Wetsman A (2001). "Preferred waist-to-hip ratio and ecology" (PDF). Personality and Individual Differences. 30 (3): 481–489. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.489.4169. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(00)00039-8. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 30, 2014. Retrieved August 4, 2007.
- Marlowe F, Apicella C, Reed D (November 2005). "Men's preferences for women's profile waist-to-hip ratio in two societies". Evol Hum Behav. 26 (6): 458–468. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2005.07.005. as PDF Archived June 1, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
- Dixson BJ, Dixson AF, Morgan B, Anderson MJ (June 2007). "Human physique and sexual attractiveness: sexual preferences of men and women in Bakossiland, Cameroon". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 36 (3): 369–75. doi:10.1007/s10508-006-9093-8. PMID 17136587.
- Freedman RE, Carter MM, Sbrocco T, Gray JJ (August 2007). "Do men hold African-American and Caucasian women to different standards of beauty?". Eating Behaviors. 8 (3): 319–33. doi:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2006.11.008. PMC 3033406. PMID 17606230.
- Freedman RE, Carter MM, Sbrocco T, Gray JJ (July 2004). "Ethnic differences in preferences for female weight and waist-to-hip ratio: a comparison of African-American and White American college and community samples". Eating Behaviors. 5 (3): 191–8. doi:10.1016/j.eatbeh.2004.01.002. PMID 15135331.
- Sorokowski P, Kościński K, Sorokowska A, Huanca T (2014). "Preference for women's body mass and waist-to-hip ratio in Tsimane' men of the Bolivian Amazon: biological and cultural determinants". PLOS ONE. 9 (8): e105468. Bibcode:2014PLoSO...9j5468S. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105468. PMC 4141791. PMID 25148034.
- Marlowe F, Wetsmanb A (February 2001). "Preferred waist-to-hip ratio and ecology". Personality and Individual Differences. 30 (3): 481–489. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.489.4169. doi:10.1016/S0191-8869(00)00039-8.
- Berger, John (1973). Ways of Seeing. British Broadcasting Corporation and Penguin Books. pp. 44–64.
- Sear R (December 2006). "Height and reproductive success : How a Gambian population compares with the west" (PDF). Human Nature (Hawthorne, N.Y.). 17 (4): 405–18. doi:10.1007/s12110-006-1003-1. PMID 26181610.
- "Tall men 'top husband stakes'". bbc.co.uk. August 14, 2002. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- Sorokowskia P, Pawlowskib B (March 2008). "Adaptive preferences for leg length in a potential partner". Evol Hum Behav. 29 (2): 86–91. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2007.09.002.
- Sorokowski P (2010). "Attractiveness of Legs Length in Poland and Great Britain" (PDF). J Hum Ecol. 31 (3): 148.
- Frederick DA, Hadji-Michael M, Furnham A, Swami V (January 2010). "The influence of leg-to-body ratio (LBR) on judgments of female physical attractiveness: assessments of computer-generated images varying in LBR". Body Image. 7 (1): 51–5. doi:10.1016/j.bodyim.2009.09.001. PMID 19822462.
- Bertamini M, Bennet KM (2009). "The effect of leg length on perceived attractiveness of simplified stimuli" (PDF). Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology. 3 (3): 233–250. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.163.2823. doi:10.1037/h0099320. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 23, 2015.
- Barber N (September 1995). "The evolutionary psychology of physical attractiveness: Sexual selection and human morphology". Ethology and Sociobiology. 16 (5): 395–424. doi:10.1016/0162-3095(95)00068-2.
- Voracek M, Fisher ML, Rupp B, Lucas D, Fessler DM (June 2007). "Sex differences in relative foot length and perceived attractiveness of female feet: relationships among anthropometry, physique, and preference ratings". Perceptual and Motor Skills. 104 (3 Pt 2): 1123–38. doi:10.2466/pms.104.3c.1123-1138. PMID 17879647.
- Berman JE (1993). "Female Genital Mutilation, Yes, but Don't Condone It". The New York Times.
- Buss DM (2005). The handbook of evolutionary psychology. John Wiley and Sons. p. 309. ISBN 978-0-471-26403-3.
- Bereczkei T, Meskó N. "Hair length, facial attractiveness, personality attribution; A multiple fitness model of hairdressing". Review of Psychology. 13 (1): 35–42.
- Sanderson, S.K. (2001). The Evolution of Human Sociality: A Darwinian Conflict Perspective USA: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. p. 179. ISBN 0-8476-9534-4 (alk. paper)
- Johnson KL, Tassinary LG (March 2007). "Compatibility of basic social perceptions determines perceived attractiveness". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 104 (12): 5246–51. Bibcode:2007PNAS..104.5246J. doi:10.1073/pnas.0608181104. PMC 1829294. PMID 17360395. Lay summary – Science Daily.
- Spielmann MH (1889). The Magazine of Art. London, Paris, New York, Melbourne: Cassell and Company Limited.
- Cunningham, Michael R.; Roberts, Alan R.; Barbee, Anita P.; Druen, Perri B.; Wu, Cheng-Huan (1995). ""Their ideas of beauty are, on the whole, the same as ours": Consistency and variability in the cross-cultural perception of female physical attractiveness". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 68 (2): 261–279. doi:10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1241.
Van den Berge and Frost (1986) examined preferences for lighter versus darker skin color using 51 cultures from the Human Relations Area Files. Of those cultures, 92% preferred lighter rather than darker skin color, primarily for women.
- Van Den Berghe, Pierre L.; Frost, Peter (September 13, 2010). "Skin color preference, sexual dimorphism and sexual selection: A case of gene culture co‐evolution?". Ethnic and Racial Studies. 9: 87–113. doi:10.1080/01419870.1986.9993516.
an overwhelming cross-cultural preference for lighter skin
- Dixson, Barnaby J.; Dixson, Alan F.; Bishop, Phil J.; Parish, Amy (June 2010). "Human Physique and Sexual Attractiveness in Men and Women: A New Zealand–U.S. Comparative Study". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 39 (3): 798–806. doi:10.1007/s10508-008-9441-y.
men expressed preferences for lighter skinned female figures in New Zealand and California
- "The Heavy Cost of Light Skin". BBC News. April 18, 2000. Retrieved August 9, 2010.
- Dixson BJ, Dixson AF, Morgan B, Anderson MJ (June 2007). "Human Physique and Sexual Attractiveness: Sexual Preferences of Men and Women in Bakossiland, Cameroon". Arch Sex Behav. 36 (3): 369–75. doi:10.1007/s10508-006-9093-8. PMID 17136587.
- Singer M, Beyer H (July 28, 2008). Killer Commodities: Public Health and the Corporate Production of Harm. AltaMira Press. p. 151. ISBN 978-0-7591-0979-7.
Harris investigated the history of the parasol... everywhere ordinary people were forbidden to protect themselves with such devices "pallid skin became a marker of upper-class status". At the beginning of the 20th century, in the United States, lighter-skinned people avoided the sun... Tanned skin was considered lower class.
- Geller AC, Colditz G, Oliveria S, Emmons K, Jorgensen C, Aweh GN, Frazier AL (June 2002). "Use of sunscreen, sunburning rates, and tanning bed use among more than 10 000 US children and adolescents". Pediatrics. 109 (6): 1009–14. doi:10.1542/peds.109.6.1009. PMID 12042536.
- Broadstock M, Borland R, Gason R (January 1992). "Effects of Suntan on Judgements of Healthiness and Attractiveness by Adolescents". J Appl Soc Psychol. 22 (2): 157–172. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.1992.tb01527.x.
- Leary MR, Jones JL (September 1993). "The Social Psychology of Tanning and Sunscreen Use: Self-Presentational Motives as a Predictor of Health Risk". J Appl Soc Psychol. 23 (17): 1390–1406. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.1993.tb01039.x.
- "Tan is 'In': Study Finds Light Brown More Attractive than Pale or Dark Skin". physorg.com. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- Fink B, Grammer K, Thornhill R (March 2001). "Human (Homo sapiens) facial attractiveness in relation to skin texture and color". Journal of Comparative Psychology. 115 (1): 92–9. doi:10.1037/0735-7036.115.1.92. PMID 11334223.
- Fink B, Matts PJ (April 2008). "The effects of skin colour distribution and topography cues on the perception of female facial age and health". Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology. 22 (4): 493–8. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3083.2007.02512.x. PMID 18081752.
- Miller G, Tybur JM, Jordan BD (2007). "Ovulatory cycle effects on tip earnings by lap dancers: economic evidence for human estrus?". Evolution & Human Behavior. 28 (6): 375–381. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.154.8176. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2007.06.002.
- Bobst C, Lobmaier JS (September 2012). "Men's preference for the ovulating female is triggered by subtle face shape differences". Hormones and Behavior. 62 (4): 413–7. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2012.07.008. PMID 22846725.
- Jones BC, DeBruine LM, Perrett DI, Little AC, Feinberg DR, Law Smith MJ (February 2008). "Effects of menstrual cycle phase on face preferences". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 37 (1): 78–84. doi:10.1007/s10508-007-9268-y. PMID 18193349.
- Gangestad SW, Simpson JA, Cousins AJ, Garver-Apgar CE, Christensen PN (March 2004). "Women's preferences for male behavioral displays change across the menstrual cycle". Psychological Science. 15 (3): 203–7. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.371.3266. doi:10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.01503010.x. PMID 15016293.
- Feinberg DR, Jones BC, Law Smith MJ, Moore FR, DeBruine LM, Cornwell RE, Hillier SG, Perrett DI (February 2006). "Menstrual cycle, trait estrogen level, and masculinity preferences in the human voice". Hormones and Behavior. 49 (2): 215–22. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.07.004. PMID 16055126.
- Cantú SM, Simpson JA, Griskevicius V, Weisberg YJ, Durante KM, Beal DJ (February 2014). "Fertile and selectively flirty: women's behavior toward men changes across the ovulatory cycle". Psychological Science. 25 (2): 431–8. doi:10.1177/0956797613508413. PMID 24335600.
- Smith MJ, Perrett DI, Jones BC, Cornwell RE, Moore FR, Feinberg DR, Boothroyd LG, Durrani SJ, Stirrat MR, Whiten S, Pitman RM, Hillier SG (January 2006). "Facial appearance is a cue to oestrogen levels in women". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 273 (1583): 135–40. doi:10.1098/rspb.2005.3296. PMC 1560017. PMID 16555779.
- Soler C, Núñez M, Gutiérrez R, Núñez J, Medina P, Sancho M, Álvarez J, Núńez A (2003). "Facial attractiveness in men provides clues to semen quality". Evolution & Human Behavior. 24 (3): 199–207. doi:10.1016/s1090-5138(03)00013-8.
- Singh D (1993). "Adaptive significance of female physical attractiveness: Role of waist-to-hip ratio". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 65 (2): 293–307. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.492.9539. doi:10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1993. PMID 8366421.
- Scheaefer K, Fink B, Grammer K, Mitteroecker P, Gunz P, Bookstein FL (2006). "Female appearance: facial and bodily attractiveness as shape". Psychology Science.
- Dixson BJ, Vasey PL, Sagata K, Sibanda N, Linklater WL, Dixson AF (December 2011). "Men's preferences for women's breast morphology in New Zealand, Samoa, and Papua New Guinea". Archives of Sexual Behavior. 40 (6): 1271–9. doi:10.1007/s10508-010-9680-6. PMID 20862533.
- Thornhill R, Grammer K (1999). "The Body and Face of Woman: One Ornament That Signals Quality?". Evolution and Human Behavior. 20 (2): 105–120. doi:10.1016/S1090-5138(98)00044-0.
- Jasieńska G, Ziomkiewicz A, Ellison PT, Lipson SF, Thune I (June 2004). "Large breasts and narrow waists indicate high reproductive potential in women". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 271 (1545): 1213–7. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.2712. PMC 1691716. PMID 15306344.
- Marlowe F (September 1998). "The nubility hypothesis : The human breast as an honest signal of residual reproductive value". Human Nature. 9 (3): 263–71. doi:10.1007/s12110-998-1005-2. PMID 26197484.
- Grebe NM, Gangestad SW, Garver-Apgar CE, Thornhill R (October 2013). "Women's luteal-phase sexual proceptivity and the functions of extended sexuality". Psychological Science. 24 (10): 2106–10. doi:10.1177/0956797613485965. PMID 23965377.
- Domb LG, Pagel M (March 2001). "Sexual swellings advertise female quality in wild baboons". Nature. 410 (6825): 204–6. Bibcode:2001Natur.410..204D. doi:10.1038/35065597. PMID 11242079.
- Langlois JH, Kalakanis L, Rubenstein AJ, Larson A, Hallam M, Smoot M (May 2000). "Maxims or myths of beauty? A meta-analytic and theoretical review". Psychological Bulletin. 126 (3): 390–423. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.320.1537. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.126.3.390. PMID 10825783. as PDF
- Walster E, Aronson V, Abrahams D, Rottman L (November 1966). "Importance of physical attractiveness in dating behavior". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 4 (5): 508–16. doi:10.1037/h0021188. PMID 6008393.
- Cowley G (June 3, 1996). "The Biology of beauty". Newsweek.
- Buss D (2003) . The Evolution of Desire (second ed.). New York: Basic Books. pp. 57, 58, 60–63. ISBN 978-0-465-07750-2.
- Bar-Tal D, Saxe L (1976). "Physical attractiveness and its relationship to sex-role stereotyping". Sex Roles. 2 (2). doi:10.1007/BF00287245.
- Nevid JS (1984). "Sex differences in factors of romantic attraction". Sex Roles. 11 (5–6): 401–411. doi:10.1007/BF00287468.
- Li NP, Kenrick DT (March 2006). "Sex similarities and differences in preferences for short-term mates: what, whether, and why". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 90 (3): 468–89. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.491.5834. doi:10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.528. PMID 16594832.
- Eastwick PW, Finkel EJ (February 2008). "Sex differences in mate preferences revisited: do people know what they initially desire in a romantic partner?". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 94 (2): 245–64. doi:10.1037/0022-35184.108.40.206. PMID 18211175.
- Li NP, Valentine KA (2011). "Mate preferences in the US and Singapore: A cross-cultural test of the mate preference priority model". Personality and Individual Differences. 50 (2): 291–294. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.261.3596. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.10.005.
- Feingold A (1990). "Gender differences in effects of physical attractiveness on romantic attraction: A comparison across five research paradigms". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 59 (5): 981–993. doi:10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.111.
- Eastwick PW, Eagly AH, Finkel EJ, Johnson SE (November 2011). "Implicit and explicit preferences for physical attractiveness in a romantic partner: a double dissociation in predictive validity". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 101 (5): 993–1011. doi:10.1037/a0024061. PMID 21767032.
- Little AC, Cohen DL, Jones BC, Belsky J (2006). "Human preferences for facial masculinity change with relationship type and environmental harshness". Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 61 (6): 967–973. doi:10.1007/s00265-006-0325-7.
- Belsky J, Cohen DL (2008). "Individual differences in female mate preferences as a function of attachment and hypothetical ecological conditions". Journal of Evolutionary Psychology. 6: 25–42. doi:10.1556/JEP.2008.1001.
- Dunn MJ, Searle R (February 2010). "Effect of manipulated prestige-car ownership on both sex attractiveness ratings". British Journal of Psychology. 101 (Pt 1): 69–80. doi:10.1348/000712609X417319. PMID 19302732.
- Confer JC, Perilloux C, Buss DM (September 1, 2010). "More than just a pretty face: men's priority shifts toward bodily attractiveness in short-term versus long-term mating contexts". Evolution and Human Behavior. 31 (5): 348–353. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2010.04.002.
- Symons D (1995). "Beauty is in the adaptations of the beholder: the evolutionary psychology of human female sexual attractiveness.". In Abramson PR, Pinkerton SD (eds.). Sexual Nature, Sexual Culture. Chicago Series on Sexuality, History, and Society. Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press. pp. 80–119.
- Mealey L (2000). Sex differences development and evolutionary strategies. San Diego: Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-487460-2.
- Hrdy SB (2000). Mother nature : maternal instincts and how they shape the human species (1st ed.). New York: Ballantine. ISBN 978-0-345-40893-8.
- Trafford A, Cherlin A (March 6, 2001). "Second Opinion: Men's Health & Marriage". Washington Post. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
The major reason for the imbalance between men and women in the later decades of life is because men tend to marry younger women as they get older.
- "Women drawn to men with muscles". Reuters. July 10, 2007. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- Feinberg DR, Jones BC, Law Smith MJ, Moore FR, DeBruine LM, Cornwell RE, Hillier SG, Perrett DI (February 2006). "Menstrual cycle, trait estrogen level, and masculinity preferences in the human voice". Hormones and Behavior. 49 (2): 215–22. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2005.07.004. PMID 16055126.
- "Women's choice of men goes in cycles". bbc.co.uk. June 24, 1999. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- "When admiring potential partners' faces, women look for both overall aesthetics and individual sexual appeal". TIME.com. August 26, 2009. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- "FuturePundit: Study on Differences in Female, Male Sexuality". futurepundit.com. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- McCain RS (December 23, 2002). "Federally funded study measures porn arousal". The Washington Times.
- Bergner D (January 25, 2009). "What Do Women Want?". The New York Times.
- Chivers ML, Rieger G, Latty E, Bailey JM (November 2004). "A sex difference in the specificity of sexual arousal". Psychological Science. 15 (11): 736–44. doi:10.1111/j.0956-7976.2004.00750.x. PMID 15482445. Lay summary – ScienceDaily.
- Adrian B (2003). Framing the Bride: Globalizing Beauty and Romance in Taiwan's Bridal Industry. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Frederick DA, Haselton MG (August 2007). "Why is muscularity sexy? Tests of the fitness indicator hypothesis". Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin. 33 (8): 1167–83. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.123.5832. doi:10.1177/0146167207303022. PMID 17578932.
- (Locke & Horowitz, 1990).
- DeBruine LM (May 2004). "Resemblance to self increases the appeal of child faces to both men and women". Evol Hum Behav. 25 (3): 142–154. doi:10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.03.003.
- DeBruine LM (May 2005). "Trustworthy but not lust-worthy: context-specific effects of facial resemblance". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 272 (1566): 919–22. doi:10.1098/rspb.2004.3003. PMC 1564091. PMID 16024346.
- Lass-Hennemann J, Deuter CE, Kuehl LK, Schulz A, Blumenthal TD, Schachinger H (July 2010). "Effects of stress on human mating preferences: stressed individuals prefer dissimilar mates". Proceedings. Biological Sciences. 277 (1691): 2175–83. doi:10.1098/rspb.2010.0258. PMC 2880157. PMID 20219732.
- Hall RE (2008). Racism in the 21st Century: An Empirical Analysis of Skin Color. New York: Springer Science. ISBN 978-0-387-79097-8.
small sample size (80); see Table 6.4 on p. 107
- "Black Women Are Not (Rated) Less Attractive! Our Independent Analysis of the Add Health Dataset".
- Lewis, Michael B (2011). "Who is the fairest of them all? Race, attractiveness and skin color sexual dimorphism". Personality and Individual Differences. 50 (2): 159–162. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2010.09.018.
- Tsunokai GT, McGrath AR, Kavanagh JK (2014). "Online Dating Preferences of Asian Americans". Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. 31 (6): 796–814. doi:10.1177/0265407513505925.
- Cash TF, Gillen B, Burns DS (June 1977). "Sexism and beautyism in personnel consultant decision making". Journal of Applied Psychology. 62 (3): 301–310. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.62.3.301.
- Clark, M.S.; & Mills, J. (1979)
- Lorenzo GL, Biesanz JC, Human LJ (December 2010). "What is beautiful is good and more accurately understood. Physical attractiveness and accuracy in first impressions of personality". Psychological Science. 21 (12): 1777–1782. doi:10.1177/0956797610388048. PMID 21051521.
- Gupta ND, Etcoff NL, Jaeger MM (2015). "Beauty in Mind: The Effects of Physical Attractiveness on Psychological Well-Being and Distress". Journal of Happiness Studies. 17 (3): 1313–1325. doi:10.1007/s10902-015-9644-6.
- Kwan S, Trautner MN (January 2009). "Beauty Work: Individual and Institutional Rewards, the Reproduction of Gender, and Questions of Agency". Sociology Compass. 3 (1): 49–71. doi:10.1111/j.1751-9020.2008.00179.x.
- Saltzberg EA, Chrisler JC (1995). "Beauty Is the Beast: Psychological Effects of the Pursuit of the Perfect Female Body". In Freeman J (ed.). Women: A Feminist Perspective. 5 (5th ed.). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company. pp. 306–315.
- Kottasova I (February 3, 2016). "'Pink tax' angers women from New York to London". CNN Money.
- Alter C (December 21, 2015). "Women Pay More for Everything From Birth to Death, Report Finds". Time Magazine.
- Lewandowski G, Aron A, Gee J (2007). "Personality goes a long way: The malleability of opposite-sex physical attractiveness". Personal Relationships. 14 (4): 571–585. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.471.9217. doi:10.1111/j.1475-6811.2007.00172.x.
- Dahl M. "You look better with your friends than you do on your own, study says". NBC News.
...People seem more attractive when they’re part of a group than when they’re on their own....
- "University of Toronto Libraries". utoronto.ca. Archived from the original on July 22, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- Pfeifer C (2012). "Physical Attractiveness, Employment, and Earnings". Applied Economics Letters. 19 (6): 505–510. doi:10.1080/13504851.2011.587758. hdl:10419/51972. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
- Goleman D (December 8, 1992). "A Rising Cost Of Modernity: Depression". The New York Times. Retrieved November 6, 2009.
Competing explanations range from a loss of beliefs in God or an afterlife that can buffer people against life's setbacks, to the stresses of industrialization, to the distress created in women by the spread of unattainable ideals of female beauty, to exposure to toxic substances.
- De Santis, A; and Kayson, W.A. 1999
- Langlois JH, Kalakanis L, Rubenstein AJ, Larson A, Hallam M, Smoot M (May 2000). "Maxims or myths of beauty? A meta-analytic and theoretical review" (PDF). Psychological Bulletin. 126 (3): 390–423. CiteSeerX 10.1.1.320.1537. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.126.3.390. PMID 10825783.
- Clifford M, Walster E (1973). "The Effect of Physical Attractiveness on Teacher Expectations" (PDF). Sociology of Education. 46 (2): 248–258. doi:10.2307/2112099. JSTOR 2112099. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
- Efrain M, Patterson EW (1974). "Voters vote beautiful: The effect of physical appearance on a national election". Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science. 6 (4): 352–356. doi:10.1037/h0081881.
- Persaud R (April 30, 2005). "Science rewrites the rules of attraction". sensualism.com. London Times. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- "Sexual behavior predicted by voice attractiveness". psychdaily.com. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- "Sex Drive: How Do Men and Women Compare?". WebMD. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
- Rhodes G, Zebrowitz LA (2002). Facial Attractiveness – Evolutionary, Cognitive, and Social Perspectives. Ablex. ISBN 978-1-56750-636-5.
- Edler RJ (June 2001). "Background considerations to facial aesthetics". Journal of Orthodontics. 28 (2): 159–168. doi:10.1093/ortho/28.2.159. PMID 11395532.
- Zaidel DW, Aarde SM, Baig K (April 2005). "Appearance of symmetry, beauty, and health in human faces" (PDF). Brain and Cognition. 57 (3): 261–263. doi:10.1016/j.bandc.2004.08.056. PMID 15780460.
- "Puisten". Acneacademie.nl (in Dutch). July 1, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
- Diener E, Wolsic B, Fujita F (July 1995). "Physical attractiveness and subjective well-being" (PDF). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 69 (1): 120–129. doi:10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.168. Retrieved October 4, 2012.
Media related to Physical attractiveness at Wikimedia Commons