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Ten Science-Backed Reasons for Sexual Attraction

April 23, 2018 , HealthWatch

What, according to science makes a person attractive? Science tells us that there is more to an attractive person than initially meets the eye. Below, we’ve gathered 10 qualities that make a person attractive.

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1. The perfect body mass index

Your body mass index (BMI) is determined by the relationship between your height and your weight. Studies show that a ratio of 20.85 has been found to be the most attractive in women. It is seen by men as a sign of good health and good reproductive potential. Another body ratio looked into was the waist-to-hip ratio, where a general range of 0.67 to 1.18 in females was viewed as attractive to men. But there are more reasons than attractiveness to love your curves. In a California study, women with larger hips performed in intelligence tests better, as do their children.

2. Long legs in women, shorter in men 

Leg length was perceived differently between the sexes. While long legs were preferred in women, men with legs the same length as their torso were preferred by women. Shorter legs in men make them look more muscular. In addition, women found broad shoulders attractive in men.

3. Face Shape

Women are generally attracted to men with strong jawlines, though why this may be so, is unknown. The hormones estrogen and testosterone are responsible for bone growth in the faces of men and women. Women with smaller brows and chins, and more prominent eyes are perceived to be more fertile. The same can be said for men with prominent jaws and brows.

4. Facial scars (or lack thereof)

Facial scars in men are seen as attractive, as long as it is the right kind of scar, preferably one that looks like it was inflicted in anger. Though this increases the attractiveness of a man for a short-term relationship. For long-term relationships, however, men without scars are perceived to be more caring and therefore more suitable for long-term relationships.

5. A “sexy” voice

This comes down to hormones. A lower voice in men is associated with more testosterone, while a higher voice in women is perceived to be seen as more stereotypically ‘feminine’. Women found monotone voices attractive in men. Even if you don’t see a person, you may become strongly attracted to them just from their voice. In fact, it has been found that if you only hear someone’s voice, the effects of vocal attractiveness will be more pronounced than if you meet in person and experience both vocal and visual information simultaneously.

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6. Your genetics match

In the past, people overwhelmingly married people of a common ancestry, a trend that has had long-lasting effects. We are all drawn to things that are familiar to us, primarily because they make us feel comfortable. We also view similarity as beneficial for potential children.

7. Altruistic behavior

It doesn’t just stop at looks, but attractive personalities too. Selflessness is especially important. In fact, research shows that altruistic behavior has been important to us throughout history and was a quality that our ancestors looked for in a mate. After all, it was important for our ancestors to choose mates both willing and able to be good, long-term parents.

8. Symmetry

How would you go about describing a good-looking person? One way we would never go about doing so is by describing how symmetrical that person is. Though multiple studies have revealed that symmetry – face and body – plays a big part in how attractive we find a person. Of course, no one is perfectly symmetrical, because our biology isn’t perfect. Though studies have indicated that the lower a person’s oxidative stress levels are, the higher their symmetry, as oxidative stress refers to the imbalance in the body’s level of free radicals. In fact, studies showed that men who were rated as attractive by the women had significantly lower levels of oxidative stress.

9. They’re interesting

While it might seem obvious, there are plenty of science-backed reasons why some people are perceived to be ‘boring’. Our brains have short attention spans, so if we are bored by something, or someone, it’s natural to want to move on. Though if a person stands out from the crowd, they will attract us and keep our attention going.

10. Fidelity

One of the most desired traits in a partner is fidelity. Faithfulness and trustworthiness are very important to both men and women, alongside, good parenting and devotion.

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