Symmetry of Attraction
There is no hard and fast rule to calculate or predict to whom we will be attracted. Love remains an enigma, that doesn’t stop the scientists from trying to fathom this eternal mystery.
Science now tells us that when choosing a mate, we unconsciously consider whether we want our children to carry that person`s genes. And apparently, one of the key factors is the way people look.
Symmetry is Sexy
Starting at conception, the body develops by neatly splitting cells. If every division were to go perfectly, the result would be a baby whose left and right sides are mirror images. But nature doesn`t work that way. Genetic mutations and environmental pressures throw out symmetry, a process with lifelong implications. Good symmetry shows that an individual has the genetic goods to survive development, is healthy and therefore a good and fertile choice for mating.
Studies have shown that men and women find symmetrical members of the opposite sex more attractive and healthy. Many famously good-looking people (Tom Cruise and Denzel Washington for example) have a high level of facial symmetry. The booming plastic surgery business is proof that we all know this. A nip-tuck is usually about improving symmetry.
Apparently, symmetrical men also smell better. Borrowing sweaty undershirts from a variety of men, scientists offered the shirts to the noses of women, asking for their impressions of the scents. Overwhelmingly, the women found the scent of a symmetrical man to be more attractive and desirable. This attraction can be completely unconscious - some women reported not smelling anything on a shirt, yet still said they were attracted to it.
The Hour Glass Figure
Besides symmetry, there are other subtle clues to fitness in the human body. Society has often emphasised the hour-glass figure as a model for all women to strive for, and with good reason. Studies have shown that men are most attracted to women with a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7. This specific ratio suggests a woman`s fitness and ability to bear children (younger girls lack the curves while older women tend to develop more fat around their waist). Surprising to some, the attractiveness of women with a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 holds true over a range of weights.
And studies have shown that women in the ideal hip-ratio range, regardless of weight, are less susceptible to disease such as cardiovascular disorders, cancer and diabetes. Women in this range also have less difficulty conceiving. The idea is that beauty is conveying information about health and fertility, and we admire that.
The Image of Perfection
Scientists believe they have created the perfect male face, a man so handsome that any woman would automatically pick him out of a crowd. He has large expressive eyes set in a smooth-skinned symmetrical face, a straight nose and rounded hair and jaw line. Although his makers admit he looks slightly girly, they have found modern women want caring feminine traits rather than more macho markings.
This Adonis is a composite computer-generated photograph of 12 moderately attractive, average-looking young men. The face was created with a computer program that calculates average distances between the features of different faces, and average hair and jaw lines. The researchers at the St Andrews University psychology department, who created him, discovered women are most attracted to a man with features representing the average. They believe women prefer such features because they signal that the individual is one of the mainstream majority, who have survived down the evolutionary process, and are therefore less likely to carry harmful genes.
Apparently, women find femininity appealing in a male face because they associate it with co-operation, honesty and parental ability. Strongly masculine features are considered threatening and less attractive. Nowadays movie stars like Jude Law and Brad Pitt are embodiment's of the ideal man.