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What Exactly Is Physical Attraction?
The first thing you probably look at when scrolling through profiles on a dating app is the person’s photo. If they appear attractive at first glance, you may investigate their profile further and decide whether you want to communicate with them; however, if their picture does not pique your interest in that split second, you will most likely move on to the next one.
Similarly, when you walk into a room, such as a restaurant, bar, office, or conference room, you probably do a quick scan. If someone appears physically attractive to you, your gaze may linger on them or return to them, and you may become interested in what they are doing or saying.
When you see someone for the first time, physical attraction is often instant, and it can contribute to feelings of excitement, increased energy, and a desire for physical connection. The immediate physical attraction and subsequent emotional response are factors that contribute to “love at first sight.”
This article delves into some of the factors that contribute to physical attraction, as well as the signs of physical attraction and the significance of physical attraction in relationships. Also, you must try to play this How Attractive Are You quiz.
Factors Influencing Physical Attraction
Some of the factors that influence physical attractiveness are as follows:
- Facial features and facial symmetry are the most important determinants of physical attractiveness, according to a 2015 study.
- Physical dimensions: Studies show that, in addition to facial features, anthropometric factors such as physical dimensions and ratios play a role in physical attractiveness.
- According to a 2021 study, facial expressions are an important component of physical attractiveness because the face is the most important part of social interaction. According to the study, smiling communicates intelligence and trustworthiness while also increasing physical attractiveness.
- Non-visual cues: According to a 2015 study, non-visual cues like voice and scent also contribute to physical attractiveness.
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Factors Influencing Evolution
Physical attractiveness is a contentious topic in evolutionary psychology. It implies that, because physical attractiveness helps people attract mates, evolutionary factors influence what people find attractive.
Physical features and dimensions that suggest youthfulness, physical health, mental and emotional well-being, strength, and fertility are considered physically attractive, according to evolutionary psychology studies, because these are desirable qualities in a mate from a biological and reproductive standpoint.
For example, evolutionary psychology studies conclude that a BMI and waist to hip ratio (WHR) within a specific range of those scales may be considered more attractive than a BMI or WHR outside of those ranges.
This is because having too much body fat is associated with negative health outcomes such as heart disease, diabetes, and restricted movement, whereas not having enough muscle and body fat is associated with a lack of strength and reduced fertility and child-bearing ability.
However, there is not always a link between what is physiologically healthiest and what people find most appealing.
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Factors of Sociocultural
Factors such as society, culture, and historical period can also influence what is deemed attractive and unattractive.
9 In other words, if a culture favors certain body types over others, individuals can be influenced.
People may internalize and pursue these standards, sometimes at the expense of their health or well-being. For example, they may strive for a BMI lower than what is considered healthy in order to conform to sociocultural size standards.
According to one study, women with low and physiologically unhealthy BMIs were perceived as more attractive than women with healthy BMIs. Another study discovered that urban participants thought images of women with lower BMIs were more attractive than rural participants who thought images of women with higher BMIs were more attractive.