Physical attractiveness

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Physical attractiveness is the perception of the physical traits of an individual as being aesthetically pleasing or beautiful. The term often implies sexual attractiveness.

Generally, physical attraction is dependent on three factors: universal perceptions common to all human cultures, cultural and social aspects, and individual subjective preferences. Despite universally held perceptions of beauty in both sexes, males, on average, may tend to place a higher value on physical appearance in a partner than women do. This may be explained by evolutionary psychology as a possible consequence of ancestral humans who selected partners based on secondary sexual characteristics, as well as general indicators of fitness (for example, symmetrical features) enjoying greater reproductive success as a result of higher fertility in those partners, although a male's ability to provide resources for offspring was likely signalled less by physical features. It is suggested this is because the most prominent indicator of fertility in women is youth, while the traits in a man that enhance reproductive success are proxies for his ability to accrue resources and protect. However, there appear to be universal standards regarding attractiveness both within and across cultures and ethnic groups. Some researchers conclude that little difference exists between men and women in terms of sexual behavior.

Women, on average, tend to be more attracted to men who display a high-degree of facial symmetry, masculine facial dimorphism, are taller than them and who have a relatively narrow waist, a V-shaped torso, and broad shoulders. Men, overall, tend to be attracted by women who are shorter than them, have a youthful appearance and exhibit features such as a symmetrical face, full breasts, full lips, and a low waist-hip ratio.

Physical attractiveness can have a significant effect on how people are judged in terms of employment or social opportunities, friendship, sexual behavior, and marriage. In many cases, humans attribute positive characteristics, such as intelligence and honesty, to attractive people without consciously realizing it. In certain instances, physical attractiveness is distinct from sexual attraction; humans may regard the young as attractive for various reasons, for example, but without sexual attraction.

More information on this topic is available at [ Wikipedia:Physical_attractiveness ]


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