New research based on personal assessments of potential partners has confirmed some evolutionary theories about human attraction to each other. The research results were published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.
“As a student of attractiveness, I was shocked to learn that almost everything we knew about body attractiveness was based on research using images on screens, or worse, line drawings that barely resemble real people.” said study author Morgan J. Sidari from the University of Queensland.
“I think anyone who has come across online dating would agree that attraction based on photography can be very different from attraction in person. If you need an illustration of the problem described above, then just take a photo of a person you don't know against a plain background and try to guess his height - it's almost impossible. ”
“We know that height is important for attractiveness, so we are not able to correctly assess it in the study of the attractiveness of the body - which is a significant problem. This made me very skeptical about this area of research and made me pursue it on my own. ”
In a study of 539 freshman psychologists, they measured their body measurements before embarking on a round-robin quick date. Participants were given 3 minutes to communicate with a partner of the opposite sex. The participants then rated each other's body, face, personality, and overall attractiveness. Participants also noted if they were willing to go on a date with another person.
Speed dating resulted in 2,161 face-to-face interactions, which the researchers then statistically analyzed.
In line with previous studies, men with wider shoulders were rated as having more attractive bodies, while women with a smaller waist and a lower waist-to-hip ratio were rated as having more attractive bodies. Taller men tended to be rated more physically attractive. Surprisingly, this also applied to women.
Sidari and her colleagues also found that women considered personality more important to overall attractiveness than men. However, the researchers observed a wide variation in what was considered attractive. “The main thing to note in our study is that the patterns we found were subtle, which suggests that these body features (eg, waist, hips) do not determine 100% attractiveness. However, it is important to note that that these features should only have a very small advantage to influence evolution over time. Thus, the patterns we see in our research may provide us with clues to how male and female body shapes could have evolved, "said Sidari PsyPost.
“While we find significant relationships between these body sizes and attractiveness, there is still a huge amount of variation. When I looked at the most highly rated female bodies in our sample, they varied wildly in waist-to-hip ratios, although we were always told 0.7 is "perfect." In fact, I think only one of the top 10 had a ratio of 0.7, and many of them had a much smaller hourglass shape. ” This study - like all studies - includes some limitations.
“With research on dating, we can't really address how much these traits affect over time. We can say that we know that these measurements affect people's first impressions, but not that they have any lasting effect. impact on our likelihood of meeting these people, ”explained Sidari.
“This is the kind of problem that needs to be solved, but it is extremely difficult (and expensive) to carry out this research over a long period of time, so it will take more than one year!” The study on “preference for sexually dimorphic body characteristics found in a large sample of speed dating” was conducted by Morgan J. Sidari, Anthony J. Lee, Sean K. Murphy, James M. Sherlock, Barnaby J. W. Dixon and Brendan P. Zitch.