Research: Choice of mate at a glance by girls and sexual attraction


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By Premendra Agrawal




History of Bollywood and Hollywood say that male beauty has shifted from the masculine to the feminine. In the modern world: brain over brawn it would now seem that the feminine baby-faced man is king.



In old movies masculinity was the big thing, but in the present modern actors overt masculinity has disappeared. Actors with large blue eyes and full lips of the essentially feminine baby-face are more attractive for the female fans.


In present days a man with a more feminine or baby-face is the choice of woman for a long-term relationship. The main reason for this, Dr Little and his associate Dr David Perrett argue, is that a feminine ‘baby face’ is regarded as more caring and nurturing and ultimately such a man will make a better and more involved father.


Research studies suggesting that women actually aren't most attracted to the super hyper-masculine, macho guys (and men aren't most attracted to the super feminine girls). It seems we like people who are somewhat masculine or feminine, but not too much. The reasoning is that maybe women want guys who can be kind of sensitive and gentle, and good providers - while guys want women who have a bit of spunk.

"Your choice of partner would therefore look similar to you, thus increasing the chances of your children also resembling you."

Likewise, tall men might more frequently be considered sexually attractive than men of shorter stature.

Masculine Feminine Baby features

Man’s wide eyes, chubby cheeks, full lips and ever-present sheen of sweat, he was the antithesis of accepted masculine beauty.

A masculine face is linked to high testosterone levels, which demonstrates goodgenetic qualities.

"As children, boys and girls have similar face shapes, but at puberty hormones act to masculinise or feminise them and produce distinctive features of mature men and women. Testosterone promotes the growth of certain facial features - such as the jaw and the cheekbones - so boys' faces grow more than girls'.

"High levels of estrogen in growing girls prevent the growth of facial bone and lead to increased thickness of lips and fat deposits in the cheek area. Traditionally, then, the large forehead, snub nose, full cheeks and plump lips of the baby-face are regarded as feminine," explains Dr Little.

All the usual features that we traditionally associate with male attractiveness - a strong square jaw, a long, lean face, a defined nose and a firm mouth – should be missed to present the facial profile of a big (his one really masculine trait is his height) baby.

Faces can be made more masculine by strengthening the jaw line and brows and more feminine by widening the face and raising the eyebrows.

Mixed Signal

Both Dr Lewis and Dr Little researchers think that another strong pointer to what women find attractive in the male is the kind of mixed signal that Pitt’s appearance gives off. Research suggests that often it is the juxtaposition of an overtly feminine feature - such as very long eye-lashes - in a face that might otherwise be regarded as masculine that can trigger an instant response from a woman.

It’s possible that the combination of an innocent baby-face - which suggests vulnerability and arouses female need to nurture - and male’s "bad-boy" behavior, make the male devastatingly attractive to a woman

Hot features

On men, front is hot, back is not. But on women, it's back that's hot, while front is not.

What does this have to do with names? Well, maybe a guy with a front-vowel name seems subconsciously gentler or more sensitive, hence more attractive (and vice-versa for women). Again, this is a complete chain of guesswork; it could be another explanation entirely. More research needs to be done. But it makes a bit of sense, when you think about it." Perfors argues that the discovery that vowel sounds can influence a person's perceived attractiveness is the more interesting finding, because it seems to be a subconscious effect.

If your name is a front vowel sound, then it is attractive to female. If you do badly with the ladies you can't blame it on your name.

What the researchers found was an interaction between the sex of the picture and the stressed vowel of the name: "Men whose names' stressed vowel is a front vowel were rated statistically MORE attractive than men with names with a stressed back vowel. However, the reverse was true for women: women with names with stressed BACK vowels were statistically more attractive."

Feminine males 'more attractive'

Men with feminine faces will be luckier in love as most women are attracted to them rather than masculine men, LiverpoolUniversity scientists say.

While square-jawed men attract beautiful women, the less macho ones have a wider choice as their face type is more in demand.

Feminine faces tend to be linked with stability and caring, scientists said.

"Those women who prefer masculine men are selecting genetic benefits for their children, despite the fact that high testosterone levels can also increase the likelihood that the male will have an affair.

"Those men with a feminine face tend to be associated with stability and caring,"he added.

Women who considered themselves highly attractive were more willing to take a risk with a highly testosterone-charged male, and were less likely to fear such a man straying. A second study showed that women seen with a dominant male were rated more attractive by other men.

The male volunteers were shown pictures of fictitious couples and asked to rate the male's dominance in relation to themselves and how attractive they found the female.

Attractive men preferred women with feminine facial features, such as a small nose and chin and large eyes, which are indicators of fertility.

 Dr Little said: "A man who feels that he has something beneficial to offer in a relationship, will want something in return and therefore will choose a partner who can transfer his genes to offspring successfully.

"People find feminine faces, whether male or female, more agreeable. This appears to be because women are perceived as kind and soft-hearted," says Perrett. "Faces seem less agreeable to people as you make them more masculine," Perrett adds.

The biological basis of neuroticism is not as clear. It does not seem to be directly affected by the action of sex hormones. But, on average, women score more highly for neuroticism on personality questionnaires, so Perrett believes that faces might start to look more neurotic as you increase their femininity.

Needed masculine in fertile period

According to the research of four years ago of Professor David Perrett of the University of St Andrews women prefer more masculine faces during the fertile period of their menstrual cycle.

Much of human sexual attractiveness is governed by physical attractiveness. This involves the impact one's appearance has on the senses, especially in the beginning of a relationship:

Visual perception (how the other looks);

Olfaction (how the other smells, naturally or artificially; the wrong smell may be repulsive); Audition (how the other's voice and/or movements sound).

A sexually attractive visual appearance in humans generally involves:

A general body shape and appearance sanctioned by the local culture;

a lack of visible disease or deformity;

a high degree of mirror symmetry between the left and right sides of the body, particularly of the face;

a pleasing proportion between the width of the hips and the width of the waist (aka waist-hip ratio)

a pleasing body posture.

However, these factors are complicated by many other factors. There may sometimes be a focus on particular features of the body, such as breasts, buttocks, legs, hair or musculature.

In general, individuals with excessively low or high fat levels are considered lessattractive than those of a more healthy body composition.

The age of the prospective candidate also plays a role, with at least perceived youthfulness playing a role in a level of male attraction towards females, most notably in the West. This may be a personal preference or culturally defined.

Research of 1999: Choice at a glance and long term

Looking for a quick fling
Masculine features: 44%
Feminine features: 56%

Looking for a long term relationship
Masculine features: 34%
Feminine features: 66%

Although the short term relationship results are slightly contrary to expectations, Researcher audience clearly saw the long term partner in the face with the feminised features.

First impressions count

It is not known how openness and conscientiousness will be affected by changing the masculinity or femininity of a face. However, masculine faces are often described as untrustworthy, which may have implications for the types of faces we regard as conscientious, or reliable.

They say we shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Even though we should know better, every day we use those old tricks we learnt in our evolutionary past. Our distant ancestors, it seems, knew what every seasoned businessman knows today: that first impressions count.

A recent research in the journal Personal Relationships conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health suggest that women may judge potential mates by their facial features, even before getting to know them.

Researchers tested 850 male and female undergraduates, using digitally altered pictures of male faces.

The pictures were adjusted to look more "masculine" or more "feminine" and then the students were asked to fill out online questionnaires predicting behavioral patterns based on what they saw.

According to the study, women view men with "masculine features," including prominent brow ridges and large jaws, as good short-term partners. Men with more "feminine features," including rounder faces and fuller lips, were viewed as better long-term partners by female participants.

"Women's preferences depend on what type of partner she is looking for," says the study's author Daniel Kruger, of the University of Michigan 's School of Public Health .

"She will prefer a highly masculine face for a short-term relationship where the potential genetic investment would be most important, and a more feminine face for a long-term relationship, where a stable, supportive relationship and ability and willingness to care for children would be more important."



By Premendra Agrawal