The 25 Facts You Didn’t Know About Attraction

Here goes 25 facts about attraction that are sure to widen your pupils a bit.

  1. Regardless of the number of sexual partners a man or woman has been with, the more attractive a presumed new sexual partner is, the less likely a person is to take safe-sex precautions.

  2. Men are more attracted to women whose bone structure is similar to their own mothers. Researchers call this “sexual imprinting,” which means faces we find attractive as adults were determined in childhood.

  3. Women are less attracted to men with a “belly.” Men with a large amount of abdominal fat have lower levels of testosterone, which means lower sex drive and lower fertility

  4. Men find women (and vice versa)  who wear red more attractive. In fact, a woman in red is more likely to be asked on a date and have more money spent on her.

  5. Researchers have found that many women, despite expressed preferences, actually want nice guys as friends or long-term boyfriends, but preferred “bad boys” who were more physically attractive and willing to manipulate women into sexual activities as sexual partners.

  6. Researchers have found that adrenaline makes a potential date more attractive.

  7. Tall men have greater reproductive success than shorter men due to their greater ability to attract mates.

  8. Even though both attractive and unattractive people exhibit positive behaviors and traits, studies show that attractive people exhibit more positive behaviors and traits than unattractive individuals

  9. Researchers have wondered why, if nature prefers well proportioned bodies and symmetrical faces, everyone is not beautiful? In other words, wouldn’t “ugly” people have been bred out of the population? The answer is that humans invented clothes and cosmetics to improve appearance

  10. Studies suggest that humans agree who is and isn’t attractive, both within and across ethnicity and cul

    ture. Researchers note that attraction is not merely in the eye of the beholder but that there are universal standards of attractiveness.

  11. The pursuit to become more attractive is a $160 billion-a-year global industry that includes weight-loss programs, cosmetics, skin and hair care, perfumes, cosmetic surgery, health clubs, and hormone injections. Americans spend more money per year on beauty enhancements than they do on education

  12. In most cultures, women are more attracted to older men than they are to younger ones. Researchers explain that this is because men are capable of fathering children for nearly their entire adult lives and older men typically have more resources

  13. Charles Darwin noted a universal motive to become attractive even when it required “wonderfully great suffering.”

  14. When kids misbehave and must be disciplined, being more attractive means less punishment. In other words, an attractive child’s severe transgression is less likely to be seen as a display of chronic antisocial behavior than an equally severe offense by an unattractive child

  15. Aristotle noted that “personal beauty is a greater recommendation than any letter of reference.”

  16. Attractive defendants are not only less likely to be convicted, but when they are, they are likely to suffer less severe punishment than an unattractive person convicted of the same offense

  17. Studies show that physically attractive people tend to have better paying jobs in higher-level positions than do their less attractive counterparts. This preference is collectively referred to as “beauty bias.”

  18. The child of a couple in their 30s tends to find older faces more attractive than a child born to parents in their 20s.

  19. Teachers expect more attractive children to perform well, leading to more attention, less punishment, and better grades

  20. Online dating research reveals that women are most concerned about a potential partner’s height, while men are more concerned about the weight of a possible date. Men even just an inch under the average height and women more than 20 pounds overweight have a tougher time getting a date.

  21. Soft materials such as fur, rayon, and silk accentuate a woman’s softer, feminine nature and can trigger an intense, protective response in men.

  22. According to Cosmopolitan magazine, the blends of lavender and pumpkin scents make women more attractive to men. Women are attracted to the smell of cucumbers or black licorice.

  23. Studies note that sometimes those who have a high level of physical attractiveness seek less attractive mates in order to wield more power over them. In other words, less attractive people may attract more attractive mates because they are more likely to yield to their whims.

  24. Both men and women rated symmetrical members of the opposite sex as more attractive and in better health than their less symmetrical counterparts. Additionally, men with a higher degree of symmetry had more sexual partners than men of lower symmetry.

  25. Researchers note that women perceive men with beards as having “the biological and social qualities that would enhance their value as husbands” and also consider them “more potent and more active, suggesting virility as well as physical attractiveness.” Additionally, female managers considered bearded men to be more competent. Male bosses, however, did not.


Perrett, David. 2010. In Your Face: The New Science of Human Attraction. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.



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