Within the past decade we have witnessed a series of new developments and an enormously growing interest in the understanding of human behaviour, especially when it comes to the basic principles of human mate choice. Mate preference is something which is often considered a very individual choice and appears to be influenced by cultural and economic norms. However, on the basis of numerous research works, it is a today’s acceptation that attractiveness represents a signal resulting from sexual selection. Although we have different preference for facial expression, body shape or height, recent findings suggest that mate preferences are mainly cued on certain visual signals and might reveal genetic quality to prospective mates.
In this paper those findings will be reviewed by highlighting which visual characters of the face and body affect our choice for a partner. Also influences through cultural and economical norms as well as the influence of the media will be considered in order to evaluate the hypothesis whether attractiveness is based on visual signals or is lying in the eye of the beholder.
Key words: mate choice, sexual selection, facial beauty, body features, beauty standards
1. ‘WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL IS GOOD?’ – AN INTRODUCTION - 1 - 2. ON THE TRACES OF BEAUTY: JDUGMENT AND BENEFIT OF ATTRACTIVE FACES - 3 - 2.1 The average face (‘averageness hypothesis’) - 3 - 2.2 The influences of symmetry and why symmetric faces are attractive - 5 - 2.3 Sexual dimorphism and single characteristic of male and female faces - 6 - 3. BODY FEATURES - 8 - 4. CULTURAL AND MEDIA INFLUENCES - 10 - 5. CONCLUSION - 10 - 6. REFERENCES - 13 -
1. ‘WHAT IS BEAUTIFUL IS GOOD?’ – AN INTRODUCTION
Beauty is a topic, which has fascinated mankind for centuries. Poetry, art, philosophy or, since modern times,
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