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10 Facts About Attraction - Business Insider 1 de 1

10 things you should know about sexual


attraction
JUSTIN LEHMILLER, SEX AND PSYCHOLOGY
APR. 28, 2016, 7:11 PM

What is it that determines who


we are sexually attracted to?

This is a surprisingly complex


question to answer because
attractiveness appears to
depend upon a number of
factors.

Some of these are biological,


others are psychological, and
yet others have to do with our
social environments.

Below are ten of the most


interesting findings scientists Source: REUTERS/Vincent West

have documented when it


comes to attraction.

1. We tend to be attracted to people who look like us. For instance, in one study, researchers asked
heterosexual men and women to rate the attractiveness of several faces [1]. Included among the photos was a
picture of one’s own face that had been digitally morphed into the other sex. Participants found this morphed
face to be more attractive than all of the others!

2. This may sound creepy to some of you, but we also seem to be attracted to people who remind
us of our parents. For example, research has found that people born to older parents tend to be attracted to
older partners as adults.

3. If you’re already physiologically aroused (e.g., from having just exercised) and you meet
someone new, you’re more likely to develop an attraction to that person. Why? You may mistakenly
attribute the source of your elevated heartbeat to the stranger instead of the true source of your arousal. Learn
more about the role of arousal in attraction here.

4. “Beer goggles” really are a thing. Research has found that the drunker people get, the higher
the attractiveness ratings they give to strangers. Alcohol also changes how attractive we perceive
ourselves. You can learn more about the science of beer goggles here.

5. Playing hard to get seems to work—at least if you’re looking for a long-term relationship. All else
equal, less available people are seen as more desirable romantic prospects. However, if you’re looking for casual
sex, playing hard to get might backfire.

6. When it comes to pick-up lines, both men and women prefer it when people open with a simply “hi” or
“hello,” or lead with an innocuous question (e.g., “Do you want to dance?”). Cutesy and crude pick-up lines (e.g.,
“Hey, baby. What’s your sign?” or "Do you wash your pants in Windex? I can really see myself in them!") tend to
be seen as pretty undesirable. For more examples of good and bad pick-up lines according to science, see here.

7. Attraction is a multi-sensory process. Who we’re attracted to depends not just on how another person
looks, but also how they smell, how their mouth tastes, and so on. Check out this short video for a closer look at
the role the senses play in attraction.

8. The things that heterosexual women find attractive in men vary across the menstrual cycle.
Specifically, when women are at peak fertility, they tend to be attracted to “manlier” men (e.g., muscular guys
with deep voices). Click here to learn more.

9. Heterosexual men tend to find women wearing red clothing more attractive than women
wearing any other color [2]. Why? Some theorize that men have evolved a tendency to become aroused by
this color because women’s bodies naturally become red/pink during sexual arousal (e.g., many women
experience a “sex flush” or reddish rash that appears primarily on the chest during arousal). A recent
study suggests that women may subconsciously capitalize on this by dressing in red when they are most fertile.

10. Our patterns of sexual attraction appear to change seasonally. For instance, heterosexual men
report greater attraction to women’s bodies and breasts in the winter months than they do in the summer
months. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but it may be because skin is more of a novelty in the winter when
everyone is constantly bundled up. Learn more about this research here.

[1] Penton-Voak, I. S., Perrett, D. I., & Peirce, J. W. (1999). Computer graphic studies of the role of facial
similarity in judgements of attractiveness. Current Psychology: A Journal for Diverse Perspectives on Diverse
Psychological Issues, 18, 104-117.

[2] Elliot, A.J., & Niesta, D. (2008). Romantic red: Red enhances men’s attraction to women. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 1150-1164.

Read the original article on Sex and Psychology. Follow Sex and Psychology on Facebook. Copyright 2016. Follow
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