11

OkCupid, a free online dating website (through which I've met two girlfriends myself, incidentally), does some pretty interesting research on the profiles and activity of its users. This particular research blog post presents some fairly on-topic results in "Exhibit C: Looks": @ArtemKaznatcheev rightly pointed out some range restriction here, so ...


9

You are quite astute to have noticed the difference between your stated preferences and actual preferences - most people don't. Yes, there has been a fair bit of research on prediction techniques and their effectiveness. In 2008, in a study by Paul Eastwick and Eli Finkel, participants were asked to predict their romantic preferences - what they found ...


7

The correlation between physical attractiveness and IQ is somewhere between insignificant and mildly positive, with a slightly higher correlation for men. The correlation between physical attractiveness and perceived intelligence is more significant. There are typically two approaches to explain the (albeit mild) correlation: Nature: From an evolutionary ...


7

This is a weird one! Looks like your professor's on to something. Holmes' (2010) New Scientist article, "Why men are attracted to women with small feet" gives an interesting intro based on Atkinson and Rowe (2010), which was a rather hard-to-track-down poster (not that I've retrieved the original). They produced facial composites of eight women each based on ...


6

Both are true, to my knowledge (in the sense that Freud did believe this). They relate to the Oedipus and Electra complexes, which are are core parts of classical Freudian theory. Children, through the Oedipus and Electra complexes during the phallic developmental stage, where they sexually desire their same-sex parent, eventually come to identify with ...


6

The question of whether "nice guys finish last", also known as the nice guy stereotype, is often studied in an economic or resource-allocation context as a more general case. According to the Competitive Altruism Hypothesis (e.g., Hardy and Van Vugt, 2006) altruistic or prosocial behavior helps the actor to accumulate social status, which in turn ...


5

I'm not sure I can give you the data purely for physical attractiveness, but what has been intensively researched is passionate love, which includes physical attraction. Passionate love is usually assumed to include sexual desire, and correlates quite well with rated attraction. As Hatfield writes: Generally, passionate love is associated with the terms “...


5

All attraction involves the brain. The brain is responsible for consciousness, perception, and motivation. Not all attraction is physical. In two structural theories of love with which I'm familiar, physical attraction corresponds to a minority of what constitutes love. Love isn't exactly the same as attraction, but much of these theories' content implies ...


5

Sexual attraction has mostly but not only a biological roots. Can this particular woman bear healthy children for me? Do I want this man? Can he be a good father? In a few seconds, someone can evaluate this simply in his/her mind (evaluate such factors as: height, weight, balance, hips, hair, smell, voice, how healthy the person looks, etc.) Also, social ...


5

While eye contact is certainly important in social interaction I think you should beware pseudoscientific dating advice based on manufacturing "attraction" between men and women. Since this site is about science, let me point to a couple of areas of empirical research looking at eye contact. First, there are quite a few experimental papers showing that (...


5

This hypothesis relies on a number of ideas that are difficult to defend in light of the past decade of emotion research. Most notably, there is almost no evidence of modular "emotion systems" in the brain that coordinate some sort of stereotyped emotional response (1 2 3 4). Moreover, rigidity in responding is often related to reduced evolutionary ...


4

You may find Sternberg's triangular theory of love as useful framework for distinguishing different types of love. Quoting wikipedia, the theory describes types of love in terms of three dimensions: Intimacy – Which encompasses feelings of attachment, closeness, connectedness, and bondedness. Passion – Which encompasses drives connected to both ...


4

There's data in this reddit post that points to about 14 being the age girls are at their most attractive to men (exactly as biology predicts): Science AMA Series: We are Alan Sanders, Michael Bailey, and Gary Beecham, co-authors of a recently published study on the genetics of male sexual orientation, Ask Us Anything!.


4

This isn’t a literature answer but a qualitative clarification. “Nice guy” is a conflation between two distinctly-separate behavioral patterns: 1) Passively begging for approval points via virtue-signalling in order to become her most favored suitor. This signals weakness, insecurity and/or cowardice because the male lacks thr courage to take action, risk ...


3

There is an excellent paper at Evolutionary considerations of facial attraction which you may find useful. Neoteny is also a useful discussion. My off the cuff summary would be that humans do appear to have retained much of their juvenile characteristics in comparison with other primates. Across cultures female faces with more neoteny (more childlike) are ...


3

The issue here is 'normality' - normal is a shifting social construct, meaning that any answer concerning normal will be based on culture, and thus could change depending on the culture in context. A better question would be, is it adaptive or maladaptive for the person in question. But I don't think that's what you're asking - (I could be wrong) it ...


3

I'm just gonna point out that in the DSM-5 there's a new distinction (in general) between a paraphilia and a paraphilic disorder. While nothing else changed in the operational definition given in the manual, in DSM-5 the formerly known pedophilia (of DSM-IV) is now called pedophilic disorder. The official change notice says: In the case of pedophilic ...


2

Glamorization of a criminal is no different than glamorization of a non-criminal, except for the added excitement of doing something wrong. Not that glamorizing something wrong is the impetus for the glamorization itself, but it does add to its excitement. The more the excitement, the more the interest, and hence, what the media covers. In some cases, the ...


2

Waist to hip ratio seems to be a strong indicator of mate choice, even more than facial beauty (which was alluded to above). Google scholar will point you to hundreds of articles concerning the subject. Hence the age group with the 'optimum' waist to hip ratio (~0.7) will tend to be favored by men.


2

It is said that American society up to around 1950 came in three flavors, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. That America was intolerant of interracial marriage, which was against the law in many states. An ice-cream metaphor for modern American society is Baskin-Robbins' 31 flavors. That society puts a premium on "diversity," including in dating and ...


2

It is a negative/reverse halo effect, aka a horns (or devil) effect.


2

This question is far too broad for this forum. In fact, entire books have been written on this topic. An extensive review by Wohlrab, Stahl, & Kappeler (2006) "Motivations for getting tattooed and pierced" divides the literature into 10 broad categories of reasons: Beauty, art and fashion Individuality Personal narrative Physical endurance Group ...


1

Attractiveness has shown to be related to symmetry. A study that used a computer to simulate perceptive systems showed that a visual system designed to recognize an object from multiple positions would most quickly identify symmetrical figures. (Enquist, 1994) In addition, some research suggests that familiarity, attraction, and preference have been shown ...


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