Facing up to sex
Looking for a fling this spring? New research on attractiveness shows that you can’t hide it. Reported in the Guardian
Looking for a fling this spring? New research on attractiveness shows that you can’t hide it. Reported in the Guardian and published in the journal Human Evolution and Behaviour, the study shows that men and women can usually judge whether a person is more interested in short-term or committed sex just by analyzing their facial expressions and features. For example, men who said they were more interested in short-term sex were perceived as more masculine by the women in the study. (Check out the photos accompanying the news story and see if you agree.) In the first study sample, 72 per cent of people correctly identified the attitudes more than half of the time.
Led by Lynda Boothroyd in the department of psychology at Durham University, the study’s 700 participants were asked to judge the attractiveness and attitudes to sex of the opposite gender from portrait photographs.
“Initial impressions may be part of how we assess potential mates – or potential rivals – when we first meet them. These will then give way over time to more in depth knowledge of that person, as you get to know them better, and may change with age,” said Boothroyd in a press release.
The work also adds to the wealth of evidence that men and women have evolved to be attracted to different things in a mate: Men in the study were more attracted to women interested in casual sex, and women preferred men who were not.