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Science of Attraction: 17 Aspects that Go Far Beyond Appearances

science of attraction

If you think the science of attraction is only about looks, think again. In reality, it goes much deeper than if your face is symmetrical or not.

When it comes to the science of attraction, many people assume it’s based off what you have. Do you drive an expensive car, live in a fancy apartment, use hair gel made from dolphin tears? Things that amount to living a luxurious life. However, that’s not what attraction is about. Don’t get me wrong, if you have those things you probably attract someone, but it won’t be because of your personality.

What you need to know about the science of attraction

The thing is, sexual attraction is very complex and goes beyond materialistic needs. It’s something that doesn’t factor the amount of money you make or where you live.

Scientists have dug deep and continue to research what makes us attracted to one another. What they’ve found so far is that attraction, though a personal preference, is also based on biological and genetic factors. It’s really much more complex than you thought.

#1 For men, it’s about the eyes. Men are visual. In fact, they have 25% more neurons in their visual cortices. Now, if you think that’s not important, it is. Because of their visual cortices, they’re overall more visual. They notice bright eyes, smiles, shiny hair—the overall physical appearance. Not saying that women don’t notice these things, it’s simply men notice these things more. [Read: 25 things guys find really sexy and attractive about a girl]

#2 It’s about your childhood. The next time you look for your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, or wife, look at a picture of your opposite-sex parent—any similarities? Research found that if we had positive childhood experiences, we are more likely to be attracted to people who share similarities with the opposite-sex parent. The saying, “You marry someone like your dad/mom,” isn’t far off!

#3 You have a sexy immune system. Ladies, it’s not them, it’s their immune system. Not a bad excuse, right? Can you believe it, but women are able to sense major histocompatibility complex molecules *MHC*? These are proteins released into the air which gives an indication of their immune system.

Women tend to be more attracted to men with an opposite immune system as them, that way their children will have the best of both immune systems, making them healthier.

#4 It’s all pheromones. Sure, she has a great smile and he’s super funny, but really, at the end of the day, it’s all about the pheromones. Both men and women are attracted to pheromones. Women are attracted to testosterone which indicates a man’s strength and fertility. While men are attracted to copulins produced during ovulation. [Read: What does sexual attraction feel like?]

#5 Periods have the power. For heterosexual women, who they find attractive varies depending on where they are during their menstrual cycle. If a woman is at the peak of her fertility, she’ll most likely be attracted to more “manlier” men. You know, the guys with muscles, a deep voice, and a beard. Games of Thrones kinda vibes.

#6 It changes with the seasons. You’re probably thinking, “Oh my god, there are so many factors to attraction.” You’re right. It even changes with the seasons. You probably think that the summer season is when people are the most attracted to one another, but that’s wrong. It’s actually during the winter time when people, in particular men, are attracted to women physically.

#7 Symmetry matters. In both men and women, symmetrical faces in their partners play a subconscious role when choosing who they’re going to be with. Symmetrical faces are a sign of better genetics. Now, no one is actually perfectly symmetrical, so if one eye is slightly bigger than the other, don’t worry.

#8 Where’s the beard? Women love a man with a beard. Now, if you don’t have a beard, you’re still attractive. This is more from a biological standpoint as men with beards or stubble are viewed to be healthier, attractive, and likely to be better fathers. The beard represents the protection factor that women look for when finding a partner. [Read: Do women like men with beards?]

#9 Physical matches mental. Research shows that if you find someone to be physically attractive, there’s a higher chance that you automatically pair them with positive personality traits such as intelligence, kindness, honesty, etc. It’s called the “Halo Effect.” And I blame this for many of my poor dating choices.

#10 Wear red. Red really is the go-to color to wear if you want to attract someone. The color red makes men feel more aroused towards a woman. Research showed that the attraction to the color red may be because of social conditioning. However, it goes much deeper than that. Even in other animal species, such as baboons, reproductive parts become red, which attracts a mate. [Read: The subtle secrets to attract men in a way they can’t resist]

#11 Using contraception? You probably just thought using birth control would prevent you from getting pregnant, but actually it does more than that. Research has shown that women who use contraceptives found themselves to be less attracted to men with less masculine features. Crazy, right?

#12 Body language. It’s everything. People usually think it’s the super hot women who get the most attention, but that’s not true. In reality, it’s the women who used body language gestures such as smiling, glancing, hair flicks that do. These are basic gestures to attract people. In a study on this subject, average looking women who used these gestures were more successful at being approached by men. [Read: 10 clearly noticeable signs of body language attraction]

#13 Must love dogs. Fellas, if you don’t have a dog, consider getting one. In one study, men were 50% more likely to get a number from a girl if they had a dog with them. Women love a man who loves animals. Why? Subconsciously, the science of attraction shows they’re not only able to take care of someone else but that they’re nurturing. A huge factor when looking for a partner.

#14 You don’t have to look like a model. So many women try to have that Victoria’s Secret model body, but here’s the thing, you don’t need it. If you have a big bum like JLo, embrace it. That’s actually what men biologically love. Young men love the hourglass figure on women because it represents fertility and her ability to reproduce. [Read: Why men love women and their oh-so-hot bodies]

#15 It doesn’t matter if you’re black or white. Get this, whether you’re a man or woman, whether you’re Asian, African, Mexican, or Norwegian—we are all in agreement on who we think is and is not attractive. We actually have this universal standard for attractiveness. Can you believe that? This is the only thing we all agree on. The science of attraction is without borders.

#16 Beer goggles exist. I know, I thought it was a myth as well but it’s not. They exist. So why is it that drunk people are attracted to basically everyone they see? Well, when you’re drunk you’re less likely to notice the symmetry of someone’s face. This is why some people wake up beside the person they slept with thinking, what did I just do? [Read: 10 sober reasons why drunken sex is never a good idea]

#17 Your parent’s age matters. Who would have thought that this actually plays a role, but it does. Research show that parents that gave birth in their thirties have children who prefer older-looking faces. While parents who give birth in their twenties have children who prefer younger-looking faces.

[Read: 12 more rules of attraction as explained by science]

Now that you know some facts behind the science of attraction, can you see why you like certain people or find people that “aren’t your type” to be attractive? It’s science, baby!

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic
A serial dater, Natasha Ivanovic knows a thing or two about men and the dating scene. Much of her writing is inspired by her encounters with men - and for good ...
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