The Golden Ratio: What is Sex Appeal, and Why Do We Have Certain Preferences?

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I enjoy watching documentaries. I recently watched one about the science of sex appeal made for the Discovery Channel. I would like to share a bit about what I learned from it. Emotional and physical attraction is accomplished through our brain and our

There is an old saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Put simply, every person is an individual, and each person may find certain attributes of a person attractive, while other attributes of a person may not be so attractive. For instance, a woman could be totally gorgeous to look at, and while she might turn heads, her confidence and intelligence might be what wins the affection of a potential suitor.

On a biological level, our brains are programmed to seek out the best partner to pass on our genes to in order to reproduce.  It all begins with the face. As we look at a person’s face, the brain recognizes symmetry. We decide what is attractive an unattractive by the symmetry of the face. Oftentimes, when a person instantly falls in love with a person, he or she is falling for the perfect dimensions of a person’s face and overall appearance. On the documentary, a man talks about what he was attracted to in his mate. He said he was drawn to her eyes, her perfect cheekbones and her looks.

Scientists have studied what makes a man or woman drop dead gorgeous. It has to do with facial and body proportions as determined by a mathematical formula. In essence, the proportions in the Golden Ratio are equal to each other. This formula is called the Golden Ratio. This ratio is considered to be the mathematic equation for perfection. To read more about the Golden Ratio click here.

Simply put, the Golden Ratio is described as a space divided into two parts. One part of the space is about a third smaller than the other part. The ratio of the two parts equals the ratio of the big part to the whole space. The Golden Ratio is not a new concept. Plato came up with this ratio, and ever since then artists have tried to incorporate it into their drawings and paintings to capture the essence of the person or object being captured on canvas.

Are we aware that we use the Golden Ratio to judge attractiveness? Probably not, but we know what we find attractive and what we don’t. For instance, the distance between the eyes should be equal to the width of the eyes. The width of both eyes would be two-thirds the space of space between the eyes. We can instantly spot when the eyes appear too close together, or if the nose is too big for the face. Does this mean, if we aren’t perfectly proportioned by the Golden Ratio formula that we are doomed to never find love? No! Stay tuned.

Sources:

The Science of Sex Appeal – Discovery

Golden Ratio

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