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Attractiveness or attraction refers to a quality that causes an interest or desire in something or someone.[1] The term attraction may also refer to the object of the attraction itself, as in tourist attraction.

Visual attractiveness[edit]

Visual attractiveness or visual appeal is attraction produced primarily by visual stimuli.

Physical attractiveness[edit]

Physical attractiveness is the perception of the physical traits of an individual human person as pleasing or beautiful. It can include various implications, such as sexual attractiveness, cuteness, similarity and physique. Judgment of attractiveness of physical traits is partly universal to all human cultures, partly dependent on culture or society or time period, partly biological,[2] and partly a matter of individual subjective.[3]

Physical Attractiveness is more than just "in the eye of the beholder". There is biology involved. Charles Feng of Stanford University writes, "...though there is credence in the ancient Greeks' attempts to determine a fundamental symmetry that humans find attractive. Today, this symmetry has been scientifically proven to be inherently attractive to the human eye."[4]

Studies done at New Mexico State University using a program called FacePrints shows viewers images of faces and requires the viewers to rate them on an attractiveness scale of 1 to 10. The images that rate a 10 are digitally combined while the less attractive images are eliminated. Each session ends when viewers rate all the remaining images as perfect tens. What researchers discovered was that all of the perfect tens were almost perfectly symmetric.[5]

Another aspect of biological human attractiveness are monoamines. These are neurotransmitters found in the brain. These neurotransmitters produce the feelings associated with "falling in love." In addition to monoamines, studies at the Bonn University in Germany have shown that actions such as cuddling, massages and sexual intercourse produce the hormone Oxytocin. This can be psychologically addicting.[6] This, in part, is what researchers think my override the evolutionary drive to procreate with as many woman as possible.[7]

Attractiveness in humans is based on more than just relative societal values. There is biology involved both from physical symmetry and brain chemistry.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ortony, Andrew; Gerald L. Clore; Allan Collins (1990). The Cognitive Structure of Emotions. Cambridge University Press. p. 59. ISBN 0-521-38664-0. 
  2. ^ Kearl, Mary (June 2009). "What Makes Men and Women Attracted To Each Other?". AOL Health. Retrieved August 2009. 
  3. ^ Hönekopp, Johannes (2006). "Once more: Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? Relative contributions of private and shared taste to judgments of facial attractiveness". APA. Retrieved July 2010. 
  4. ^ Feng, Charles (December 2002). "What Makes Men and Women Attracted To Each Other?". Journal of Young Investigators. Retrieved November 2014. 
  5. ^ Lemley, Brad (February 2000). "Do You Love This Face?". Discover Magazine. Retrieved November 2014. 
  6. ^ "Top 10 Scientific Things That Make A Person Attractive?". Make Him Desire You. November 2014. Retrieved November 2014. 
  7. ^ "What is Oxytocin?". Psychology Today. November 2014. Retrieved November 2014.