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Beauty Really Is in the Eye of the Beholder, Study Finds

By HERWriter Blogger
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Beauty Really Is in the Eye of the Beholder, Study Says UBER IMAGES/Fotolia

To anyone who has ever tried to explain why they find someone attractive — there's a reason that other people just can't see it. New research has proved the old adage to be true: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

A new study which was released in October, 2015, in the scientific journal Current Biology, revealed that the idea of finding someone attractive is very specific to each person and is based on their life experiences.

Researchers found that, statistically speaking, people agree on the attractiveness of someone's face only about 50 percent of the time. The preference of one face over another is very unique to each individual.

This study included a large sample of about 35,000 people. They were asked to rate faces for attractiveness on a website. The results followed prior research that found most people generally like symmetrical faces best, which accounts for the 50 percent agreement on attractiveness.

For the second part of the study, 547 pairs of identical twins and 214 pairs of fraternal twins were asked to give their facial preferences. Researchers hoped that by having study participants who were genetically identical, or close to it, and who grew up in the same home and familial environment, that they could learn more about whether nature or nurture had an effect on their perception of attractiveness.

If the identical twins had similar attraction preferences then it would lead to the conclusion that genes may play a role in who we find attractive. If the identical twins' preferences were not more similar than the fraternal twins, then it would suggest one’s environment has a bigger role. Researchers found out that one’s environment determines most of the reasoning behind our preferences.

The tendency to find some characteristics more attractive than others is based on so many unique, varied experiences. Even in the twin study, where so many similarities between individuals existed, it was found that each participant had a number of their own extremely personal experiences that influence their preferences.

Positive experiences associated with a particular kind of face can make similar faces seem more attractive. If someone had never been exposed to a particular type of face, it may be judged as less attractive.

An attraction preference is not born out of DNA, or general circumstances like home environment or education, but rather springs from the extremely personal life experiences unique to each human being.


Time.com. “Yes, you really do have a type, Science says.” Web. 1 October, 2015.

CBSNews.com. “Science explains why beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Web. 1 October, 2015.

Reviewed November 19, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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