By Zoe Bradbury
As much as women would like to believe personality is the only deciding factor for men when choosing a partner, it can’t be denied that physical attractiveness also plays a large part.
Appearance is the first thing people see when meeting, so it makes sense that this is what may initially draw people in.
It seems it is the age-old question; what do men prefer? Are they attracted to a women’s face, or their body? Science may just have the answer.
A new study conducted by Western Oregon University and Southwestern University in the United Sates has revealed that if given the choice, men would “overwhelmingly” choose an attractive face over an attractive body.
The study analysed the responses of 250 male and female participants who were asked to “design” their perfect partner by allocating a certain number of points to physical characteristics.
These characteristics were split into facial traits (eyes, nose, hair, complexion and smile), while the other half were bodily traits (height, breast or chest size, muscularity or muscle tone, hip size and waist size).
Participants were then asked to apply these traits to a hypothetical partner by giving them each a value from 1 to 10 – 10 being the best, and one, the absolute worst.
To stop participants designing the ideal partner by giving 10 to each trait (wishful thinking on anyone’s behalf), each were only allocated a certain “budget” of points.
The study found that when asked about a long-term relationship, men allocated a larger amount of their points to facial features over bodily features.
Essentially, men would prefer an attractive face over an attractive body.
When it came to short-term flings, however, men allocated more points to an attractive body over face.
It all sounds like a real-life version of the video-game Sims, where people design one’s own ideal partner, but the findings did reveal something about the subconscious behaviours of men in regard to reproductivity.
Psychologists and researchers of the study believe men choose the option of an attractive body because it subconsciously represents the male biological drive to seek a long-term reproductive partner.
Men choose an attractive face, because it more likely represents the reproductive potential of the female, through facial traits such as complexion and aging cues, like wrinkles.
Additionally, body standards change over time, and what may be attractive at one stage of life can quickly change to the next.
But what about the results of the women in the study? Regardless of long or short-term relationship, nearly all of the women chose facial traits over bodily ones.
It seems this is just the basic psychology of humans that is geared towards reproducing, which leads us to choose one over the other.
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