A Beautiful Mind

Satisfactory Essays
Although female faces were always preferred to be feminine, the women threw a problem at Perret when they were judging the attractiveness of men. Their opinions varied greatly, and they couldn’t seem to reach a consensus! After looking into the problem, Perrett discovered that women preferred masculine looking men when they were at peak fertility. This may be because when women are very fertile; their body is telling the brain that it needs to procreate. A masculine looking male is more likely to produce healthy offspring. When women were less fertile, they preferred feminine looking men, who they thought would make good, caring partners (Penton-Voek, 1999). It was also discovered that women who thought they were very attractive preferred masculine men, while the women who thought of themselves as mildly attractive went for the feminine looking men. Little et al. suggested that this was because masculine men were assumed to be unwilling to invest time and resources into a family, but might invest a lot into highly attractive women.
While physical traits are important, such as symmetry or masculinity-femininity, social cues also play an important role in attractiveness. Our expression, and where we look, can communicate our emotional state, and effect how attractive others perceive us to be. When somebody smiles, we understand that they are happy, and where they look is the center of their attention. Brain imaging has allowed researchers to gather information about which part of the brain is stimulated when processing attractive and unattractive faces. They discovered that the part of the brain most active at these times was the same spot that processed rewards. When viewing an attractive face, there are high levels of...

... middle of paper ...

... bias views for symmetry preferences in human faces. Proceedings of the Royal Society of
London B, 270, 1759-1763.
Perrett, D. I., May, K. A. & Yoshikawa, S. (1994). Facial shape and judgments of female attractiveness. Nature, 368, 239-242.
Perret, D. I., Lee, K. J., Penton-Voak, I. S., Rowland, D. R., Yoshikawa, S., Burt, D. M., Henzi, S. P.,
Castles, D. L. & Akamatsu, S. (1998). Effects of sexual dimorphism on facial attractiveness. Nature, 394, 884-887.
Penton-Voek, I. S., Perret, D. I., Castles, D. L., Kobayashi, T., Burt, D. M., Murray, L. K. &
Minamisawa, R. (1999) Menstrual cycle alters face preference. Nature, 399, 741-742.
Jones, B. C., DeBruine, L. M., Little, A. C., Conway, C. A., & Feinberg, D. R. (2006). Integrating physical gaze direction an expression with physical attractiveness when forming face preferences. Psychological Science, in press.
Get Access