Monday, May 21, 2007

About face

New Scientist reports: [edited]

Body builders and gym buffs, look away now. It appears that the opposite sex is much more interested in your face than your bulging biceps or elegant figure, especially if you're a man. At least that's the upshot of the first study to assess how much faces and bodies contribute to someone's overall attractiveness.

Twelve women and 12 men took part in a trial to assess the attractiveness of people in photographs, on a scale of 1 to 7. Some participants saw the entire person, some saw faces on their own, and some just bodies. Marianne Peters from the University of Western Australia in Crawley and colleagues assessed the face-only and body-only ratings to see how well they predicted the "entire person" ratings.

They found that faces account for more of the variation among ratings than do bodies; in other words, faces are more important. For women rating men, 52 per cent of the attractiveness score was made up by the face rating, while for bodies it was 24 per cent. The trend was similar when men rated women, with 47 per cent of a woman's overall attractiveness accounted for by her face, and 32 per cent by her body.

Peters says that women focus especially on the face because they are better at picking up emotional cues which are key to partner suitability.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This study will have been based on aorund average looking people and around average bodies. You can sway the balance by being incredibly good looking or by having a GREAT body.

I for instance am as ugly as a B73tt but have a body similar to Brad Pitt in fight club. Walk down the road with me and listen to the laughs, accompany me to the beach and watch women fall over themselves to catch a glimpse. ;-)