Here’s What Makes A Person Sexy, According To Science

Peta Serras

Hey there, good lookin’…

Wonder why you always have your eye on your barista, but can’t quite work out what it is about them that tickles your fancy? It’s all down to science.

Research has proven there’s a biological reason we’re drawn to certain people. Our brains are complex systems controlled by unconscious primitive instincts to seek out viable partners for procreating with. Yep, it sounds very cavemen-esque, but even if you’ve decided to be childfree, you’re not immune to the impulses driven by hundreds of thousands of years of human survival.

A two-month-long study at the University of Kent, led by Dr Chris Solomon, a world-renowned expert in facial mapping, ascertained what the ideal male and female face look like. During the study, participants were asked to put together a composite of the ideal face for both themselves and the opposite sex. For women, this consisted of almond-shaped eyes, full lips and a small nose like Natalie Portman. For men, dark hair scored high on the attractive charts with an oval shaped face, straighter eyebrows and a longer nose. (Think Brad Pitt and Ryan Gosling.)

“Overall it would seem that women prefer the clean-cut ‘boy next door’ look while men are not so focused on an overtly sexy look as is often assumed,” Solomon concluded.

Facial features aside, there’s lots of reason that you could be attractive, according to science…

1. Desirable finger length

When it comes to attraction, hands matter, according to science.
When it comes to attraction, hands matter, according to science.

You see a man with great hands and can’t think of anything better than his hands all over your body, but did you know it could all be down to the length of his fingers? (No, not like that.)

Research by the University of Geneva in Switzerland has shown the longer the ring finger is on a man in comparison to his index finger, the more testosterone is present in his system, and high testosterone is linked to a high sperm count and better genes (aka: ideal baby-making conditions). Though before you start scanning you next date’s hands, the Oxford University concluded these men are also more likely to be promiscuous.

2. A symmetrical face

A University of Kent study found that men prefer women with almond-shaped eyes, full lips and a small nose, while women like men with dark hair, an oval face, straighter eyebrows and a longer nose.

A symmetrical face is a sign of good genes to breed with. It’s like your biological advertisement that makes people flock to you. Good symmetry is nature’s way of signalling someone is healthy and fertile for mating.

And there’s another reason to seek out a well-balanced partner, according to science, too; a study by Thornhill, published in 1995 in the journal Animal Behavior, found women who partner with men with more symmetrical physiques actually have better orgasms.

3. A wide hips-to-waist ratio

Fifties sex symbol Marilyn Monroe epitomises the optimal hourglass figure, with a wide hips-to-waist ratio.
Fifties sex symbol Marilyn Monroe epitomizes the optimal hourglass figure, with a wide hips-to-waist ratio.

Waist trainers aren’t only gaining popularity because the Kardashians wear them, they also help cheat a biological sign of fertility. Studies have shown men tend to prefer women with a hips-to-waist ratio of 7:10, as women sporting these numbers also tend to have high fertility. Psychologist Devendra Singh of the University of Texas studied people’s waist-to-hip ratios and said to Live Science, “The idea is that beauty is conveying information about health and fertility, and we admire that.”

4. The scent of a man

Scent matters more than we think when it comes to determining who we're physically attracted to.
Scent matters more than we think when it comes to determining who we’re physically attracted to.

Dogs might be onto something when it comes to sniffing each other’s behinds. Turns out we use our noses to determine someone’s attractiveness more than we think. Studies have found women are attracted to different types of men depending on where we are in our cycle; during our most fertile phase we tend to seek out more masculine-looking guys with physical features that indicate high testosterone levels, but in the later part of our cycle as hormone levels shift, we’re more likely to gravitate toward men with lower testosterone and softer features who’s likely – scientifically speaking, at least – to be more faithful.

Images via and shutterstock.

Comment: What’s your reaction to these findings? Do you agree with them?