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Symmetry is Really Sexy

by Medindia Content Team on October 10, 2007 at 7:59 PM
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Symmetry is Really Sexy

When it comes to our notions of beauty, a new study has found that symmetry really is sexy, and that things like a "beauty spot", wonky nose or a lopsided grin can be a real turn off.

Researchers conducting the study presented a series of faces for inspection by 80 Britons and 40 Hadza of Tanzania, one of the last hunter-gatherer cultures.


Both Hadza and Brits asserted that a lopsided face is less attractive.

Dr Anthony Little of the University of Stirling, working with colleagues Coren Apicella at Harvard University and Frank Marlowe Florida State University found that no matter what the culture, symmetry as far as features are concerned really does matter.

"Symmetry has been shown to be important in mate-choice in many animals.

For example, female Swallows prefer males with symmetrical tail feathers," The Telegraph quoted Dr Little, a saying.

"While there may be cultural variation in preferences for other traits, we show that symmetry in faces is attractive across two very different cultures," he added.

This, the researchers state, is added evidence that the age-old idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder is a romantic myth.

The study also shows that Charles Darwin was both right and wrong when he said: "It is certainly not true that there is in the mind of man any universal standards of beauty with respect to the human body."

Dr Little said: "This suggests that Darwin was both right and wrong - face symmetry is a generally attractive trait across cultures but there also exists variability in preference for symmetry between cultures."

The researchers also say that the study adds to the mounting evidence that our appreciation of beauty has a deep-seated biological explanation.

Good looks are akin to a biological advert that says good genes are to be found in this particular body. People therefore choose partners without blemishes to help their own genes thrive in their offspring.

Source: ANI
VEN /J

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