What Are the Rules of Attraction?

"What is our Ideal Man? On what grand and luminous mythological figure does contemporary humanity attempt to model itself? The question is embarrassing. Nobody knows." - Aldous Huxley

"We have to understand beauty, or we will always be enslaved by it." - Nancy Etcoff

Introduction:

As college students, we are confronted by issues of attraction on an everyday basis. Many magazines, television commercials and even our peers aim to educate us on how we can improve our looks to impress people - usually the opposite sex. There are many schools of thought about what makes us attractive, as well conflicting ideas on how to look or dress to be considered so. Instead of trying to make sense of all this, we thought it would be interesting to ask our peers here at Miami University what attracts a man or a women to the opposite sex? Is it just based on physical features, or does it have to do with clothing and style? Are there any other factors that attract men and women? Additionally, are women and men attracted to different qualities, or does each sex look for the same thing?

Prediction:

We predict that men and women look for different things physically in each other. Though both sexes probably have an idea of a perfect hair-eye-skin combination and pick up on people's style as a tool for assessing their personality and social status, we feel that women look for men with darker features and a casual dress sense, and that men look for women with lighter features who have a more refined dressing style. We expect to get all kinds of quantitative data, and even though everyone has their own aesthetic ideals, we predict that there will be a difference in the women and men's answers to our question, and that there will be a specific preference to one described "look" for each sex - light hair and facial features paired with a clean yet stylish outfit will attract men, while women will prefer a more laid-back and rugged clothing style with darker hair and eyes. We base this on evolutionary studies and research that we have found, suggesting that men and women inherently look for features in each other that suggest the best possible partner for mating and carrying on their genetics to further generations.

Relevance and Literature:

We are interested in this topic because in this critical stage of our self-development, we feel it is important to know how the sexes perceive each other and what the other sex finds most important in relation to physical type and personal style. We are also interested in the evolutionary aspect of this question, and why the concept of beauty has remained seemingly unchanged for many years. There are some terms we should define before analyzing others and ours works on this topic. Attraction in our experiment is defined as physical appearance and ones positive reaction to it. We will not address attraction in reference to personality. When we talk about style we are referring to a person's outward appearance in clothing, make-up, and accessories. There have been a number of similar experiments done by students, scientists, psychologists, and sociologists alike, and we can take bits and pieces that are relevant to us.

Webster defines beauty as "qualities that give pleasure to the senses and attraction as both a force drawing two objects together and an attractive quality, object, or feature." For reasons no one has adequate explained, men and women are for some reason drawn to each other because of the way they look, dress, smell, interact, or "just seem..." As our research shows, both society and biology play roles in what makes a person attractive. Attractive qualities can range from shapes of facial features to type or brand of tee-shirt, but there is always a meaning behind what a person finds attractive in another person, whether it be due to society's ideals of beauty, or evolutionary, biological, and chemical reactions within the body. It is clear that men and women are attracted to different things, and our study aims to distinguish exactly that-- what type of lips, eyes, hair, pants, and jewelry make us attracted to someone, and why? We will explore the ideas and theories behind attraction, differences between male and female attraction, and specific attractive features through the works of other scientific scholars.

We will break this information down into two realms: the evolutionary/ biological/ chemical factors and the culture/ society/ media factors. These two schools of thought are overlapping--or so we hope to prove--but very different in their ways of showing connection.

Men have been known to find physical appearance more important than personality, but according to a new study, they're also willing to overlook a woman's body shape & weight if she is friendly and likable. In "Put on a Happy Face" 3 groups of college males were tested, and asked to "rate attractiveness" of female bodies ranging from very thin to obese. Group 1 was given a short list of positive adjectives about each woman, Group 2 got a list of negative adjectives, and Group 3 was given nothing. This study found that participants given positive personality cues were significantly more accepting.

"Blinded by Beauty" discussed how extremely handsome of pretty people are mistakenly rated as healthier than their plain looking peers. Kalick's group relied on archived health data for 164 males and 169 females born between 1920-1929. Most study participants come from white middle class families. Medical exams and histories were obtained annually from age 11-18, once between age 30-36, and once between 58-66. Subjects were judged by male and female raters on attractiveness from photos taken at age 17 and 18. All rated similarly.Researchers found attractive teens had no tendency toward overall health. The most attractive 25 percent of the subjects drew overly positive estimate of their health as teens and adults, the least attractive 25 percent of subjects drew mistakingly negative health predictions. Raters were more accurate for subjects in mid-range of attractiveness.

A website called "Evolutionary theory of sexual attraction" analyzes works of biological psychologists. Many argue that the features, which we are attracted to, are in some way representational of that person's ability to survive. Those from a biological perspective believe that our main drive is survival and that we are intrinsically born with and idea of the "right" main to pass on our traits, thus ensuring survival. They argue that attraction starts in the hypothalamus when we see someone we find sexually attractive. The bundle of nerves that make up the hypothalamus start a chain reaction throughout the body, and we experience what we know as sexual attraction. This theory also says that jealousy in an inborn trait. Males had to be possessive of their mate otherwise she may become impregnated by another man and have that child and the original man will be left with the responsibility of taking care of that child. As much as we would like to say we are not a society that is based on physical attractiveness this is not true. We judge people instantly whether we like to or not based on their appearance and their potential as a mate. We are a society that favors symmetrical, cleanliness, competence, and average features in the opposite sex. Preferences of certain features such as jaw type have an evolutionary background. A strong jaw indicates a high level of testosterone and a small jaw indicates youthfulness and a high level of estrogen, which in turn indicates a higher potential being able to reproduce. This is the same for figure as well. Women who are fuller and more curvaceous are seen as fertile. Since a man's main objective was to survive it was important to choose a partner who was strong and could bear children. This is why many men prefer bigger women. Men are born with many more sex cells than women and are intrinsically drawn to spread them, making them less picky about the mate they choose. Whereas women produce one egg cell and month and are more aware of their choice of mate because they will be the one who will help them care for the child they create. While we may view ourselves as highly cognitive people it appears that often our actions in romantic situations tend to parallel the actions of many other creatures in the animal kingdom. This study is quite interesting because it shows an evolutionary approach to what our experiment is trying to find out. If in fact we find that these features are attractive to men and women we now have the ideas of one approach to why it is that these features what attracts us.

On a similar note, a website called, "Human Attraction", looked at attraction through the theories of Darwin. Darwin's theory of sexual selection states that males and females that look the healthiest are most likely to find a mate fastest and pass on their traits. Males tend to look for fertility, health, and youth in a partner and women look for youth and competitiveness. In the study by Bierly and Glaser students were interviewed and asked about weight, posture, hair color, and piercing/tattoos. The prediction was that men would prefer skinnier body types and lighter hair. Both of these opinions were proven to be false. Their study wasn't very well established but their research for the article plays into our experiment. Men are more attracted to small facial features such as eyes and chin and women prefer strong features such as large chins and cheekbones. These facial features are the basis of our experiment and we look to prove whether or not this is really true.

And there is evidence to believe that our bodies respond physically to the smell of another person. An article called "The Science of Human Pheromones", reflects on this subject. Scientist have discovered a way in that they can control our emotions by stimulating a system of receptors in our brains. In our noses there is an organ called the vomeronasal organ, which can sense pheromones. Pheromones are "scents" which our bodies give off that when picked up on by the opposite sex can influence sexual desires and other emotions. I say scent" because pheromones have to smell or taste but yet this organ in our noses picks them up. Scientists today are creating fragrances that have human pheromones, which will stimulate the "sixth" sense of those around you. Everyday we shower and wash off these naturally occurring pheromones and then cover ourselves with clothes that cover a good part of our body. By creating these fragrances we are getting back what was natural and "reestablishing chemical communication with those close to us". Our survey isn't going to be able to gather this type of data. It is interesting to learn that we communicate in a completely undetectable way. These pheromones are a big debate in attraction. The significance of the role they play is yet to be fully discovered but it could really hold true that there is an initial attraction "love at first sight" so to speak accept that it is picked up unbeknownst to us by our vomeronasal organ.

Along the lines of scent and un-testable aspects of attraction, Sujatha Sebastian's research is in the article "Beauty, Biology, and Society", is much like ours, except the question looked at in her study is evidenced by the first sentence: "what is beauty?" Through extensive research, the findings are that science has tried to look at beauty beyond the conscious level, specifically to determine what role biology plays in human attraction. The main discovery here, according to Sebastian, is that symmetry and scent play a role in defining human attraction (Included in the research are the findings of mathematicians that "The Golden Rule" plays a part is facial symmetry). Other factors remain, however: "Through studies, females have indicated a preference for male faces that have sharp lines. "In contrast, "Males are attracted to women's faces that are smaller and rounder." Also, "historically fair skin has been associated with power," even in countries where darker skin is the norm, such as most of Africa and India. So, while society's definition of beauty can change, "there is a biological basis behind determining attractiveness. The innate need to reproduce, and pass on our genes, drives human beings to be attracted to each other."

To go against the idea that females are attracted to sharp lines in a face, a characteristic of a very masculine look, we found an article called "Do You Love This Face?" that explores the opposite idea. The article details Dr. Victor Johnson, a biopsychology professor at NM state U. and his new computer program which Moorish a face into an either hyper-masculine or - feminine face. The changes are small, but significant enough to suggest "that both male and females find 'feminized' versions of average faces more beautiful. Indeed, "even an averagely masculine face is too male for comfort," and females prefer if a man's face is less than average in masculine-looking traits. Dr. Johnson is only one of many in his studies - many scientists "are marching into territory formerly staked out by poets, painters, fashion mavens, and casting directors, aiming to uncover the underpinnings of human attractiveness." The conclusion here is that regardless of the differences in race, ethnicity, social status, etc., "all cultures equate beauty with health and fertility." We are simply hard-wired that way from our evolution.

Whether a group's preference for certain facial features, colors, or complexion is due to nature, evolution, and biology or society and ideals expressed by the media is always debatable, but an interesting study was done by Feinman and Gill of the University of Wyoming in the late 1970's. The two social psychologists conducted a study of nearly 1000 college students regarding their preferences in terms of eye color, hair color, and complexion color, reporting the results in an article called, "Sex Differences in Physical Attractiveness Preferences". Statistically, there was a difference in the likes and dislikes between men and women on all three accounts, but the most significant was males greater preference for "lighter female coloration, while females indicated somewhat greater preference for darker male coloration." We used this evidence in our hypothesis, predicting that our study will also show men's preference for a lighter look, while women may prefer darker skin, eyes, and hair.

But what is it that makes a light or dark complexion important? An article called, "Effect of Suntan on Judgments of Healthiness and Attractiveness by Adolescents", did a study of middle-school aged students and revealed that people in this age group attribute a suntan, or a darker complexion to health. In general, these adolescents assessed people who look "tan" in pictures as healthier overall. One idea is that women may view health as more important in a man because he has to be physically able to provide for a family, whereas typically women's domestic tasks do not require such a degree of physical ability.

David Buss did another interesting study to this end, which is discussed in "The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating". Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, performed a study for this book involving over 10,000 people from 37 cultures. He uses evolutionary theory to explain the psychological mechanisms behind how and why people choose, keep, and discard their mates. Mating, according to Buss, is not a sentimental or humane activity: it is, rather, competitive, conflictual, and manipulative. To provide for themselves and their offspring, women seek providers - men with money, power, maturity, ambition, stability, commitment, health, and cooperative natures. Men, for similar reasons, "invest their time, resources, and sperm in young, beautiful, and fertile women who will give them heirs and status." At the same time they retain a primitive ability for casual sex as well--a sexual mechanism that is less selective and can be satisfied in more primitive ways, "such as fantasy, homosexuality, and incest." Because of these things, Buss considers the modern marriage a "crowning achievement of humankind.

These references we have discussed above speak to the nature and history of attraction, but there is also evidence to suggest that there is a difference between the sexes in both how important attraction is when selecting a mate, and what factors are most relevant in assessing attraction. A study in an article called, "Sex Differences in Mate Selection Preference and Sexual Strategy: Test for Evolutionary Hypothesis", discovered that males are more influenced by physical attractiveness than females, and similarly, men cared about a "youthful appearance", where as women were more indifferent in that respect. A person might wonder, then, what IS important to women? To answer this question, we use the findings in an article called, "Sex, Sex Role, Facial Attractiveness, Social Self Esteem, and Interesting Clothing", which did a study that indicated that women care more about clothing in regards to attraction than men do, but both sexes are equally attracted or unattracted by facial features. This difference can be seen in everyday society: women usually do more shopping for clothes and put more time into their stylistic appearance, while men are more concerned with other things. Because of their exposure to clothing, it would make sense that women pay more attention to dress when assessing a person's overall attractiveness. And since facial features cannot be changed (other than by using make-up) it would make sense that both sexes are equally concerned with the facial features of a potential mate.

In "Gender Differences in Physical Attraction" it states that physical attractiveness is more important for females than it is for men. This is shown to be true through surveys of men and women. When asked what they did to make themselves more appealing on a date, men said they placed importance on material things where as women made physical changes. It goes on the say that culturally what men view as attractive varies. However we live in a society where a slim body is the standard. However Olson, Hendricks, Batt, and Hall argue that women have placed this body type ideal on themselves. Males tend to prefer women who are plumper and more curvaceous. Women's ideal body weight is often times much skinnier than the body weight that men actually prefer. Men tend to find men of average body size and height the most attractive. Some facial features women preferred were a square jaw, thin lips, thick eyebrows, and small eyes. Facial features men prefer in women are large eyes, small nose, and full lips. We aren't really dealing with body type in our experiment so this article doesn't lend much in that respect. However, we are going to be asking people what size nose, jaw type, and eye size. These are all things that were addressed in this article. There have been many studies done on how women and men view themselves and the opposite gender. It is clear that the expectations we place what we look for in others and the expectations we place on ourselves are quite different.

We know that women and men are different in what they consider attractive, and we have discussed the role of clothing in assessing attractiveness, but another difference was found in the article, "Attire, Sexual Allure, and Attractiveness". In a study of 20 male and 20 female undergraduates, it was found that men find revealing clothing more attractive than women. Mini skirts, short shorts and low-cut shirts were assessed as attractive by the men in the group, but women felt models wearing "sexually alluring attire" were unattractive.

To delve further into this, a study in an article called, "Effects of Potential Partner's Costume and Physical Attractiveness on Sexuality", studied university student's views of models pre-rated for physical attractiveness and dressed in costumes representing 3 levels of socioeconomic status. Costume status "significantly affected women's ratings of attractiveness." Males also reported "more willingness...to engage in sexual relations without emotional involvement and to engage in infidelity in the future." This shows that women are more interested in the comfort and level of security of a man -his status - since this affects his ability to take care of their offspring. Men, however, are more likely to want to have multiple sex partners in an attempt to further the species, regardless of any emotional toll.

Apparently, the media and advertising agencies in particular are aware of this connection between attraction and clothing--or the lack thereof. In an article called, "What is Sexy? Correlates from a Study of Recent Magazine Advertisements", experimenters found that in assessing the effectiveness of an advertisement, nothing is more important in perceived sexiness than a models clothing, her facial attractiveness, and her body language. Color, design and grandeur of the ad meant little in comparison to the sex symbol in the ad.

But sex and sexiness is the only factor in determining attraction. As discussed above, there are many factors ranging from evolutionary and biological to psychological and societal. An article called, "Interpersonal Attraction" sums it all up well: Both personal characteristics and environment play a role in interpersonal attraction. People who come into contact regularly and have no prior negative feelings about each other generally become attracted to each other as their degree of mutual familiarity and comfort level increases. The situation in which people first meet also determines how they will feel about each other. One is more likely to feel friendly toward a person first encountered in pleasant, comfortable circumstances. Personality type is another determinant of interpersonal attraction. In areas involving control, such as dominance, competition, and self-confidence, people tend to pair up with their opposites. An example of this is the pairing of a dominant person with a submissive one. People gravitate to others who are like themselves in terms of characteristics related to affiliation, including sociability, friendliness, and warmth. Another important factor in interpersonal attraction, especially during the initial encounter, is that of physical appearance, even among members of the same sex. Each culture has fairly standard ideas about physical appearance that serve as powerful determinants in how we perceive character. "Kindness, sensitivity, intelligence, modesty, and sociability are among those characteristics that are often attributed to physically attractive individuals." There is also evidence that physical appearance has a greater role in the attraction of males to females than vice versa. To a certain extent, romantic attraction is influenced by evolutionary considerations: the survival of the species. Some experts claim that "when people select potential mates, they look for someone whose status, physical attractiveness, and personal qualities are roughly equivalent to their own." According to another theory, "a person will choose a partner who will enhance his or her own self-image or persona."

It is important to remember that society's definition of physical attractiveness has been constantly changing. We know that in the middle ages being obese was a sign of wealth, because it meant you had enough to eat, and was therefore looked upon as attractive. In the twenties skinny girls with boyish features were the socially defined attractive people. Today tall and thin bodies with accentuated curves are the ideal. What we today may find attractive may become unattractive in a few years. It is with this in mind that we go about our research. We are just testing to determine what it is about physical appearance that attracts someone to the opposite sex. Knowing other people's theories and definitions of attraction are important to our experiment, because it is important to remember there are many ways to interpret attraction. Our survey will be just one of these experimental methods.

Research design:

Through a survey, we are measuring the differences between what men and women find to be attractive. We are using several different types of question, based on our research, as to what men and women find attractive in the opposite sex. We are surveying 100 males and 100 females, which we feel is a large enough test group to ensure a significant result.

A copy of our survey is as follows:


Thank you for taking a minute to help us out. For our Natural Systems 
I class, we are doing a project on human attraction: What do men and 
women find attractive in regards to both physical features and clothing 
and dress style. Please circle one choice for each category, 
indicating what you find most attractive, most of the time.

Circle one:
I am:   Male     Female
I am primarily attracted to:     Males     Females

PHYSICAL FEATURE PREFERENCE:
When assessing overall attractiveness of the opposite sex, how 
important are physical features on a scale of 1-10?     1      2     3     
4     5      6    7     8      9     10
Eye size:     Bigger     Average     Smaller    No opinion
Eye color:     Brown     Blue     Green    No opinion
Hair color:     Brunette     Blonde     Red    No opinion
Hair length:     Long     Average     Short   No opinion
Skin tone:     Dark     Neutral     Pale    Mo opinion
Lip size:     Full       Average      Thin     No opinion
Nose size:     Larger    Average     Smaller     No opinion
Jaw type:    Wide     Average     Narrow      No opinion

CLOTHING AND STYLE PREFERENCE:
When assessing overall attractiveness of the opposite sex, how 
important is clothing and style to you, on a scale of 1-10?     1     2      
3      4   5       6       7       8        9      10
Pant fit:     Tight      Average     Baggy   No opinion
Pant type:      Jeans     Khaki     Sport pants     No opinion
Shirt fit:     Revealing       Casual     Covering     No opinion
Shirt type:    Sleeveless     T-shirt      Longsleeve     No opinion
Amount of jewelry:          None     Minimal      A lot     No opinion

Materials and Methods:

We decided that to make this project as unbiased and statistically sound as possible, we would need to use a survey using only questions about preferences (instead of our original idea of showing pictures of different people and choosing which was most attractive) and analyzing our data using numbers only. We will sample Western students, then compare the results of the women's surveys against the men's using Statview and a chi-squared to see if they are statistically different. We will see if, in fact, men and women prefer one look over another, and then try to determine what that look is and why it might be considered more attractive. The class will be involved in our study if they happen to be surveyed, but we think that everyone will be interested in the results of our experiment, as it speaks to the opinions of our peers on a very important subject.

We included the class in our test by setting up a class lab where we surveyed our fellow students, then played a game to determine (rather unscientifically) whether or not men and women look for different things in a mate. We took a series of pictures on poster-boards and tallied the results of what the opposite sex looked for. While this was interesting and provoked much discussion, we didn't feel the game was as pertinent to our study as our survey results, therefore meriting it's summary here, as opposed to a full report.

We needed to manage our time, so at the beginning of the study, we made a timeline. Our time line is as follows:


* Week 7 - Review proposal and survey to make sure they are accurate 
and effective. Print out copies of survey.

* Week 8 - Exam. Take a break from our group project to drink too much 
coffee and freak out about this.

* Week 9 - Lab packets due.  Play game and dress sexy.

* Week 10 - 13 - Surveys.

* Week 14 - Student generated lab.  Powerpoint rock and roll.

* Week 15 - Statistical analysis.  Statview is bomb.

* Click here for the most rad-ass Powerpoint presentation you'll ever see!

* Click here for our sweet data sheet!

* Click here to see a happy old couple on bikes!

Results:

Based on the results of our survey we found that men and women do not differ significantly in their preference of most facial features. The only categories on our survey that produced statistically significant results indicating a difference between the two sexes in regard to facial features were hair length, nose size, and jaw type. However, men and women did answer significantly different when asked about their preference for clothing styles and sizes.

When asked about eye size men and women both preferred average eyes the most and smaller eyes the least. We did not hypothesize specifically about eye-size, as there is no previous research indicating a difference in sex or specific preference in size of eyes. With a p-value of .63 there is no statistically significant data to suggest that there is a difference between men and women's opinions of eye size.

In general, men and women responded mainly as having no opinion of eye color. However, it seems that there is a very close response between men and women for the eye colors listed in the survey. Almost 40 percent of both men and women responded that they had no opinion about eye color, and the responses were dispersed almost evenly between the options of brown, blue, and green. With a p-value of .74 there is no statistically data to suggest that there is a difference between men and women's opinion of eye color.

In regards to hair color many of the respondents both men and women preferred brunettes while few preferred red heads. Both men and women preferred blond hair over red hair, but not as much as darker hair. With a p-value of .52 there is no statistically significant data to suggest that there is a difference between men and women's opinion of hair color.

Women tend to prefer shorter hair much more than men do, while men prefer longer hair more than women do. Both seemed to have the same response to average length hair and having no opinion about hair. The difference was strong, with 40 percent of women preferring short hair versus less than 10 percent of men liking the same thing, and similarly, 40 percent of men prefer long hair, as opposed to only 10 percent of women. With a p-value of less that .0001 there is statistically significant data to suggest that there is a difference between men and women's opinion of hair length.

Our results showed that both men and women prefer a neutral skin tone most, and preferred pale skin the least. By a difference of about 5 percent, women tend to prefer darker skin more then men. However, with a p-value of .70 there is statistically significant data to suggest that there is a difference between men and women's opinion of skin one.

Men and women preferred average sized lips the most, and thin sized lips the least. Both sexes preferred full lips more than thin lips, but an average size was preferred above other options by everyone.With a p-value of .558 there is statistically significant data to suggest that this is no difference between men and women's opinion of lip size.

In regards to nose size, our results indicated a significant difference between the sexes. Men and women prefer average sized noses the most while men prefer smaller noses more and women prefer larger noses more than men, but much less than they prefer average sized noses. With a p-value of .0351 there is statistically significant data to suggest that there is a difference between men and women's opinion of nose size.

An average jaw was preferred by men and women the most. But beyond this, more men preferred narrow jaws while more women preferred wide jaws. With a p-value of .005 there is statistically significant data to suggest that there is a difference between men and women's opinion of jaw type.

Our results indicated differences between men and women in their prefrence regarding clothes. From our results, we can see that women prefer average fitting pants while men prefer tighter fitting pants. With a p-value of less than .0001 there is statistically significant data to suggest that there is a difference between men and women's opinion of pant fit.

Both sexes preferred jeans while a close number had no opinion about pants. However, very few preferred sporty pants. More women preferred khaki pants than men, and with a p-value of .042 there is statistically significant data to suggest that there is a difference between men and women's opinion of pant type.

Both men and women preferred casual fitting shirts the most. Women preferred covering shirts while men preferred revealing shirts. With a p-value of less than .0001 there is statistically significant data to suggest that there is a difference between men and women's opinion of shirt fit.

Men had no opinion more often than women about shirt style. Women preferred long sleeve shirts and t-shirts while men prefer sleeveless shirts more often. With a p-value of less than .0001 there is statistically significant data to suggest that there is a difference between men and women‚s opinion of shirt style. (Figure 12)

Both men and women responded to our survey as either have no opinion about the amount of jewelry the opposite sex wears or preferring a minimal amount. With a p-value of .2440 there is statistically significant data to suggest that there is no difference between men and women's opinion of the amount of jewelry worn. On the whole, some of our data resulted in a statistically significant difference between men and women on what they preferred in terms of facial features and clothing and style, but most of our data was not different enough statistically to indicate a real difference between what men and women find attractive.

Conclusion and Discussion:

Unfortunately, our data did not prove our hypotheses to the extent that we hoped. While our results showed a significant difference between the sexes in terms all clothing and style related categories except amount of jewelry, the difference in regard to facial features was not as strong. The only categories that men and women showed a true, statistical difference was in their preference for hair length, nose size, and jaw type. This information goes along with some of our predictions, but neglects others.

When asked to rate the importance of "Physical Features" when assessing overall attractiveness of a person on a scale of 1-10, men responded generally higher than women. The mode response for men was an 8, while the mode for women was 7. About 10 percent more men answered with a number 9 than women, while about 25 percent more women answered with a 6 than men. From this graph we can see that men rate the importance of physical features higher than women, when assessing attractiveness of people of the opposite sex. To be more specific in terms of physical features, we can look at men and women's responses in each category. Both sexes preferred average or bigger eyes, and were equally distributed among preference in color, although most people we surveyed indicated no such preferences by responding as having no opinion. We had hoped to show that men preferred blue eyes and women preferred brown eyes to go along with our idea that men prefer light features while women prefer dark. Our graph shows this to be the case, but only by about 2 percent, and there is no statistical evidence to support this. So, in terms of eye color preference, our results did not support our predictions, and showed no real difference between men and women's preferences. Hair length was one of the few physical features that did produce a statistically significant difference between the sexes, but seems be a given in terms of significance. The main difference was men preferring long hair and women preferring short hair, but this is most likely due to the tendency for men to wear their hair short and women to wear their hair longer. The difference is assumed because of pre-established societal standards. As far as hair color, both sexes responded heavily as having a higher preference for brunettes. This is shocking in that it goes against the popular belief that men prefer blondes. There was a slight difference that went along with our prediction of men preferring blonde hair more than women, and women preferring dark hair more than men, but only by 2-5 percent, and this was not enough to conclude that men and women differ in their preference of hair color. In terms of skin tone, we had predicted that men would prefer paler skin, and that women would prefer darker skin. Slightly, by about 5 percent, women did respond as preferring dark skin more than men, but in general both sexes prefer a neutral skin tone. So, again, we did not prove what we had hoped to. Like much of our other data, men and women showed no significant statistical difference in terms of lip size, but on a very small scale, men did prefer full lips slightly more than women. This small difference coincides with our thought that men prefer women who look softer, more feminine, and slightly rounder. Along those lines, we thought women would prefer harsher features that looked more masculine, such as a strong jaw and slightly bigger nose. Luckily, our results for nose size indicated this preference. More women responded as preferring average or larger noses than men, while men preferred smaller noses more often than women. And with a p-value of only .0351, this difference was statistically significant enough to say that men and women are, in fact, different in their preferences on nose size. To go along with this, there was a statistically significant difference between the sexes in regards to jaw type. By about 10 percent each, women prefer a wider jaw and men prefer a narrower jaw. So, in terms of jaw type and nose size, our predictions were proved by our results.

When rating the importance of clothing when assessing overall attractiveness on a scale of 1-10, women and men were more equally distributed than in their rating of the importance of physical features. Both sexes had a mode response of 5, and other responses were distributed unevenly, indicating no trend or difference between the sexes. Except for the amount of jewelry preferred, each category in the clothing section of our survey produced results indicating a significant statistical difference between men and women in their preference towards clothing. Most of the differences, however, are somewhat obvious. Generally in our society, men wear looser, more covering clothes than women, who typically wear tighter, more revealing attire. Because of these trends, a preference in the opposite sex towards these characteristics is somewhat assumed. In our study, we hoped to find out what men and women really preferred, without regard to what we are socialized to "like", but to a degree the two go hand in hand. The modern trends in clothing fit and style had a lot to do with our predictions about what men and women would prefer, and in fact, we found that men prefer tighter, more revealing clothes, while women prefer looser, more covering attire. Our hypothesis that women prefer a more casual dress sense and men like a more refined look did not really come through in our data. But in many clothing- related categories, our results supported our predictions. When rating their preference of pant fit, many more women indicated a preference for average or baggy pants, while men responded as preferring tight pants significantly more often. This directly supports our hypothesis. Both men and women preferred jeans over other pant types, and each sex responded heavily in the no opinion category. Neither sex indicated a preference for sport pants ( a style linked to a casual style), but women preferred khakis more than men by about 20 percent. On women, khakis tend to look formal, whereas on men khakis can refer to chinos ( a more formal, refined type of pant) or a color of cargo pants that look as casual if not more casual than jeans. So this information goes along with our predictions to some extent, but not in its entirety. I terms of shirt fit, the data related directly to our predictions, proving that men prefer revealing shirts more so than women, and women prefer covering shirts more often. This information is slightly predestined in that men typically do not wear revealing shirts such as tank tops, but the difference between the sexes is statistically sound, and does indicate a preference in men toward women's more revealing styles. Along these same lines, men responded as preferring sleeveless shirts much more than men, while women preferred tee-shirts and long-sleeved styles. This further enforces our ideas from above.

We had numerous errors in our study. One of the problems with our study is that, while we had a large amount of background material on all kinds of aspects of attraction, we focused solely on facial attraction and style. We did not spend any of our time and energy on the rest of the body (height, weight, certain physical features), and we particularly did not discuss pheromones, which is, by many accounts, a very big aspect of attraction. In addition, we did not include in our study information for or regarding homosexuality or bisexual. The reason for this is that almost all of our research indicated that sexuality is based on our evolutionary need to carry on the species. Since homosexuals cannot, without assistance, mate in a way that makes it possible to conceive, we didn't think it was wise to discuss this type of sexuality. In hindsight, however, this is an interesting aspect of sexuality, and, had we the time, we would have liked to explore it more.

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And finally, here is a busted drunk dude:

Thanks for all the fun!