View Full Version : Beauty Is Only Brain Deep

Friday, September 17th, 2004, 12:18 PM
Beauty Is Only Brain Deep

by Brad Edmonds

First, this is a tiny article addressing a huge subject. But itís all fun and interesting if you havenít explored the academic research from anthropology and psychology on human attraction.

Basically, there are biological (innate, hereditary) factors, and factors weíve learned and that will vary from one culture to another.

The biological factors include mainly appearance and smell, though there are some behavioral signals that are innately attractive and unattractive. Women tend to be more attracted to men who are tall and aggressive. These are signals to women that the menís children will survive well. Otherwise, since womenís sexual attraction to men is less visually oriented than menís attraction to women, youíll find vast differences in what women find visually appealing.

For example, in times past, older men who were distinctly overweight were often considered attractive, or at least treated as though they were. Being older and overweight were two signs of material success, another signal of survivability in offspring. Iíve known women to focus on the attractiveness of a manís hands Ė even the shape of his fingers; whether his hips were wider than theirs; whether his thighs were thicker than theirs; and other seemingly arbitrary things, some of which can result from individual galsí self-concepts (the "thighs" gal felt her own thighs were large).

Some of these specific attractions are learned, but Iím betting researchers will find that some gals who focus on a guyís hands tend to prefer hands similar to those of their fathers. Some research has shown that women prefer men who smell like their fathers. That research would seem to conflict with other research that has found that men and women seek partners with complementary, not similar, endowments with regard to such things as, for example, immunities.

This would be a biologically-ordained tendency that supports the survival of the species. Survival is always the first priority. When we freeze to death, at the very end our bodies send all our internal heat from the brain and internal organs to the reproductive organs Ė the parts our selfish DNA wants to preserve the most. We instinctively find people with complementary endowments through smell as much as, or more than, anything else. However, we also know thereís a strong attraction to people who are similar in certain ways. Thatís part of why the overwhelming majority of us marry people of our own race.

What men find physically attractive in women is more predictable and less interesting. It boils down to fertility Ė what makes a woman look fertile will tend to attract guys. There are huge differences between cultures in some of the details, as for example many preliterate cultures have practiced, and some continue, self-mutilations such as stretching earlobes, lips, and necks to startling dimensions. Some aboriginal American cultures on both continents strapped planks to infantsí heads to make the skulls flat for life.

Women sometimes bemoan the biologically ordained differences in how attractiveness is determined, as young womenís attractiveness is (popularly) more diminished with age than menís. Take heart, gals: As men get older, we continue to find young, fertile-looking women beautiful to look at, but most of us find gals close to our own age to be the most interesting and attractive.

But the attractiveness of physical features tends to be limited to early acquaintanceship. Fortunately, in intimate relationships we can be attracted more to behavior than appearance over the long term. Remember the TV sitcom Threeís Company, and Suzanne Somers? I never could find her attractive, though I seem to remember much of the world disagreeing with me. Her character was a ditz, with the effect made worse by the bad acting and juvenile comedy writing.

By contrast, it seems Iíll remember forever a brief encounter from the late 1970s, because of what it taught me. I was in my mid teens, visiting a bicycle shop. A young couple was there chatting with a salesman. The gal was shaped like a dumpling-fed female weightlifter: broad-shouldered, with huge, square hips; the nickname "Lumpy" might have worked for her. Her face was above average, perhaps, but on balance I remember finding her very unappealing. But as I wandered around looking at bikes, witnessing their discussion, her mannerisms and voice Ė her personality Ė made her seem very sexy. Iíll stress that point: She came off as sexy when discussing the technical merits of bicycle parts. That should be encouraging to all of us who donít show up in the ten-sexiest lists in popular magazines.

There are personality factors that are attractive at first, but whose attractiveness wears thin over time; and there are people who successfully manage their personalities to attract many members of the opposite sex, while nobody can manage his personality at home day after day forever. Among these folks are the ones who go chalk up several divorces over their lifetimes. Behavioral considerations, particularly with long-term intimate relationships, are immensely complicated and challenging for psychologists, so Iíll return to physical features.

Facial attractiveness is proving to be interesting. Individual facial features, such as eyes or a mouth, can be attractive, but can be arranged unattractively, as when a face is visibly asymmetrical Ė a mild biological signal of inferior genes. There are wide individual differences with regard to exactly what makes a particular face attractive or unattractive. In my unscientific personal experience, it appears that the biggest differences among men are in the attractiveness of such things as overall face shape or hair color. There are some face shapes I donít like (though I know that can be overcome with familiarity).

But the scientific research suggests that with regard to some facial features and proportionalities, there are again biologically-ordained forces at work. Psychologists have found that, other things being equal, there are some things that show up consistently in ratings of facial attractiveness. Eyes should be a certain distance apart, given the eye shape and size and the face shape and size. Eyes too far apart (horse), or too close together (ape), can be unattractive. Eyes themselves can be too big or too small for the face; too shallow or too deep-set. With pupils, bigger is better Ė bigger appears friendlier Ė up to a certain point.

The mouth can be plain or beautiful by itself, and can be too narrow for the face. Generally, wider is better, up to a point, partly because the smile is bigger and friendlier. This may be related to why some men look better with goatees and moustaches, even though facial hair is sometimes considered a deliberately masculine signal. Carly Simon and Mick Jagger are examples of mouths that extend to the point of drawing attention to themselves, perhaps to the point of unattractiveness.

Researchers have found these things by having college students rate the beauty of faces in photographs, then comparing the ratings to careful measures of facial proportions. The beauty ratings reliably correlate with certain ranges in the measured proportions. These things have been known to psychologists for at least a few decades, but seem not to have made their way into the popular literature.

I just find these things interesting to think and read about. For further reading, you can start with any decent college psych-101 textbook Ė I always liked Dennis Coonís engaging way of writing intro-psych stuff Ė and follow its bibliography. The archetypal pop-anthropology work by Desmond Morris, The Naked Ape, is always good to read once. Note that no particular position on the evolution vs. creationism debate is required to enjoy Morrisís book.

Once you learn some of this stuff, you examine yourself differently when youíre attracted to someone else. You learn different things about yourself any time you study psychology and anthropology, and thatís always a good thing. When all the science makes me start to feel too much like an animal, I just remind myself of that bicycle shop story.

September 2, 2004

[Source (http://www.lewrockwell.com/edmonds/edmonds222.html)]

Tommy Vercetti
Friday, September 17th, 2004, 09:59 PM
Beauty Is Only Brain Deep

I?ve known women to focus on the attractiveness of a man?s hands ? even the shape of his fingers;

[Source (http://www.lewrockwell.com/edmonds/edmonds222.html)]

This may be because index finger correlates with penis/vaginal size

Friday, September 17th, 2004, 10:03 PM
This may be because index finger correlates with penis/vaginal size
Details and source?

Tommy Vercetti
Friday, September 17th, 2004, 10:13 PM
Details and source?



http://preventdisease.com/news/articles/index_finger_length_predicts_penis_size. shtml

my index finger and flaccid..... correlates is same length

Tommy Vercetti
Saturday, September 18th, 2004, 03:13 PM
This may be because index finger correlates with penis/vaginal size

This goes only with flaccid penis.I heard someone saying his penis is 3 times long his index finger.I assume he was talking of erected length, though that is still something to envy

Saturday, September 18th, 2004, 06:36 PM
This goes only with flaccid penis.I heard someone saying his penis is 3 times long his index finger.I assume he was talking of erected length, though that is still something to envy


Sunday, September 19th, 2004, 05:20 AM
Beauty Is Only Brain Deep.

What is the brain but a primitive thing us humans have at our disposal to think and create and many other necessities. Yes Beauty is of the mind , but it is that factor that so many times plays the greatest part of attraction , love , Romance or Pro-creation call it what you will.

I should also mention in such days Beauty is not always the greatest factor. There are those woman who marry in for money with their hand in man's pocket. I suppose you might wonder why I would bother in going through this that so many of us already know. I simply shall say that in our time romance or love is forgotten alot and that lust, sinful desires are all too common theme now. I for one find it a tradgedy in humanity now that chilvarous ways are but a thing of the past for more perversion ways of today.

I think the biggest irony and I have no idea what it is like for those in europe , but I find it not so different since the world seems to be in a same direction globally, but here in america a woman says she desires love, romance and a man of sensitivity. The funny part is after doing this she does the opposite going after a crude man , a angry man and gets all emotion and ask why does this happen to me?

The funny part is this is a all to common theme . The irony is woman wants one thing tilts her head and does the other, who knows maybe the love I want to believe in is just of old stories you hear as a child.

I was not trying to be sexest in my part , I would not be surprise if a woman replies this , with a cunning , ( what about men passage.)