Matters of the heart can be difficult to explain. But science can tell you exactly why we’re sexually attracted to someone – and vice versa. Scroll through the gallery below to learn more about the science behind attraction.
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Women are more attracted to men with strong jawlines
Most of us know men with strong jawlines are seen as traditionally attractive. But there’s a reason for this – our hormones are responsible for the bone growth in our faces, so men with more testosterone will have more chiseled faces. So basically, a strong jawline is an indicator of higher testosterone levels, and we all know what that means…
We look (and smell!) more attractive when we’re ovulating
Psychologist Dr Lisa DeBruine, who studies facial attractiveness, found in the course of her research that the faces of women become more attractive to men when they’re ovulating. “We’re not entirely clear why there’s this difference, but we think that the women might look healthier and have a bit of a healthier glow,” she told CNN. In another study done by Florida State University in 2009, researchers got men to smell a bunch of t-shirts worn by women and found that men displayed higher levels of testosterone after smelling the shirts of those who were ovulating. To put it simply: when you ovulate, he wants to copulate.
Smell plays a huge part in sexual attraction
There are theories that we can literally sniff out our genetic compatibility with another person by their body odour, and there has been mounting scientific evidence to support this. So if his natural scent smells irresistible to you, it probably means you two would make healthy babies with strong immune systems.
The sound of your voice is a turn-on
Dr Gordon Gallup got a group of men to rate the attractiveness of female voices, and the higher voices got a higher rating. Apparently, our pitches are raised when we’re at our most fertile, so men might be subconsciously picking up on that.
Women are more attracted to men with money
Now, before we start questioning if we’re all actually gold diggers, it should be noted that there is a bit of evolutionary psychology at play here. “Females focus on questions of wealth and status, because if the male possesses those, that male would be in a better condition to rear healthy offspring,” said Dr Michael Dunn, who conducted an experiment on this.
Looks matter… sort of
Attraction is largely based on personal preferences, but scientists have concluded that while there are different standards of beauty across the world, there are still some traits that are universally attractive. Anthropologist Helen Fisher wrote in Psychology Today that these traits include clear skin and good grooming; and for men, women with wider hips. We’re presuming it’s because nobody likes a pimply slob, regardless of gender.