Have you ever stopped to consider what exactly turns you on? The finer details of sexual attraction can be hard to decipher. We have all heard of having ‘a type,’ but what really determines what that ‘type’ is for each of us? Scientists are now pointing to a number of studies to explain how our minds determine sexual appeal. Here are 5 of the most surprising ‘laws’ of attraction:
- Have you ever looked in the mirror and found yourself attractive? A 2010 study discovered that people are more sexually attracted to photographs where their own photograph was morphed into the picture! The study subjects were unaware, and in the cases where they did figure out that the composite image was designed to look like them, they changed their opinions stating that the images were less appealing. The study concluded that we are unconsciously most attracted to those who resemble us!
- Have you ever wondered why some people are attracted to those who are noticeably older, while others are attracted to those who are noticeably younger? Scientists are now saying that it comes back to the age that your parents were when you were born! If your parents were 30 or older, a study from the University of St. Andrews says that you are more likely to be attracted to older partners as you are “less impressed by youth.”
- Researchers have discovered that a woman’s sexual attraction is influenced by their menstrual cycle. In studying the sexual attraction felt by 41 couples throughout their natural menstrual cycle, it was discovered that women are attracted to more masculine-looking and symmetrical men when they are at their most fertile. The more sexually attractive women rated their partners, the more attracted to them they were during fertile times. The less sexually attractive women rated their partners, the more they were attracted to them during times of low fertility.
- While you may not realize you are doing it when you view someone you are assessing whether or not their face is symmetrical in order to determine their beauty! This is due to the fact that our minds are wired to be attracted to those partners who will produce offspring who have a better chance of survival. Evolutionary biologist Randy Thornhill explained, “If you choose a perfectly symmetrical partner and reproduce with them, your offspring will have a better chance of being symmetric and able to deal with perturbations.”
- A recent study shows that sexuality among women is more fluid than that of men. A group of straight men and women, gay men, and lesbians were all shown 3 different videos, each reflecting a different sexual scenario. The first featured 2 women, the second a man and a woman and the third 2 men. The results among men were easy to predict, straight men were aroused by the two women, and gay men were aroused by the two men. The results with the women, however, which much harder to predict! While lesbians assumed they would be aroused more by the 2 women, and straight women assumed the would be aroused by a man and a woman, the study showed the majority of women, regardless of sexual preference, were aroused by all 3 videos regardless of the gender of the actors.