intellectual vanities… about close to everything

forget about boobs ‘n cock… sexappeal is all about the face

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Facial Attraction: Choice Of Sexual Partner Shaped The Human Face…

…or so, at least researchers at the Natural History Museum claim to have discovered. Men with large jaws, flaring cheeks and large eyebrows are sexy, at least in the eyes of our ancestors, . Facial attractiveness played a major role in shaping human evolution, as studies on our fossil ancestors have shown our choice of sexual partner has shaped the human face.

The face holds the secret to determining the sex of our ancestors and what makes us attractive to the opposite sex for reproduction.

According to palaeontologists at the Natural History Museum, men have evolved short faces between the brow and upper lip, which exaggerates the size of their jaw, the flare of their cheeks and their eyebrows. The shorter and broader male face has also evolved alongside and the canine teeth have shrunk, so men look less threatening to competitors, yet attractive to mates.

At puberty, the region between the mouth and eyebrows, known as upper facial height, develops differently in men and women. Unlike other facial features, however, this difference cannot be explained simply in terms of men being bigger than women. In spite of their larger size men have an upper face similar in height to a female face, but much broader. These differences can be found throughout human history. As a result, a simple ratio of measures could be used to calculate facial attractiveness in a biological and mathematical way.

Dr Eleanor Weston, palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum said, ‘The evolution of facial appearance is central to understanding what makes men and women attractive to each other. We have found the distance between the lip and brow was probably immensely important to what made us attractive in the past, as it does now.’

PLoS One 2(8): e710. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0000710Biometric Evidence that Sexual Selection Has Shaped the Hominin Face
Eleanor M. Weston1,2*¤, Adrian E. Friday2, Pietro Liò3

1 Department of Biology, University College London, London, United Kingdom, 2 University Museum of Zoology, Downing Street, Cambridge, United Kingdom, 3 Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge, William Gates Building, Cambridge, United Kingdom

We consider sex differences in human facial morphology in the context of developmental change. We show that at puberty, the height of the upper face, between the lip and the brow, develops differently in males and females, and that these differences are not explicable in terms of sex differences in body size. We find the same dimorphism in the faces of human ancestors. We propose that the relative shortening in men and lengthening in women of the anterior upper face at puberty is the mechanistic consequence of extreme maxillary rotation during ontogeny. A link between this developmental model and sexual dimorphism is made for the first time, and provides a new set of morphological criteria to sex human crania. This finding has important implications for the role of sexual selection in the evolution of anthropoid faces and for theories of human facial attractiveness.

Written by huehueteotl

August 16, 2007 at 12:04 pm

2 Responses

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  1. […] forget about boobs ‘n cock… sexappeal is all about the face Tagged with: attractiveness ratings study, facial attractiveness, friends, siblings, spouses […]

  2. I can tell that this is not the first time at all that you write about the topic. Why have you decided to touch it again?

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    April 15, 2009 at 5:39 pm


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