Criteria of facial attractiveness in five populations

Doug Jones, Kim Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

171 Scopus citations

Abstract

The theory of sexual selection suggests several possible explanations for the development of standards of physical attractiveness in humans. Asymmetry and departures from average proportions may be markers of the breakdown of developmental stability. Supernormal traits may present age- and sex-typical features in exaggerated form. Evidence from social psychology suggests that both average proportions and (in females) "neotenous" facial traits are indeed more attractive. Using facial photographs from three populations (United States, Brazil, Paraguayan Indians), rated by members of the same three populations, plus Russians and Venezuelan Indians, we show that age, average features, and (in females) feminine/neotenous features all play a role in facial attractiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-296
Number of pages26
JournalHuman Nature
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Fluctuating asymmetry
  • Physical attractiveness
  • Sexual selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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