The researcher concluded that this preference might be influenced by American culture where long legged women are portrayed as more attractive. In the United States, women overestimate men’s preferences for thinness in a mate. In one study, American women were asked to choose what their ideal build was and what they thought the build most attractive to men was.
Women, regardless of sexual orientation, tend to be less interested in a partner’s physical attractiveness than men. Such studies consistently find that activity in certain parts of the orbitofrontal cortex increases with increasing attractiveness of faces.
However, in other ethnic groups, such as the Hadza, study has found that height is irrelevant in choosing a mate. One study covering 37 cultures showed that, on average, a woman was 2.5 years younger than her male partner, with the age difference in Nigeria and Zambia being at the far extreme of 6.5 to 7.5 years. As men age, they tend to seek a mate who is ever younger. Research has attempted to determine which facial features communicate attractiveness. The shape of the face in terms of “how everything hangs together” is an important determinant of beauty.
Then the researchers recruited another group of about 200 heterosexual male and female undergrads to rate all the people pictured based on attractiveness for both short- and long-term relationships. Results showed that men were generally more drawn to physically attractive women. (Independent coders had rated the students’ attractiveness beforehand.) But women were generally more attracted to mindful men. In a 2014 study, researchers at the University of Sussex asked about 1,500 women (whose average age was 28) to listen to simple and complex pieces of music and rate the attractiveness of the composer.
Each face pictured was paired with a word that described either a positive personality trait — like kindness or honesty — or a negative personality trait, like being evil or mean. Concern for improving physical attractiveness has led many persons to consider alternatives such as cosmetic surgery. One research study found that cosmetic surgery as a way to “boost earnings” was “not profitable in a monetary sense.” Some research shows that physical attractiveness has a marginal effect on happiness.
Men’s bodies portrayed in magazines marketed to men are more muscular than the men’s bodies portrayed in magazines marketed to women. From this, some have concluded that men perceive a more muscular male body to be ideal, as distinct from a woman’s ideal male, which is less muscular than what men perceive to be ideal. This is due to the within-gender prestige granted by increased muscularity and within-gender competition for increased muscularity. Females have been found to desire males that are normal weight and have the average WHR for a male.