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ANT 2301 (23)


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Florida State University
ANT 2301
Geoffrey Thomas

ANT NOTES 10/10 – 10/15  Beauty in the eye of the beholder? o Standards are culturally determined, and individual perceptions of beauty is learned o Langlois studied infants responses to faces differing in attractiveness  Gazed longer at the faces that had been judged as being attractive than those being unattractive  In other experiment; played longer with attractive dolls than non-attractive dolls  What leads to attraction? o Looks matter o Important?  Physical beauty the easiest to spot in social interactions  “Beautiful is good” stereotype  Facial attractiveness o Symmetry o Koinophilia- idea that when sexual creatures seek a mate, they prefer that mate not to have any unusual or deviant features  Facial attractiveness increases in proportion to the number of faces in the composite  Indicator of health> normal looking = nothing wrong o Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) indicates developmental stability in presence of environment and genetic challenges  Clear indicator of health  Low FA (more symmetrical) males report more sexual partners, earlier age of loss of virginity and more offspring than high FA men  Women whose partners have low FA report more orgasms than those who partners have high FA  Male faces low in FA are rated as being more attractive, dominant, sexy, and healthy  Facial asymmetry and health o Shackelford and Larsen measured degree of facial asymmetry in students  Greater asymmetry was related to self-reported depression, neuroses, inferiority, more physical health problems and vice versa  May not always be reported (Kalick 1998) o Symmetry  Faces created by combining individual faces into composites are viewed as being more attractive than the individual faces themselves  In making: symmetry in increased and facial blemishes reduced  Grammer and Thronhill reported female composites were judged as being more attractive and sexy than the individual photos o Exaggerated characteristics  Perrett found that averageness wasn’t the most important determinant of attractive faces but highly attractive faces had exaggerated characteristics  Hormonal makers o Levels of testosterone and estrogen features that can be used as honest signals of health and genetics  Male facial structure o Testosterone promotes  Lateral growth of cheekbones, mandible, and chin  Forward growth of the brow bridges  Lengthening of the face o Higher testosterone males are seen as being more masculine and more attractive o Facial hair  Presence/ absence of head and facial hair provide strong social/sexual signals  Generated @ puberty and rate of beard growth is positively related to androgen levels  W/ facial hair = more masculine, strong, dominant  Also lacking in self-control, dirty, aggressive (Reed and Blunk 1990) o Cranial hair  Male pattern baldness evolved as signal of aging and social maturity  Viewed same responses as facial hair  Female facial structure o Attractive features associated w/ high levels of estrogen and low testosterone  Prominent cheekbones  Full lips  Small nose  Small chin  Large eyes  Skin condition o Neoteny  A key feature of female facial attractiveness (extent of babyish features:  Large eyes  High cheek bones  Small nose  Small chin  Full lips  Short eye-chin distance  Johnson & franklin (1993) used computer program that let participants create ideal face  Final face had proportions indicative of a 14-year old o Skin condition  May be reliable signal of female health and fertility; one of the most universally desired female features  Reflects ratio of hormones; women w/ higher than avg. levels of testosterone have more acne and facial hair  Darkens w/ age and tone alters with fertility (darker during non-fertile phase during cycle, pregnancy and those who use the pill)  May enable males to distinguish more fertile females from less fertile ones o Pheromones  Not much evidence for human pheromones  Examples:  Androstadienone alters female limbic system function and causes positive reactions o Improve feelings toward males, feel submissive  Menstrual synchronization among female cohabitants  Male Body Types o Correlation w/ attractiveness:  Height  Ass. w/ power and status and confers economic and social advantages  Bachelors significantly shorter than married men  Torso dimension  Horvath found that shoulder width was a strong positive predictor of attractiveness of male figures
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