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Chapter 8

PSY354H5 Chapter 8: Attraction, Arousal, and Response

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Brett Beston

NotesFromReadingCHAPTER8ATTRACTIONAROUSALANDRESPONSEPGS218249Sexual Attraction It Takes TwoBeauty is not Entirely in the Eye of the BeholderMasculinityFemininityWomen typically have fuller lips and larger eyes than men while men have wider jaws and noses and larger chinsWhen viewers are asked to adjust the masculinityfemininity of a computergenerated female face to make it look most attractive they consistently move the image in the direction of the hyperfeminine face Perhaps why women who want to look attractive use cosmetics in ways that increase their apparent femininity and exaggerate their differences from maleStudies in which viewers are asked to adjust the masculinityfemininity of a computergenerated male face have yielded inconsistent results Womens attraction to masculinelooking faces varies around their menstrual cycleBabyfacednessThe main features of childrens faces that enhance the attractiveness of adult womens face are the low position of the facial features on the head a prominent forehead large eyes and a small noseBabyfacedness doesnt increase the attractiveness of male faces in any general wayBut male AfricanAmericans tend to have babyfaced features and it is believed to help them overcome the stereotype of threatening black maleSymmetryThe more symmetrical a persons face the more attractive sexy and healthy that person seems to others Also raises attractiveness of remainder of bodyFluctuating Asymmetry A difference between the left and right sides of the body that results from random perturbations of developmentCulture Influences the Attractiveness of BodiesSlimnessfatness is an important dimension influencing judgments of attractiveness especially when womens attractiveness is being judged by women or by men Usually expressed as the body mass index BMI Studies suggest that BMI preferences are influenced by culture WaisttoHip Ratio WHR The ratio of the circumference of the body at the waist to the circumference at the hip Female breasts are obviously sexually attractive to many men but the issue of breast size is less clear Some prefer either small medium or large or largerthanaverage with combination of a small waist In terms of mens bodies wide shoulders and welldeveloped pectoral muscles increase womens ratings of mens attractiveness presumably by increasing their perceived strengthMen tend to think that extreme muscularity is the most attractive to women but in fact most women prefer only moderate muscularitySimilarly the breast size preferred by men is not nearly as large as the breast size that women think that men prefer When men are asked to choose the more attractive of two womens faces and then asked why they found that face more attractive they will give detailed persuasive reasons for their choice as if they had carefully thought the matter through choosing But if they are deceied into thinking that the face they rejected was the one they chose they usually fail to notice the deception and give equally detailed and persuasive reasons why that face was more attractiveThis phenomenon is called choiceblindnessAttractiveness Involves Senses Besides VisionWomen find men with deep voices more attractive than those with higherpitched voices and in huntergatherer societies fertile women bestow their favours more readily on deepvoiced men Men prefer womens voices that are higherpitched than average
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