Female psychology and dating
Leslie Zebrowitz and her colleagues have extensively studied the tendency for both men and women to prefer facial features that have youthful characteristics (Zebrowitz, 1996). The influence of body weight and shape in determining female and male physical attractiveness. These features include large, round, and widely spaced eyes, a small nose and chin, prominent cheekbones, and a large forehead. There is good agreement among people, including children, and within and across cultures, about which people are most physically attractive (Berry, 2000; Ramsey, Langlois, Hoss, Rubenstein, & Griffin, 2004). This agreement is in part due to shared norms within cultures about what is attractive, which may of course vary among cultures, but it is also due to evolutionary predispositions to attend to and be influenced by specific characteristics of others. The images at the bottom are more average than those at the top.
None of the other characteristics—even the perceived intelligence of the partner—mattered.
The preference for youth is found in our perceptions of both men and women but is somewhat stronger for our perceptions of women (Wade, 2000). Multiple mediators of the attitude similarity-attraction relationship: Dominance of inferred attraction and subtlety of affect.
This is because for men, although we do tend to prefer youthful faces, we also prefer stereotypically masculine faces—those with low, broad jaws and with pronounced bone ridges and cheekbones—and these men tend to look somewhat older (Rhodes, 2006).
These features may also have evolutionary significance—people with these characteristics probably appear to be healthy.
Although the preferences for youth, symmetry, and averageness appear to be universal, at least some differences in perceived attractiveness are due to social factors.
The attraction to symmetry is not limited to face perception. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 32(6), 770–780. Journal of Behavioral Decision making, 22(2), 171–190. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 28(2), 218–224. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69(6), 1089–1101; Singh, R., Yeo, S.