What Makes a Female Face Attractive?
The human face has been the subject of much research in the past few decades. Scientists have studied how people recognize other’s faces, what they think about them and why they choose or reject them. They have also looked at the different ways that faces are rated attractive and found a few things that make a face more or less appealing.
The Bony Structure of the Face
A person’s face is shaped by the bones in the forehead, cheeks, nose, chin and jawline. Men and women differ in the way that these bones develop, and this shape of the face is a result of genetics and hormones. Testosterone, for example, makes male faces more angular and prominent.
Symmetry in the Face
The symmetry of the facial features in the face is a key factor when judging facial attractiveness. Many studies have shown that symmetrical face shapes are rated as more attractive than unsymmetrical faces.
This is because symmetrical faces advertise the biological quality of an individual as well as their sexuality.
In some cultures, such as Japanese and African hunter-gatherers, symmetry has long been viewed as an indicator of health, but recent studies have found that symmetrical faces are also rated as more attractive than nonsymmetrical ones.
Females are Attracted to Familial Faces
Another important aspect of human face perception is that individuals are attracted to others who resemble their parents, especially if they share a similar physical appearance. This has been observed in both genders and across cultures.
One study in particular demonstrated that participants were attracted to men who resembled their fathers and mothers, even after they had realised that these men exhibited the same personality traits as their parents.
These findings suggest that some aspects of facial attractiveness are innate, while other factors may be socially determined. The results also suggest that there is a strong trade-off between an individual’s desire for good genes and their desire for a partner.
Feminized Faces Increase Attractiveness
Feminized faces are characterized by a softening of some features that are typically associated with negative personality traits. These include large cheekbones, a pronounced jawline and thin lips. This softening can also occur by reducing the prominence of facial bone structures that are often perceived as masculine, such as the chin and brow line.
Cyclical shifts in women’s preferences for masculine versus feminine facial characteristics have been shown to vary over the menstrual cycle. However, there has been some controversy about these findings. Some researchers have suggested that these findings are an artefact of the computer graphic methods used in these studies to experimentally manipulate sexually dimorphic cues in digital face images.
Other studies have suggested that cyclic shifts in women’s preferences for masculine and feminine facial characteristics are influenced by hormone levels. For example, testosterone levels are higher around ovulation than during other phases of the menstrual cycle, which may explain why women’s preferences for masculine faces become stronger when they’re around this time. Similarly, men’s testosterone levels fluctuate within individuals, which may explain why some men prefer masculine faces while others prefer feminine ones.