What makes an attractive face? General patterns of facial preferences in both men and women.
From: Anthropological Review
- Kościński, K., 2007. Facial attractiveness: General patterns of facial preferences. Anthropological Review 70, 45–79.
- The paper is a review of the existing literature.
- The paper is a systematic review / meta analysis of all relevant trials.
- This means that the data from all similar trials has been grouped to form an overall outcome.
- Averageness and symmetry are preferred by males and females, probably because they signal genetic quality and developmental stability.
- Men prefer highly feminised female faces and women prefer a moderate level of male facial masculinity. However, facial masculinity that is too pronounced signals high level of testosterone and, thereby, a poorly developed pro-family personality.
- In women, facial hair is detrimental to facial attractiveness. In men, the effect is not consistent.
- Faces with a clear complexion are attractive to both men and women. Men prefer light and smooth skin in women.
- Positive facial expressions (smiling) also enhance facial attractiveness.
- Many factors, in particular skin condition and facial proportions, affect perceived age, which is an important component of facial attractiveness. Men in particular strongly prefer youthful-looking female faces.
- In both men and women, facial attractiveness is increased by symmetry, averageness, a smooth and clear complexion, and a pleasant expression.