Do Women Prefer 'Manly' Faces ?

What makes a face beautiful ? What makes people seek out and desire to mate with the owners of beautiful faces ? In recent years, scientists have turned to the theory of evolution to help us understand why some faces are judged to be more attractive than others.

According to the evolutionary view, the attractiveness of individuals is directly linked to their value as mates. A "high-value" mate is someone who best enhances your reproductive success. Going back into the evolutionary past of the human race, someone who noticed the cues to the value of a potential partner, and intentionally selected a high-value mate, would leave behind more children. These children would tend to inherit genes for attentiveness.

Attention to attractiveness is thus part of our evolutionary design.

This scientific analysis is reflected in the fact that our magazines and television screens are filled with attractive people. It's obvious that both women and men are highly concerned with good looks in a partner.

The same is true across the animal kingdom. A diverse range of species relies on external factors to attract mates, such as the size, shape, and colour of their feathers, fur and antlers. Why has evolution accentuated these particular characteristics? A variety of mechanisms may be responsible. The most obvious is that attractiveness is associated with the quality of an individual's genes.