Why Do We Choose the Mate We Do? There Are New Discoveries in the Science of Attraction

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Men sniff out
potential partners … it’s official. In fact, scientists have discovered
that both sexes use smell as a way of finding a mate.

compared the genetic profile of 90 married couples with those of
152 random pairs of people.

The focus was
on a section of DNA called MHC. Clues to which genes we carry in
the MHC are found in the smell of our sweat, and married couples
had more differences.

So, by picking
a partner with a different smell, we are guaranteeing our children
have a better immunity from disease.

And it isn’t
just our smell that can determine who we pair off with.

There are literally
hundreds of theories – some more scientific than others – as to
why we choose a mate.

Here are some
of the best … and the most ridiculous.

Girls are always
warned about declaring their feelings too early in a relationship,
but telling someone you really like them could make them find you
more attractive.

Making eye
contact and smiling have a similar effect, according to Aberdeen
University psychologist Dr Ben Jones.

His study,
involving 230 men and women, found such social cues, which signal
how much others fancy you, play a crucial role in attraction.

Dr Jones said
singletons could use his findings to help prevent wasting time chatting
up people who were not interested.

In other words,
avoid wasting time on attractive individuals who appear unlikely
to reciprocate.

So just be
up-front about your feelings and you might find the man or woman
of your dreams.

Colours can
change perceived attractiveness.

In his book,
How To Make Someone Fall In Love With You, Dr Nicholas Boothman
explained how wearing certain colours can affect the perception
people have of you and make you more attractive.

Research has
shown that women who wear red are perceived to be more attractive,
while men who wear blue are perceived to be loyal and trustworthy,
which increases their attractiveness.

Displays of
altruism or selflessness towards others can be sexually attractive
in a mate. This was one of the findings of a study carried out by
biologists and a psychologist at the University of Nottingham.

In three studies
of more than 1000 people, Dr Tim Phillips discovered that women
place significantly greater importance on compassionate traits than
anything else.

in the studies were questioned about a range of qualities they look
for in a mate, including donating blood regularly and volunteering
to help out in a hospital. Women placed significantly greater importance
on altruistic traits in all three studies.

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27, 2009

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