Beauty Essay Research Paper BeautySummary of The

Beauty Essay, Research Paper


Summary of The Biology of Beauty

Many articles are written by modern psychologists and

psychoanalysts that stress the importance of beauty in human and animal breeding

as well as survival. One such article The Biology of Beauty suggests this

importance and backs it up with many facts and figures as well as surveys on

normal people. The article states many theories and hypotheses and also tries to

explain why beauty plays such an important role in sexuality and power. What is

beauty? According to this article, beauty is a combination of symmetry, special

qualities, and traits.

Symmetry is perhaps the most supported part of beauty in this

article. The article states that symmetry shows abundance of sexual hormones,

health, and strength of the immune system. They support their hypothesis of

symmetry’s affect on the abundance of sexual hormones with various scientific

evidence. Two psychologists, Steven Gangestead and Randy Thornhill measured the

symmetry of hundreds of men and women in college. They also asked them to

complete a personal confidential survey that gave information on their health

and sex lives. What they found was that the men and women with better symmetry

had started having sex 3-4 years before the people with average symmetry.

Gangestead and Thornhill also completed another survey involving women’s

responses to symmetrical men and men with average symmetry. The results were as

expected. The women with symmetrical partners responded twice as much compared

to the women with men having average symmetry. The rate of contraception was

also much higher. Animals are much more severe in their choosing. Female

penguins won’t accept males who aren’t plump and symmetrical, and female

scorpion flies only accept males with symmetrical wings, as they are better at

hunting and protecting. Also, less symmetrical men and women surveyed had more

ailments and more frequent accounts of illnesses compared to symmetrical men and

women who were overall much healthier.

Special qualities also play a role in beauty. A person with

normal features is not considered as beautiful as one with a few outstanding

features. New Mexico State University’s Victor Johnston conducted a computer

survey called FacePrints in which participants of all ages and ethnic groups

were asked to give their accounts of a perfect face into the computer. What

they came up with was very surprising. Instead of selecting a female with

average facial features, the men leaned toward a girlish face consisting of

many outstanding features. Their ideal face consisted of a small chin and jaws

as well as large eyes and luscious lips. Women value the opposite of the face

constructed by men: a face consisting of a strong jaw and chin, prominent

cheekbones, a broad forehead, and a severe brow. Infants were also tested by

psychologist Judith Langlois. In her experiment, Judith showed the infant

pictures of attractive and unattractive faces. What she found was that infants

stared much longer at the pictures of attractive faces and quickly looked away

from the pictures of unattractive faces. The infants, however, had no inkling

of what was attractive from media or T.V, so our idea of attractiveness could

very well be inate. So beauty is not just a means of selecting the most fit


Traits are also an important factor in attractiveness and beauty.

Traits reflect fertility and sexual potency in particular. An expert in female

traits, Devendra Singh works as a psychologist at the University of Texas

studying the attractive traits of the female figure. His survey on attractive

female figures gives an outlook on what men find most attractive. According to

the results of his survey, men found figure N7 in Devendra’s chart the most

sexually attractive. Following in popular choice were N8 and U7. The men that

took the survey ranged in age from eight to eighty five and yet the favorite of

each age group, N7, had a waist to hip ratio of .7 or 70%.

So here is the definition of beauty as portrayed by the article.

The ideal man should be above average height, have a broad forehead, perfect

symmetry in wrist, ankles, and elbows as well as face, a strong chin, a large

jaw, a prominent brow, slightly above average musculature, and a waist-hip

ratio of .9 or 90%. The ideal woman, on the other hand, should have large eyes,

a small jaw, chin, and nose, full lips, firm, symmetrical breasts, unblemished

skin, and a waist-hip ratio of .7 or 70%. My opinion concurs with the article

for the most part, and their consistency of taking in account that beauty isn’t

everything and that most people are married and have children despite physical

impurities is very admirable. I think that appearance regretfully does have a

strong influence in how we perceive people, but it is good that these limits are

not severe, and that we can earn others respect with kindness, intelligence, and

a good personality. I think that this ability to break through physical

barriers separates us from the animals, and even though we may not be as fit for

survival as if we had full physical choices, the ability to choose not just on

physical attributes makes us a better, smarter more admirable species.


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