Sexual attraction: the magic formula

From The London Times:

Selecting a mate is the most crucial decision of our lives. We spend a huge amount of time and energy trying to find that special someone. Our appetite for a relationship fuels a billion-pound industry of matchmaking services. Yet we’re often not satisfied. A 2005 survey of more than 900 people who had been using online dating services revealed that three-quarters had not found what they were looking for. We seem as much in the dark as ever about who is a suitable match.

Let’s start with the conscious part. There are some things we all find attractive. Men tend to desire women with features that suggest youth and fertility, including a low waist-to-hip ratio, full lips and soft facial features. Recent studies confirm that women have strong preferences for virile male beauty — taut bodies, broad shoulders, clear skin and defined, masculine facial features, all of which may indicate sexual potency and good genes. We also know that women are attracted to men who look as if they have wealth or the ability to acquire it, and that men and women strongly value intelligence in a mate. Preferences for these qualities — beauty, brains and resources — are universal. The George Clooneys and Angelina Jolies of the world are sex symbols for predictable biological reasons.

More here.