Here’s what makes someone ‘sexy’, according to science

Every year, pop culture disses (or disses) People Selected as “Sexiest Man Alive” by the magazine.

Several popular celebrities have worn the crown, including Harry Hamlin (1987), Brad Pitt (1995 and 2000), Jude Law (2004), Idris Elba (2018), Michael B. Jordan (2020) and Chris Evans (2022). This year, the magazine bestowed the honor on cover actor Patrick Dempsey, 57, who was infamously nicknamed “McDreamy” due to his role on Grey’s Anatomy.

The selection process was described by editor Julie Jordan in a 2012 interview. usa allAnd The magazine staff pays attention to how the general public feels about possible choices throughout the year, as well as asking celebrities for their opinions on the matter.

So what causes this “feeling” that someone is sexy? According to experts, there are many factors – and they’re not just physical properties. In fact, it is based on the interplay of elements that are related to both nature and nurture, making “sexy” a highly variable adjective.

“Sexuality is in the eye of the beholder,” blanca cobbA trained body language expert told HuffPost, “Some people are attracted to facial physical features, voice may be considered sexy based on pitch, tone and intonation. Some people may find the way another person smells or their scent sexy. Additionally, warm, open, confident body language can be a turn-on.

According to science, here’s what else makes a person attractive:

Our biology plays a big role – maybe even the most influential one.

“There are many theories in terms of factors that may increase levels of attractiveness ranging from cultural aspects, such as generational trends and ethnic differences of preferences, to evolutionary factors such as ‘shapeliness’ in women that reflects fertility, And proximity factors motivate us. We’re attracted to what we see most and what we see around us,” explained Florida-based psychologist Kelsey Latimer. “This suggests that attraction has both biological and Both are factors.”

When talking about appeal, it is important to distinguish between “good looks” and “sexiness” as traditionally defined. According to Merriam-Webster, the latter term refers to someone who is “sexually suggestive or provocative, interesting.” Sexuality seems to create a physical response in the eye of the beholder.

For example, a person may be good looking, without producing any physical reaction within the average person. On the other hand, when someone is referred to as sexy, we usually mean that they excite us physically, simply put.

“There are evolutionary theories that help us understand that physical attraction is important because it motivates us to reproduce, which keeps the species alive,” Latimer said. “There are certain physical characteristics of men and women that are seen to be highly linked to fertility that may originate at an innate level.”

Scent, physical similarity, and facial symmetry also trigger our brain to feel a level of attraction towards someone. However, experts said, it is not right to try to use a “one-size-fits-all” approach when analyzing the topic.

Latimer said, “The reality is that if something was ‘innately’ attractive or not attractive, trends would never change over time and ‘natural selection’ would have forced us all to look the same. ” “There is a lot of variation about what is attractive.”

Personality is also a big factor

Experts are firm about this: a person’s character and the way he presents himself to the world influences the way fellow humans perceive their potential sexuality.

“Consider this: Have you met someone you would have considered physically average and then, after getting to know them, you suddenly realized they had a great smile or beautiful eyes?” Latimer said. “This is no coincidence. Personality can change the initial feeling of attraction to something absolutely positive or negative.”

However, it is up to the staff to crown the Sexiest Man Alive People While each year the magazine does not know the personality traits of the different candidates, perhaps asking fellow celebrities for their opinions is a way to take into account the behavioral aspect of sexuality.

Cobb goes one step further: Not only does she acknowledge that personality traits can affect sex appeal, but specific qualities also make a difference.

“Confidence in the way someone speaks and acts can be attractive,” he said. “Charisma can capture someone’s attention because it reflects charm, magnetism, and social intelligence. An underappreciated characteristic of sexuality is kindness, which reflects compassion, empathy, and sensitivity, where the other person feels cared for and loved, which helps strengthen the emotional connection.

To 2017 study A study led by Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada, confirms this theory. Researchers analyzed a speed-dating event and observed that participants who were considered funny were rated as more attractive at the beginning of the date than participants who were considered funny.

Our Environment also matters

“Trends vary greatly depending on time, generation, culture location and age,” Latimer said, adding that what makes men sexy in the eyes of others is not necessarily the same thing as sex appeal in a woman’s character. You connect.

Similarly, cultural and geographical differences usually lead to diverse standards when it comes to attractiveness. For example, priorities in the U.S. generally differ from those in Spain, France, Italy and the Netherlands, Cobb said.

It is important to note that environmental differences clearly influence what the general population might consider a favorable set of traits, making sexuality a very subjective characteristic that is in constant flux.

“What’s sexy in America today will appear sexy in Asia tomorrow and vice versa,” Cobb said.

So the conclusion? There is no single definitive marker for attraction; What makes one person feel sexy may be off-putting to another.

But, that being said, we can definitely see the argument for Dempsey.


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