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Study Finds Men Size Up Women Based Upon Appearance

A study finds men size up women based upon appearance.  Two University of Amsterdam professors, Mark van Vugt and Dr. Johanna van Hooff, conducted a study looking into ancient programming and genetic preferences and had dramatic conclusions.  The study of 20 women and 20 men used pictures of the opposite sex to examine the bias in relation to appearance by measuring brain activity.  Participants in the study were required to perform simple tasks while viewing pictures of the opposite sex ranging from very unattractive to very attractive.  Men had a harder time performing tasks and were easily distracted by the more attractive pictures.  Van Vugt stated "men definitely have the most wandering eye but it is because they have evolved to pay attention to cues of fertility and one of those cues is facial beauty - it's not that men are shallow.  But we found they do make snap judgments about women, much earlier than was previously thought.  They make that decision on whether a woman would be a good mating partner in milliseconds.  This is something very ancient and a way of helping men find the best mate to produce children."

Van Vugt and Van Hooff concluded that men determine women are good mates just by appearance in a matter of seconds while women take longer to decide on if a potential mate is suitable.  Women inherently need to gather more information about a man because, as Van Vugt states: "women make that decision on behaviour, whether a man is trustworthy and committed.  They make their decision much later than men."  Van Vugt also furthered that "women were not distracted by attractive male faces because women need more proof of whether a man is a good mate."

Van Vugt and Van Hooff's study is ready for publishing in the Oxford Journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.


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