There is an old saying that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and science may have found the answer as to why that happens.
Researchers conducted a study on twins and found that the main thing that made them find someone attractive or not was the twins’ personal environment and not their genes.
Previous research also found that the more symmetrical a person’s face is, the more attractive they look, Laura Germine, a psychiatric researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, stated.
In the new study, the researchers asked 1094 identical twins and 482 fraternal twins – who had been recorded in the Australian Twin Registry – to look at 102 female faces and 98 male faces. The participants then had to rate the faces on how attractive they looked to them.
The researchers used the results to measure how much the average rating of all the participants differed from the ratings that were made separately by each participant.
When they selected the ratings of two random participants, the researchers found that on average 48 percent of the time they agreed on how attractive a particular face was, and 52 percent of the time the participants disagreed on what they considered to be attractive
In the second part of the study, the researchers look at the data collected from each pair of twins. They wanted to find whether genes played a bigger role in perceiving attractiveness that the environment did. The researchers also compared the results from the identical twins to those from the fraternal twins.
According to Germine, if the twin pairs did not have similar views on what was attractive, it would mean that the environment played a bigger role in determining attractiveness. However, if the identical twins’ preferences were similar compared with those of the fraternal twins, it would mean that genes were more important when deciding whom they find attractive.
About 78 percent of the time the identical twins disagreed on whom they found attractive, which means that, at the end of the day, the environment in which they grew up influenced their perceptions more, the researchers said. Even though twins usually grow up in the same home, they still have their individual environment (friends, lovers, etc.) much like any other person would.
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