Men who fall instantly for a girl just because she looks beautiful are usually accused of being shallow – but they should not be called so because they are genetically programmed to do so, scientists say.
Men are genetically hardwired to be drawn to a woman with a pretty face because it is a sign of fertility, which appeals to man’s survival instinct to continue the family line, according to Dutch and British researchers.
The experts claim that men need only milliseconds to make a “snap judgment” and choose a potential romantic partner based on her appearance because of their “ancient” genetic attraction to pretty women, reported the Daily Mail .
“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,” one of the researchers, Prof Mark van Vugt of the University of Amsterdam told The Daily Telegraph (UK).
“This is something very ancient and a way of helping men find the best mate to produce children,” van Vugt said. “They make that decision on whether a woman would be a good mating partner in milliseconds.”
In contrast women take longer to decide their feelings for a man because they need to weigh up whether he will be a committed partner who will provide for them well – part of their survival programming.
“Women make that decision on behavior, whether a man is trustworthy and committed,” he said. “They make their decision much later than men.”
For the study, which will be published by the Oxford Journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience , researchers tested men and women’s bias towards looks by conducting a series of tests on 20 women and 20 men, making them perform tasks while recording their brain activity.
While the subjects were doing the task they were shown a series of photographs of faces of the opposite sex, ranging from attractive to ugly. Men were easily distracted when they saw a pretty face but women stuck to the task.
“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,” he said.
“But we found they do make snap judgments about women much earlier than was previously thought. Of course men find a pretty face attractive but they make that decision on whether a woman would be a good mating partner in milliseconds.” [via Daily Telegraph (UK) and Daily Mail (UK)]