Why do we find particular people attractive? Is it merely pheromones? Is it about what’s normalized for us culturally? And what does science say about all of this?
A 2019 study published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America revealed that yes, we actually do have types. This longitudinal paper – which surveyed over 12,000 people over the span of 9 years – confirms that we do tend to crush after similar people throughout our dating histories. Does this mean that if you reliably melt for someone with dark hair that you won’t be swept off your feet by a strawberry blonde? Of course not. But generally speaking, we like what we like.
Truth be told, I couldn’t track down much research that explains why certain body parts make us weak in the knees (and other places). According to an article in Live Science (https://www.livescience.com/23500-why-men-love-breasts.html), scientists have long-standing theories, but recently, “Larry Young, a professor of psychiatry at Emory University who studies the neurological basis of complex social behaviors, thinks human evolution has harnessed an ancient neural circuit that originally evolved to strengthen the mother-infant bond during breastfeeding and now uses this brain circuitry to strengthen the bond between couples as well. The result? Men, like babies, love breasts”.
Naturally, this annoys me. Not the theory – just the conversation. Because it focuses on cis-gender men and their heterosexual attraction. What about the rest of us? Come ON, science…catch up, will ya??!!!
In the meantime, we’ll just have to go on wondering, and honoring the fact that there are as many types and attractive body parts as there are people. When you think about it, if there weren’t variety, we’d all get pretty bored pretty damned fast!