Girls Like Boys Who Look Like Girls

 

That, apparently, is the gist of recent studies from NYU and Princeton.  From the Daily Mail (UK):

Two groups of men and women were shown a selection of thousands of computer-generated faces of the opposite sex to rate, which had been manipulated to look either more masculine or feminine

The computer model tested 50 dimensions of facial features, including nose size, plumpness of lips and facial colouring.

The scientists found that more men want women’s faces to have a feminine shape, while women want men’s faces to have a feminine shape, but darker skin.

All of this seems to explain Zac Efron.    But it also says something odd about contemporary tastes.  

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Members have made 25 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Kenneth Inactive

    Rob, have you ever noticed that celebrities tend to marry people who look like themselves?  Consider, for instance, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston.

    • #1
    • May 1, 2011 at 11:54 am
  2. Profile photo of Kenneth Inactive

    I’ve often thought that if women had any esthetic sensibility, they’d all be lesbians.

    • #2
    • May 1, 2011 at 11:58 am
  3. Profile photo of Rob Long Founder
    Rob Long Post author

    Interesting.  True, I think.  It’s the deep-seated narcissism of the profession, maybe?  Ultimately, your one true love is….yourself.

    Also: people end up looking like their dogs.

    • #3
    • May 1, 2011 at 11:59 am
  4. Profile photo of Mel Foil Inactive

    Do women judge men by their face, primarily? I don’t think so. I don’t see a lot of evidence of that in real life. Maybe they do for the first five seconds, but not much after that.

    • #4
    • May 2, 2011 at 1:00 am
  5. Profile photo of Douglas Member

    Girls like boys who look like girls. Women like men who look like men.

    Except for cougars. They like boys who look like men.

    • #5
    • May 2, 2011 at 1:12 am
  6. Profile photo of dogsbody Inactive

    The male film stars of the 1940s and 50s were–for the most part–more classically masculine than today’s.  Cary Grant, Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart come to mind.

    I’ll take a wild guess and conjecture that in times of real danger, like WW II, women prefer men who look strong.  When times are mostly easy at home, they start to like pretty boys.  Why?  I have no idea.  Like Kenneth, I can’t see why they’re attracted to any of us.

    • #6
    • May 2, 2011 at 1:17 am
  7. Profile photo of Fat Dave Member

    There hasn’t been a decent actor working in Hollywood since William Holden died.

    • #8
    • May 2, 2011 at 1:50 am
  8. Profile photo of Cas Balicki Inactive

    Well, Superman has officially renounced his American citizenship, so how long will it be before they turn him into a metrosexual or, worse still, a flamer able to leap Fire Island at a single bound? He’s already got tights and abs of steel, what’s next eye-liner,ear rings, and a hand bag? Imagine how long you’d have to wait for metrosexual Superman to clear the phone booth, the hair gel alone would take fifteen minutes to dry, and that’s with a 1900 watt blow drier. And don’t get me started on strap-on utility belts, because that’s a CofC buster for sure. 

    • #9
    • May 2, 2011 at 2:11 am
  9. Profile photo of Nyadnar17 Inactive

    As usual the fine folks at Cracked have the answer. Or if you have no sense of humor here is the paper describing how the prevalence of women on birth control has lead to a changing in standards of what females desire their ideal mate to look like.

    • #10
    • May 2, 2011 at 3:06 am
  10. Profile photo of Wacky Hermit Inactive

    Judging solely by the fashion industry, men want women who look like eleven-year-old boys with breasts.

    • #11
    • May 2, 2011 at 3:48 am
  11. Profile photo of Casey Way Member

    Studies have contradicted themselves on this topic for years.  The gist of the theory is that at times of peak fertility, females are more attracted to more masculine looking faces and at other times in their cycle they prefer feminized faces. This is because masculine features are an indirect indicator immune system health.  During puberty, if a male is able to produce more testosterone, he was able to do so at the expense of suppressing his immune system since testosterone can contribute to immune suppression.  If he was able to suppress his immune system and remain healthy, it speaks to his health and good genes. Also, this means that the male would be more desirable to mates and have more chances to procreate.  This in turn supports the corollary.  Men with feminized faces would have less opportunity to procreate and would invest more time and resources in the offspring produced (better long term partners).  So context (one-night-stand vs. marriage) changes attractiveness too. 

    You’d have to check the post paper’s protocol to see if in their analysis they account for these know confounding factors.  If they didn’t, then they may obfuscate validity of these claims. 

    • #12
    • May 2, 2011 at 4:14 am
  12. Profile photo of Elizabeth Dunn Inactive

    That would explain the popularity of pop singer phenoms Davy Jones (of the Monkees), David Cassidy, Todd Rundgren, Hanson,  Jonas Brothers, etc.

    There was a reason Paul was the favorite Beatle….

    • #13
    • May 2, 2011 at 4:18 am
  13. Profile photo of Casey Way Member
    Wacky Hermit: Judging solely by the fashion industry, men want women who look like eleven-year-old boys with breasts. · May 1 at 3:48pm

    I would argue that the fashion industry is not a good indicator of how men want women to look.  You could claim that women dictate the fashion industry more than men.  The issue sales for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and more immodest magazines would give you a better picture. 

    • #14
    • May 2, 2011 at 4:20 am
  14. Profile photo of Jimmy Carter Member

    I look like a girl?

    • #15
    • May 2, 2011 at 4:38 am
  15. Profile photo of Wacky Hermit Inactive
    Casey Way

    I would argue that the fashion industry is not a good indicator of how men want women to look.  You could claim that women dictate the fashion industry more than men.  The issue sales for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition and more immodest magazines would give you a better picture.  · May 1 at 4:20pm

    And the models for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition also look like eleven-year-old boys with breasts.  They have few curves below the bust and, aside from the breasts and long hair, are completely devoid of female secondary sex characteristics.

    • #16
    • May 2, 2011 at 4:47 am
  16. Profile photo of Abdiel Inactive

    Perhaps Milton was on to something when he emphasized Eve’s vanity as being the primary cause of her fall.

    • #17
    • May 2, 2011 at 4:57 am
  17. Profile photo of KC Mulville Member

    This has a Three Stooges’ subtitle screaming in my subconscious: “These were times when men were men, and women glad of it.”

    • #18
    • May 2, 2011 at 5:33 am
  18. Profile photo of Kenneth Inactive
    Wacky Hermit: Judging solely by the fashion industry, men want women who look like eleven-year-old boys with breasts. · May 1 at 3:48pm

    Um, the vast majority of fashion photographers and stylists are gay. 

    • #19
    • May 2, 2011 at 5:35 am
  19. Profile photo of J. C. Casteel Inactive

    Enough talk.  I’m taking my Bogart good looks and going to go see what the wife is doing.

    • #20
    • May 2, 2011 at 6:27 am
  20. Profile photo of EJHill Member
    Rob Long: All of this seems to explain Zac Efron. 

    But nothing explains Nicolas Cage.

    • #22
    • May 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm
  21. Profile photo of Kenneth Inactive
    EJHill
    Rob Long: All of this seems to explain Zac Efron. 
    But nothing explains Nicolas Cage. · May 1 at 12:03pm

    Go to any Nicolas Cage movie and you will see a theater full of smitten bloodhounds.

    • #23
    • May 2, 2011 at 12:07 pm
  22. Profile photo of Paul A. Rahe Contributor

    I am not sure that I trust this study. But the culture generally seems to have less appreciation than in the past for manliness. Compare the leading male actors of the 1940 and 1950s were those today. How else could one explain Leonardo DiCaprio?

    • #24
    • May 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm
  23. Profile photo of Ottoman Umpire Inactive
    Paul A. Rahe: I am not sure that I trust this study. But the culture generally seems to have less appreciation than in the past for manliness. Compare the leading male actors of the 1940 and 1950s were those today. How else could one explain Leonardo DiCaprio? · May 1 at 12:10pm

    Leonardo DeCaprio is to Rudolph Valentino as George Clooney is to Clark Gable?  

    • #25
    • May 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm