Difference between revisions of "Beauty"

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The opposite is awkwardness, lethargy, stuttering, violation of norms, autism, inappropriate laughter, delayed response, anxiety etc. Aesthetic sexual selection possibly played a role in the evolution of these behaviors, especially as they lack obvious survival value despite being socially advantageous.<ref>https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1090513810000279</ref> E.g. in some birds, fish and other species one can observe animals (especially male ones) competing in performance of complex behaviors ([[courtship]] display), which ranges from courtship dances<ref>https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/10-bizarre-beautiful-bird-courtship-dances</ref> to construction of aesthetically pleasing nest formations.<ref>https://www.nature.com/articles/srep02106/figures/3</ref><ref>Matsuura K. 2014. ''A new pufferfish of the genus ''Torquigener'' that builds "mystery circles" on sandy bottoms in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan (Actinopterygii: Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae)''. Ichthyological Research. Vol 62.2, pp. 207–212. [[http://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-014-0428-5 Abstract]]</ref> In the same manner, higher human cognition has been suggested to have largely evolved by sexual selection as a "cognitive ornament".<ref>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_human_intelligence#Sexual_selection</ref><ref>https://ontherapyaspse.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/geoffrey-miller-the-mating-mind.pdf</ref>
 
The opposite is awkwardness, lethargy, stuttering, violation of norms, autism, inappropriate laughter, delayed response, anxiety etc. Aesthetic sexual selection possibly played a role in the evolution of these behaviors, especially as they lack obvious survival value despite being socially advantageous.<ref>https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1090513810000279</ref> E.g. in some birds, fish and other species one can observe animals (especially male ones) competing in performance of complex behaviors ([[courtship]] display), which ranges from courtship dances<ref>https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/10-bizarre-beautiful-bird-courtship-dances</ref> to construction of aesthetically pleasing nest formations.<ref>https://www.nature.com/articles/srep02106/figures/3</ref><ref>Matsuura K. 2014. ''A new pufferfish of the genus ''Torquigener'' that builds "mystery circles" on sandy bottoms in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan (Actinopterygii: Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae)''. Ichthyological Research. Vol 62.2, pp. 207–212. [[http://doi.org/10.1007/s10228-014-0428-5 Abstract]]</ref> In the same manner, higher human cognition has been suggested to have largely evolved by sexual selection as a "cognitive ornament".<ref>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_human_intelligence#Sexual_selection</ref><ref>https://ontherapyaspse.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/geoffrey-miller-the-mating-mind.pdf</ref>
  
The failure of any personality traits and intelligence to predict initial romantic interest in [[blind dating|blind]] and semi-blind settings,<ref>https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Looks_are_most_important_to_women_in_speed_dating</ref><ref>https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Looks_are_most_important_to_women_in_video_dating</ref><ref name="walster">https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Looks_are_most_important_to_women_in_blind_dating</ref> however, suggests sexually selected beautiful behavior is limited to rather momentary, sub-personality behaviors such as facial expressions and, perhaps, dance movements, and overall smoothness and [[neurotypical]]ity.
+
The failure of any personality traits and intelligence to predict initial romantic interest in [[blind dating|blind]] and semi-blind settings,<ref>https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Looks_are_most_important_to_women_in_speed_dating</ref><ref>https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Looks_are_most_important_to_women_in_video_dating</ref><ref name="walster">https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Looks_are_most_important_to_women_in_blind_dating</ref> however, suggests sexually selected beautiful behavior is limited to rather momentary, sub-personality behaviors such as facial expressions and, perhaps singing, dance movements, and overall smoothness and [[neurotypical]]ity.
  
 
Male dancers of the Wodaabe African tribe (see video) are a clear example of men showing off sexual adaptations for  
 
Male dancers of the Wodaabe African tribe (see video) are a clear example of men showing off sexual adaptations for  

Revision as of 14:30, 21 February 2020

Two Venetian Women by Eugen von Blaas (1898)
Venus Callipyge (Venus or Aphrodite of the beautiful buttocks) by anonymous artist 1st or 2nd century BC (White marble, National Archaeological Museum, Naples).

Beauty in humans and animals refers to aesthetic appearance, an aspect of looks. Beauty is often sexually attractive to the opposite sex and it is important for social status in humans.[1] Some believe beauty and ugliness are subjective, but they are mostly objective,[2] especially in case of very ugly people. Physical attractiveness strongly predicts initial romantic interest and moderately based on others' ratings, to the same degree in men and women.[3] A single glance of 100 milliseconds is sufficient to form reliable, consensual impressions about physical attractiveness.[4] Beauty is misperceived to be strongly related to various positive traits such as intelligence and health, which is called the beauty-is-good stereotype, a certain kind of halo effect (see correlations).

Objective vs subjective

One can distinguish two kinds of beauty:[5]

  • Objective beauty: Objective preferences are not acquired by experience, but consist of inherited circuits in the brain, so everyone mostly agrees on it.
    • Simplicity: The brain analyzes the mathematical/geometric beauty of percepts, such as symmetry, smoothness, averageness, elegance, or generally simplicity. The brain appears to prefer this because it is easy to process which appears to be common to many higher animals (processing fluency theory of aesthetic pleasure).[6][7][8]
    • Patterns: What is objectively regarded as beautiful or sexually attractive may go beyond simplicity, namely in sexually dimorphism, e.g. secondary sex characteristics. Such preferences often involve seemingly arbitrary, exaggerated and/or very specific patterns (few millimeters of bone). For example even blind men prefer women's hourglass shaped body which means they are born with a preference for a particular pattern in the opposite sex.[9] Other examples are large and firm female breasts[10] or large penises, certain nose shapes, a robust mandible, protruding cheekbones, compact midface and hunter eyes in men, as well as dimples on back or cheeks, muscle tone, cleavage, thigh gap, abs crack, six pack (see also aesthetics), and complex coloration patterns and ornament in some higher animals.
  • Subjective beauty: Subjective preferences for beauty are acquired by individual emotional experience or mere exposure, or result from variance in development of the inherited neuronal circuitry for detecting objective beauty as described above.

Evolution of beauty

Animal's preference for objective beauty as mathematical simplicity is a fluke of evolution, resulting from the actually useful preference for order and predictability (processing fluency). Due to this preference, animals tended to choose mathematically beautiful mates and hence species evolved to be beautiful (aesthetic sexual selection) and beauty became an important factor of sexual attraction. Some deep sea fish may be particularly ugly due to being blind.

Simple and elegant body shapes can, however, also result from optimizing resource efficiency or resilience. This explains why even blind animals and plants are often beautiful. Though, some flowers may have also evolved beauty and scents to be particularly salient to insects which spread their pollen. And also in many animals, beauty has the same function of conspicuously advertising oneself to the opposite sex. For this reason, human females can use flowers as adornment to attract males since flowers happen to fulfill the same function. Attraction to secondary sexual characteristics also increases fitness because seeking out the opposite sex is conductive for reproduction.

Feedback loops in sexual selection such as Fisherian runaway and sensory bias[11] can explain why secondary sexual characteristics are overcomplicated and enlarged in some animals, and they can also explain the immense sexual attraction to very specific shapes (few millimeters of bone) despite them having barely any relevance for survival except "social survival". Feedback loops can also explain phenomena like women readily copulating with sexy men despite being coy otherwise, as well as love on first sight, oneitis, uncanny valley and disgust of other races (which often seems to drive racism).

Another explanation for beauty is that it acts as an honest signal of e.g. health, mutational load and intelligence, can thus signal good genes overall. These two opposing views the Good Geners vs Fisherians lead to significant academic rivalry since the 1990s,[12] but the good genes hypotheses has largely been refuted since. The relation between beauty to health and ability is only relevant for certain cases like disfigurement, certain syndromes and skin rashes and the like. Beauty and health are overall only weakly related (see correlations), but slight fitness advantages could have also initiated feedback loops in sexual selection.

Historically, parents have been heavily involved in their offspring's mate choices,[13] so quite likely feedback loops in sexual aesthetic selection have also shaped parents to be choosy about looks (sexy grandchildren), and, due to the similarity of socializing with potential partners for their offspring with socializing in general, people have evolved to be choosy about looks of the people they socialize with, explaining why looks influence men's social status somewhat.

Beautiful behavior

Not just looks, but also behavior can be beautiful and sexually attractive, such as facial expressiveness, gait, physiognomy, tone and clarity of the voice, or more generally charisma. Analogously to objective beauty described above, beautiful behavior has elegance, confidence, poise and wit, i.e. it can be processed fluently.

The opposite is awkwardness, lethargy, stuttering, violation of norms, autism, inappropriate laughter, delayed response, anxiety etc. Aesthetic sexual selection possibly played a role in the evolution of these behaviors, especially as they lack obvious survival value despite being socially advantageous.[14] E.g. in some birds, fish and other species one can observe animals (especially male ones) competing in performance of complex behaviors (courtship display), which ranges from courtship dances[15] to construction of aesthetically pleasing nest formations.[16][17] In the same manner, higher human cognition has been suggested to have largely evolved by sexual selection as a "cognitive ornament".[18][19]

The failure of any personality traits and intelligence to predict initial romantic interest in blind and semi-blind settings,[20][21][22] however, suggests sexually selected beautiful behavior is limited to rather momentary, sub-personality behaviors such as facial expressions and, perhaps singing, dance movements, and overall smoothness and neurotypicality.

Male dancers of the Wodaabe African tribe (see video) are a clear example of men showing off sexual adaptations for facial expressiveness, fine control of facial muscles, glances, smiling, sense of style and adornment, singing, chanting, whistling, as well as the white of the eye (sclera), straight white teeth, all of which are possibly sexual/aesthetic adaptations. Wodaabes believe men who are not physically beautiful can make up for it with togu (game)[23] and flirting with poetic speech patterns called sweet tongue,[24] i.e. beautiful behavior. Such courtship performances have striking resemblance with modern day jestermaxxing and tindermaxxing. People on the autism spectrum often lack fine control of their facial muscles or body overall.[25] Dance performances with rhythmic and rocking motions, delicate hand movements, and overall elegance, poise[26] and coolness are seen in many indigenous cultures, so these behaviors are generally potential candidates for being primarily sexual adaptations as they evidently played an important role in mate selection for both men and women, as can be seen by women also being involved in dances, instead of just watching the males dance.

The Wodaabe women of Niger judge their men in a tribal beauty contest

 
Traditional dance in Bali (1936)

Correlations

Predicted probabilities by an adjusted logistic model (not actual probabilities)

Due to the halo effect, good looking people are generally considered more positively than they are on average.[27] In truth, good looks do not correlate with anything very much.

Beauty is only slightly negatively related to criminality,[28] and beauty is at best weakly related to IQ. A recent meta study of 1,753 identical and fraternal twins and their siblings found no correlation between facial attractiveness and IQ, and suggested studies that previously found a weak correlation suffered from halo effect as they involved attractiveness ratings of acquaintances.[29] The halo effect of attractiveness on perceived intelligence is pretty significant.[30][31]

Beauty also only weakly correlated with health. Science that purported a link between facial fluctuating asymmetry and health has been exposed as outright scientific fraud.[32] A survey study by Henderson et al. (2015) summarized:

Contrary to the hypothesis that symmetry cues health, the largest study of facial asymmetry and health to date found no relationship between these variables. Researchers used data from a British cohort study of 4732 individuals and found that facial symmetry at age 15 was unrelated to longitudinal measures of childhood health, including measures of the proportion of childhood years spent unwell, average number of illness symptoms per year, and total number of infections.[33]

Different aspects of beauty are also not inter-correlated, e.g. no correlation between attractive faces and attractive voices.[34]

The waist-to-hip-ratio/fertility link is weak at best.[35]

The relationship between health and mating success is weak, i.e. people select for physical attractiveness rather than health.[36] Physical unattractiveness only correlates weakly with general health (r = .13, p < .001). See the figure on the right for predicted probabilities for various diseases, controlled for age, sex, race, income and parents' income.[37] The direction of causality is not clear in this case. Ugliness could cause social exclusion, making them depressed which increases their blood pressure and causes other chronic diseases, but "bad genes" (a general fitness factor) could also cause both ugliness and bad health.

Deeper male voice is not linked to immunocompetence even though women are strongly attracted to it.[38][39] A deep voice in particular may mainly have the purpose of intimidating other men, i.e. intrasexual competition.[40][41]

In summary, beauty in humans, which is mostly averageness, smoothness and symmetry, is not a certificate for health or ability. Even though it may slightly signal developmental stability due to low mutational load, it mostly seems to be just ornament, so its main biological purpose is to be sexually attractive. Runaway selection may explain our exaggerated preference for it,[42] and why people undergo risks improving their looks by plastic surgeries.

See also

References

  1. https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#A_man.27s_looks_are_significantly_correlated_with_his_popularity_and_peer_status
  2. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0001201
  3. https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Looks_are_most_important_to_women_in_blind_dating
  4. http://doi.org/10.1177/1948550617732388
  5. https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Beauty_is_objective_and_measurable_in_the_brain
  6. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1207/s15327957pspr0804_3
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Processing_fluency_theory_of_aesthetic_pleasure
  8. https://www.apa.org/monitor/oct06/pretty
  9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.10.001
  10. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ajhb.23287
  11. Fuller, R. C., Houle, D., & Travis, J. 2005. Sensory Bias as an Explanation for the Evolution of Mate Preferences. [Abstract]
  12. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Red_Queen:_Sex_and_the_Evolution_of_Human_Nature
  13. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1090513810000279
  14. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1090513810000279
  15. https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/10-bizarre-beautiful-bird-courtship-dances
  16. https://www.nature.com/articles/srep02106/figures/3
  17. Matsuura K. 2014. A new pufferfish of the genus Torquigener that builds "mystery circles" on sandy bottoms in the Ryukyu Islands, Japan (Actinopterygii: Tetraodontiformes: Tetraodontidae). Ichthyological Research. Vol 62.2, pp. 207–212. [Abstract]
  18. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_human_intelligence#Sexual_selection
  19. https://ontherapyaspse.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/geoffrey-miller-the-mating-mind.pdf
  20. https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Looks_are_most_important_to_women_in_speed_dating
  21. https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Looks_are_most_important_to_women_in_video_dating
  22. https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Looks_are_most_important_to_women_in_blind_dating
  23. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/africa/article/gleaming-like-the-sun-aesthetic-values-in-wodaabe-material-culture/F01A60E10F8B46F927BD52D4B94E1139
  24. https://youtube.com/cqN_0dxqj7I?t=1997
  25. https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Autists_are_judged_as_awkward.2C_less_physically_attractive_and_less_approachable_within_seconds
  26. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1936-02090-001
  27. https://incels.wiki/w/Scientific_Blackpill#Attractive_people_are_perceived_much_more_positively_than_they_really_are
  28. https://www.nber.org/papers/w12019
  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4415372/
  30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4415372/ (Mitchem 2016)
  31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4757567/ (Talamas 2016)
  32. https://www.the-scientist.com/features/a-fluctuating-reality-46903
  33. https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rstb.2015.0380
  34. https://psyarxiv.com/2avu3/
  35. http://doi.org/10.1177/1474704918800063 (Lassek 2018)
  36. http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/4/1/160603
  37. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2014.06.004 (Nedelec 2014)
  38. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.06.003 (Arnocky 2018)
  39. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2013.08.029 (O’Connor 2014)
  40. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1090513810000279
  41. http://larspenke.eu/pdfs/Kordsmeyer_et_al_2018_-_Intra-_vs_intersexual_selection_on_human_males.pdf
  42. https://www.amazon.com/Evolution-Beauty-Darwins-Forgotten-Theory/dp/0385537212

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