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Social Psychology

By Pierre Khazen 30/11/05

This article concentrates on the Biological-Genetic role for human behavior and in contrast to previous articles; it will not concentrate on Psychological aspects of it. In fact, it will want to convince you of its correctness. As I can not debate all sorts of human behavior, this article will discuss specific human behavior.

So for example, beauty, what is it? It is obvious and visible that beauty is connected to health. Would you prefer to kiss a person with symptoms of disease rather than a person with healthy clear skin? The answer derives from common sense but we do not need our mother to teach us that runny noses are disgusting! Healthy people are universally attractive and better genes live in better bodies and we choose healthy partners. So is beauty genetic? Is our decision for beauty genetic? In this respect we are not different from animals; some species of female rabbits chase males in high speed and for long periods of time so that they would mate. Same like when male and female snakes need to wrestle before they engage in sex. Many male monkeys need to balance themselves acrobatically when they are having an intercourse with a female monkey and no sick male monkey will be allowed to carry out such act. Though, a culture where skin infections are common, appreciates clear skin more than other.

But attracting genes are not limited to skin quality but to others as well. One is Physical Symmetry. Humans have a single genetic blueprint which instructs how to build left and right sides of the body such hands, legs, breasts. Each human’s genes work for both sides of our bodies but none of us is completely symmetrical, and there will always be a deviation between both sides such length, width and size. Usually, they are minor and hard to notice. In nature, there is a strong connection between organism symmetry and health, for instance, symmetrical horses run faster than more lopsided horses, symmetrical flowers produce more nectar. Symmetrical animals are found more attractive and sexually desirable than asymmetric animals which grow slowly, die young, and engage in less sexual intercourses. Humans are no different to animals in this respect, they are more attracted to symmetrical humans, men with symmetrical bodies have more lovers as twice, they experience sex 3 – 4 years earlier, their partners are more likely to reach orgasm and different orgasm rates improve the chance to have a symmetrical child. There are many studies which prove the biological connection to attraction where people from different cultures rated attraction in similar ranks when photos of other people were shown to them. Even babies were found to stare at photos of attractive people for longer time.

So to whom do we get attracted to? Mostly, siblings are not supposed to be our spouses! And this is universally agreed and it is biologically orientated. Turn to animals; they also avoid mating with their brothers and sisters because it is not good for their babies. Humans who mate with their siblings bring babies who are likely to die, or survive with serious disorders. This avoidance to fall in love with our siblings derives from the awareness that such act could lead to unhealthy offspring and from our instinctual, unconscious refusal to have a relationship with a person we grew up with from a tiny young age. So brother and sister may fall in love one with another if they never met before but otherwise, they would not fall in love. We aspire to have genetic diversity when we want to mate and mostly have children and it may spread beyond not having an affair with our siblings but even overseas. We are mostly to be attracted to people who are not from our environment and very different from us. Biologically, it is called MHC or HLA and the result is mixture of genes to bring healthy offspring. So we as humans, men and women seek good genes, healthy, symmetrical and non related spouses. We contribute as parents to raising up our children so both sexes look for spouses who could form good parents but the biological difference between male and female affects our behavior as a woman produces four hundred possible fertile eggs in life time while a man brings three hundred million sperm per ejaculation. Because of this difference, men and women behave differently when they engage in a sexual intercourse.

What about men, what are they looking for? Miss America these days has feminine looks; twenty years ago she was thinner, while in the twenties she was fat. So they varied during these years but still waist measures did not deviate drastically. It turned out that shape is more important to us rather than size. Men from all cultures find women with 0.7 ratios are most attractive, but women with such ratios are most fertile so it seems that our genes are attracted to the fertility ability. Men prefer younger women because fertility decreases when they are older and women are more beautiful as a common concept when they are feminine, have thinner jaws, larger eyes, and have a shorter distance between mouth and chin. Makeup and cosmetic surgeries try to increase desirable features such lipsticks and collagen injections to turn lips bigger and youthful, skin products to let the skin look clearer, breast augmentation though larger breasts do not increase milk neither bring healthier children but these techniques have been used since ancient times for example the Egyptian Pharaohs. It seems that these desirable features are genetic. Men like women who show interest in them but how do they know? Poorly, they realize this by trivial signs but actually, when a woman is turned on by a man her pupils dilate and some times with eye drops and this is an involuntary reaction. In addition to better sexual life, beautiful women enjoy higher salaries according to studies but acquire hostility from other women even those who are beautiful as well so they have less female friends.

So women, what are they looking for? Marilyn Monroe dated John F. Kennedy but had sex with him only when he became a president. Status helps humans and studies learn that women who marry better educated men are more successful, their marriage lasted longer, had more children and had happier life. Women use their beauty to join high status men to develop their interests and money is a big attraction to them to a degree that they would prefer ugly rich men to handsome men working in Burger King. Women search for men with secure finance and status but they are not interested in old men. In the States, 40 years old men earn an average of $21000 more than twenty years old guys so the result is that women mate in the end with older men though amusingly, women do not get attracted to older men for their older age. In fact, women avoid old men because of genetic reasons as when a man becomes older; his sperms become copies of copies of copies leading to DNA errors. Women also do not like short guys and in general society goes for tall men. In business, an inch of height is worth more than $1000 a year. 39 out of 41 American presidents were the taller during a campaign for presidency and in general, tall men benefit a lot from this quality. Women prefer men who can provide good resources such food, clothing, shelter, and other goods that money can buy and women who earn more money take into account her partner’s finance more seriously and this is the reason why women marry older men. It is reflected in personal ads as well where women mention money ten times more than men. In animal life, many female species mate only with strongest males where for example, cocks fight with other cocks to impress hens before they could mate with them.

Our perception of mates, friends, co-workers, and politicians derives from our animal heritage and our perception of beauty is genetic and so I can not change my genes to be more attractive, is their a way I can have more sex? It seems there is. First we need to know our beauty biases so that we control our behavior. Humans unconsciously hold preferences over specific qualities. A study learns that teachers rated good looking pupils as more sociable, more popular, and more intelligent. Some exploit their good looks to manipulate others to get what they wanted and worse than that when they disconnect themselves from them when they get the thing. The phenomenon to favor attractive women is universal and even babies stare at beautiful faces longer. This preconscious beauty filter affects our behavior towards people and some would call us bad because we do this, but can we help it? It seems that it could be possible if we follow some techniques such setting up preventive systems for example the request to put it in writing when we are asked to amend marks bearing in mind that verbal – facial confrontation could be influenced by our subconsciousness. It is unfair to be judged by symmetry and other uncontrollable similar elements but luckily, there are other elements which we can control and which our potential friends would take into account such kindness and understanding which were ranked at top of the list in a study about attractive attributes people seek when they are looking for friendship. Another study shows that men and women seek same traits when they are looking for mates including personality, adaptability and creativity yet men seek good looks in a higher degree. Women, who go to sperm banks, read about donors but usually there is no photo though a lot of details are provided. In a study, it was reported that Canadian and Norwegian women chose their sperm donors for their physical and health attributes though honesty, dependability and consideration were included. These features can be taught so there is a place to relax and if we see the beauty glass as half empty rather than full and we are considerate and fit, how desirable can we be?           

So, beauty is in the eye of the gene. Beauty is as much in the gene of the beholder as the eye. We are attracted to people who are different from us.  

But as much as I am concerned, we are attracted to people who are similar to us rather than different from us, so self seeking like and this is the reason that there is a lot of narcissism and this is the reason there is some thing that is called nation so we look the same so how basic can Darwin be and how illusional can Freud be? But if we dismiss both of them then where do we stand? Down to earth guys and dreamers, go figure!