Why are humans attracted to good looking mates?

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But why does one think of them as a priority in mating? What does it indicate?
I'm not sure I understand your question.
 
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I'm not sure I understand your question.
I mean to say why would we preger someone who is aesthetically pleasing? I doesn't seem to have any evolutionary advantage.

One thing that comes to my mind is this. If we consider that different people have different standards of attraction (though there are a lot of common interests), then it may make sense. Like if I am attracted to everyone, then I will end up passing on just *my* genes but if everyone mates with different kind of people, then there will be variation. It maybe advantageous to the species.

But the problem is that maybe evolution doesn't work on a group basis.
 

marcus

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I mean to say why would we prefer someone who is aesthetically pleasing? I doesn't seem to have any evolutionary advantage...
Try thinking about birds, instead of humans. Male peacocks have big ornate tails. What is the evolutionary advantage? The females (called "peahens") are somehow predisposed to notice the males displaying big ornate tails and be interested by it. Probably it is hard-wired in their brains.

Female robins are probably not predisposed to be attracted by big ornate peacock tails. What gets their attention is something with a BRIGHT RED CHEST that SINGS A LOT. What is the evolutionary advantage for the female robin that she is attracted by bright red coloration and certain shrill noises? Why should she be hardwired to appreciate these traits/behaviors?

Try this exercise: for a full two days don't think about humans, think about sexual selection effects in BIRD species evolution.

Evolution is not entirely logical at the level of details. There is an element of ACCIDENT. Somehow a positive feedback loop gets started. Reproductive success accidentally gets correlated with a bright red color.
Now it is to a female's advantage to choose a red male because other females are especially attracted to red males, and if she gets a red husband she will have RED SONS and they will attract other females. It starts out having a random slight advantage, but it gets more and more advantageous with each generation.
Red chested males have more offspring, so it is to a female's reproductive advantage to pick a red male because her SONS will have more offspring. So she will pass on her genes through her sons.
The advantage increases by positive feedback. the more a trait dominates the more it WILL dominate.

So because of sexual selection by females some traits can arise which are actually DISADVANTAGES from a survival point of view, or which make no practical sense. A male peacock's tail is probably a liability in some situations. Getting in the way or making it more difficult to evade predators.

So various species of animal can evolve to prefer certain APPEARANCES in the opposite sex which appearances do not necessarily have any rational sense to them. But it nevertheless is advantageous to get mate which is "attractive" by the prevailing standard hardwired into the brains of the species because then you are more likely to have offspring which are "attractive" by whatever is the prevailing standard of beauty.

there are also some aspects that ARE logical. Like part of looking good might have to do with strength, health, freedom from parasites. A scruffy looking male might have fleas or intestinal parasites. Females birds or animals might be making a reasonable assessment in some respects, as well as going for pure aesthetics like a big ornate tail or a gorgeous song.
 
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Evolution is not entirely logical at the level of details. There is an element of ACCIDENT. Somehow a positive feedback loop gets started. Reproductive success accidentally gets correlated with a bright red color.
I don't understand this part.
 
I mean to say why would we preger someone who is aesthetically pleasing? I doesn't seem to have any evolutionary advantage.
The title of this thread is self defining. If there is a mate selection based on looks, the ones most preferable are "good looking". Mate selection is a way to guarantee healthy genes by competition, where the outcome can be (and often seem to be) more or less random. Who ordered the peacock tail?

When humans started to build more complex technological cultures around 50 kyrs ago with increasing cooperation, selection forced down testosterone expression and the sexes became more alike. [ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140801171114.htm ]

If we instead say "aesthetically pleasing", we start to confound sexual selection "good looks" with things like symmetry. Interestingly there doesn't seem to be any correlation between symmetry and health, which likely means that if it participates in mate selection it is swept along by the competition drivers. [ http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1792/20141639.full ] Say, maybe it is easier to observe good hair (which seems to be a health indicator in animals) if the skull is as symmetric as possible.

Like if I am attracted to everyone, then I will end up passing on just *my* genes but if everyone mates with different kind of people, then there will be variation. It maybe advantageous to the species.
Variation is a store of alleles for selection to use to advantage, so an increase is good. But a decrease is also a result of selection. You want a balance, where a modicum of selection can keep up with the environment by having a modicum of variation to chose from.

I don't understand this part.
I assume that "element of accident" refers to contingency, random constraint and/or outcome, since it fits the subject.

While selection is a basically deterministic response to the environment, it works on a stochastic supply of variation and it is affected by noise of random deaths and reproductive successes. A more fit allele can go extinct, especially early on, and conversely a less fit allele can survive, especially if it has become a major one.

And to complement selection on positive fitness and negative fitness there is also near neutral drift, where the fitness difference is too small to be seen by selection with the current population size. (You need an infinite population size to resolve arbitrary small fitness differences.) Then it is a true random outcome if the allele goes extinct or its competitors does.

There is also the aspect that variation is indifferent to selection. The stochastic supply of variation (point mutations, chromosomal crossover, et cetera) is truly contingent, if you replay evolution the possibilities that variation comes up with could be entirely different.
 
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OmCheeto

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This seems to be a good starting point:

http://www.rottenecards.com/ecards/Rottenecards_19462244_39mx7k5h3w.png [Broken]
 
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There are anomalies, however. One example would be the wide sexual appeal of Humphrey Bogart, not only then when he was a top draw at the box office, but even now.
 

Ryan_m_b

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It's been over a page and a half since any papers have been offered for discussion, as only anecdotes remain it seems everything that has needed to be said has been said by this point.
 

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