What does ‘Sexy’ means?
Anyone or anything that reproduces sexually keeps thinking, “Who am I going to mate with?” We spend a lot of time thinking about choosing a partner because passing on your genes early on, and how you win at being alive. From an evolutionary point of view, this is the most important thing you will ever do if you do it. And because it’s very important, it’s also very complicated, as you may be aware.
Our general understanding of this comes from Charles Darwin, who suggested that some people get more action than others because of sexual selection. One sex of a species always prefers a partner with a certain trait, so that individuals with those trait are more likely to pass on their genes and distribute their genes and traits throughout the population. Like animals, humans have evolved to like some traits more than others, and these preferences stems back to a time when those traits gave individuals a tremendous survival advantage. In general, beauty is a language that conveys information about health and fertility.
But if you think it’s all about big breasts and muscles, you’d better think harder. Do you know what really excites us? Bilateral symmetry. People are attracted to people whose bodies and faces look the same on both sides. Symmetrical imbalance means that a person is exposed to stress during early development.
Likewise, a low waist-to-hip ratio drives men and women wild. Sex hormones determine where fat is stored in the body: testosterone in men and estrogen in women. Women who produce the ideal amount of estrogen typically have a waist about 70% of the width of their hips. The same is true for men and testosterone. People with this ideal ratio are often less susceptible to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and women in the same area have less difficulty conceiving and bearing children.
Now you may be wondering why a nice, symmetrical person with the perfect waist-to-hip ratio makes you feel like a feather, why he or she your friend to drive to his or her house three times a day? One of the reasons could be in our genes. They all send out subtle chemical signals called pheromones. This provides a key potential partner of our genetic profile. Studies show that men and women are usually attracted to pheromones from people who are genetically similar, with one major exception. They prefer partners with a different type of immune system gene, the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC). The combination of the two variations of the MHC gene helps the offspring of the mate better fight disease, and our pheromones basically tell our partners which version of the gene we have. But even after taking pheromones, symmetry and ratio into account, it’s tricky. And people don’t make rational decisions, so don’t worry about the hair clogging or those boob jobs. It’s complicated but very good.