Attract partners like a magnet: scientists have named the traits that determine a person's attractiveness

Maria ShevchukLifestyle
Romantic couple with flowers against the backdrop of mountains. Source: www.pexels.com

Intelligence and kindness are the traits that are most appreciated by both sexes. This conclusion was reached by scientists from Brazil who conducted a study among 778 men and women.

The results were published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. In the ranking of preferences, intelligence is on the first place, and gentleness is on the second.

Physical attractiveness, health, and well-being gave way to cognitive and emotional qualities, taking third, fourth, and fifth place in the "rating of romantic virtues."

"We can immediately realize that we are attracted to someone, but we may not know why. We may not even wonder if this attraction is proof that this person will be a good match for us," says João Francisco Goes Braga Takayanagi, author of the study, from the Institute of Psychology at the University of São Paulo.

Smart means attractive

The respondents are people of different sexual orientations aged 18 to 64. They were asked to create an image of an ideal partner, prioritizing some traits over others. It was necessary to understand which qualities of a potential soulmate can be abandoned and which must be present in a person.

"Intelligence and kindness are the most desirable traits in a partner, even compared to beauty, money, or health. This applies to people of all genders and sexual orientations," said Takayanagi.

The universality of these qualities across all groups points to a global human need for cognitive development and emotional warmth. But other virtues that appear in the study's findings differ by gender and sexual orientation.

Not everyone needs beauty and wealth

The researchers found differences in the evaluation of traits among representatives of different genders and sexual orientations. Thus, heterosexual men value physical attractiveness in women, while for women, homosexual and bisexual men, socioeconomic status is important in partners. This, according to the scientist, is due to the evolutionary need to have healthy offspring and provide the necessary resources for future generations.

Interestingly, the preference for kindness was particularly pronounced among bisexual people.

The researchers also found that people with a high level of sociosexuality (openness to casual sex) prefer physical attractiveness, and people with anxious-avoidant attachment type prefer the socioeconomic status of a potential partner.

Takayanagi, however, emphasizes that the study has shortcomings because it is theoretical. What people like does not always coincide with what they are looking for in potential partners.

"Although this method is not perfect, it allows us to get a general idea of what people like and dislike. But research using real-world settings, such as speed dating or matchmaking apps, is needed to understand the gap between stated preferences and actual behavior," Takayanagi said.

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