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Show ALL Forums  > Science/philosophy  > Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!      Home login  
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 basilisk123
Joined: 12/17/2011
Msg: 1
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Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!Page 1 of 1    
Ok, me an my best friend had a debate a couple of months back about a rules of attraction. It popped back into my head just now because it always bothered me.

Ok I always figured that the people someone grew up with effect what a person finds physically attractive. Like say if you grew up with people who had round faces and dark skin, and black hair, you would find that more desireable when choosing a mate.

She says that it is society as a whole that determines what people find physically attractive. She was saying that a society that sees a certain type of person as superior would make them more physically attractive to an individual.

Specifically we were talking about dark skin verses light skin. She was saying that western society sees lighter skins as more physically attractive, because to western society, darker skins are seen as lower class. That someone will usually be physically attracted to someone who is lighter than they are.

This never sat well with me and I told her as much, but she steadfastly says its true. In the end we agreed to disagree. I just can't seem to even accept her point of view. Every race has people who are equally attractive to me. I view it like it's flavors of icecream. I want the widest variety of flavors available, thats the only way you can come across the truly epic combinations.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 2
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Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!
Posted: 3/22/2014 5:17:48 AM
You are arguing another variation on "nature versus nurture."

I agree partially with both of you, and disagree partially with both of you.

I am confident that attraction is a combination of DNA, baby/childhood socialization, and personal experience. It has to be. Otherwise, EVERYONE would only be attracted to one narrow range of values, and that clearly isn't the case. Also, no one would experience and change in attraction as they grow up and age, and THAT clearly isn't the case either.

My own experience, for example, includes the discovery that elements of attraction are often OPPOSITES to my siblings and parents. My parents, for example, had dark hair, and were "roundish." I grew up chasing thin blondes, long before we owned a TV, and thus long before society could have brought the power of advertising to bear. I think that that is DNA telling me NOT to make babies with people just like me, like my sister, but to add more variety, and hence survivability, to the species.

Later in life, after I'd been through the terrible grinding that life puts some of us through, I discovered myself falling in love with women, simply because they seemed to be Calm, and Rational. I also found myself losing attraction to some exotic aspects, which had previously excited my curiosity. That's personal experience having it's effect.

I have also seen, both in myself and in others, that a large amount of social influence, social pressure if you will, often SEEMS to influence people more than it does. Specifically, a society ca get it's members to CLAIM to want all sorts of things from each other. But if you examine their actions, especially when they think no one is watching, you will discover that what they REALLY want isn't what they think they have to say that they want, at all.
 63T
Joined: 5/28/2006
Msg: 3
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Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!
Posted: 3/22/2014 11:07:26 PM
Basilisk123;

I would like to refer you to an interesting text regarding attractiveness which may shed a little insight.
The link is a downloadable PDF document to read at your leisure.
It is entitled, "Compatibility of basic social perceptions determines perceived attractiveness"
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1829294/pdf/zpq5246.pdf
Enjoy!
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 4
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Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!
Posted: 3/23/2014 7:57:09 AM

Specifically we were talking about dark skin verses light skin. She was saying that western society sees lighter skins as more physically attractive, because to western society, darker skins are seen as lower class. That someone will usually be physically attracted to someone who is lighter than they are.


There actually is some truth in this. There are lots of people of all skin colors, who have the idea that light skin = higher class, better person. This has been recognized by sociologists, and is most commonly attributed to the fact that in many places, for many years, darker skinned people were either enslaved, or were otherwise thought of as lessers for economic reasons. I.e., prejudice, probably built up in order to protect the ego and emotional sensibility of the oppressors, who wanted to delude themselves that they weren't REALLY mistreating fellow human beings and equals at all.

There are lots of prejudices of various kinds sloshing around our societies, for various reasons, and with different histories to them. The thing to watch out for in a discussion such as the one that precipitated this thread, is that the fact that a prejudice exists, is NOT a reason to sustain or accept it, and certainly isn't a reason to add the delusion that because it does exist, that we should conceptually move it in our minds from the category of Delusion, to the category of Rules of Attraction.
Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!
Posted: 3/23/2014 5:53:14 PM
You are both wrong if you're each thinking that your idea on the matter is prevalent. Both ideas are correct, and more than those two are also correct...but not necessarily prevalent. As almost always, it depends. Depends on the person. One may be one way, and another be another way. Der?
 Xray86
Joined: 2/2/2012
Msg: 6
Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!
Posted: 3/30/2014 10:03:47 PM
My rule of physical attraction is along the lines of genetic differences. Basically, I tend to go after someone who's different from me. It does get me flak from people, for example, when they accuse me of not liking Black women. I do like Black women, just not the overweight, nappy haired ones with facial features identical to my mom's family that people always point out to me. Very annoying that people think I want or should want that.

Anyways, I also have certain preferences in all the major ethnic groups on what I like. For White women, I like color contrast. What I mean is light/pale skin with dark hair or tanned skin with light/blonde hair. For Black women, I like angular or thinner facial features. I don't like kinky hair but it's alright if it's curly, like what you'll find on Italians. Hispanic women rate differently. I don't know why but I absolutely love brown skin and black, straight or wavy hair on them. Rediculously sexy to me. East and Southeast Asians I prefer black, straight hair on them and that's about it. Arabic and Indian women get my attention with lighter skin and dark hair. Green or blue eyes is a major plus on White, Arabic, or Indian women.

By no means are these concrete rules because I can find exceptions to my preferences. But these are things I like and I found to be genetically different from what I have for the most part.
 Proteaus
Joined: 6/9/2009
Msg: 7
Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!
Posted: 4/11/2014 6:08:32 PM
They just did some recent studies . You can take a average looking man and put him infront of a beat up car and women will say he is unattractive . Put the same man in same clothing and pose in front of a nice sports car and women say he is very attractive . Seems pretty cut and dried , it is all about the money .
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 8
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Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!
Posted: 4/12/2014 4:36:23 AM
Not a bad example to put in, Proteaus, but there are other conclusions to draw from the data than simply that it's all about the money.

Take the same guy and give him a haircut that fits his face and body and he will be found more attractive. Have him wear clothes that fit him properly, and are clean and pressed (if need be), even if they are of the same expense as what he usually wears, and he will be found more attractive. Put him in front of a WRECKED sports car, and he might seem LESS attractive than if he is in front of a nicely kept older more mundane car.

It really all does come down to "the perceiver and the perceivee," so to speak. The person who is to be attracted, has a set of experiences and associations in their minds, which they use as reference material to "read" the appearance of the other person, and to translate it into what they think it means in terms of their own expectations and tastes and desires and so forth.

Some one who used to go for the Sports Car guy, but repeatedly got burned, might decide that the Beater car guy looks somehow more loving. Even if you take the exact same photo of the guy, and paste it on top of the car pics.
Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!
Posted: 4/12/2014 5:10:01 AM
I have photos of myself with my spaceship. But I don't post them. Because I figure that people will just think that it's all made up, photoshopped, and that the spaceship isn't real or something.
 GreenThumbz18
Joined: 4/25/2012
Msg: 10
Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!
Posted: 4/15/2014 9:29:42 AM
I agree with Xray about a woman's contrasting colors. I like dark-skinned women with light hair , or some streaking and shading of highlights, and I like light-skinned women with dark hair.
Also. about the Western perception of dark skin as lower class, I would say that goes way back to when everyone farmed for survival, except for the wealthy and powerful. Their sons and daughters did not work the fields every day, their skin was not darkened by constant exposure to sun, so their fair features were considered "high class".
Please resolve this rules of attraction debate!
Posted: 4/15/2014 5:00:34 PM
My spaceship - In other words, I think reactions to the picture of someone next to a good car versus a bad car, and all the other variations proposed here...I think that if a person isn't careful, they can easily misinterpret that: I don't think that it's "about the money" nearly as often as one might think. I think that it can be about a whole list of probability assessments that a person makes instantly in their mind about how "together" the person is in general, what kind of person they are, what kind of world they live in, and what kind of life they're living...in ways that have nothing to do with money or a concern for money.
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