Sexual attractiveness

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Sexual attractiveness or sex appeal is how desirable a person is solely based on how sexually pleasing he is (not to be confused with relationship appeal).

Male sexual attractiveness

Having high status can potentially lead to greater arousal to women, than any amount of height or muscle.[citation needed] But having a repulsive face will lead to a significant reduction of overall attractiveness. A repulsive face may cancel out the positive effect on status and height combined.[citation needed]

Note that the "average" face is actually repulsive to women. According to an OKCupid study, women consider 80% of men "below average."[1] This is supported by additional evidence that virtually all industrialized peoples have some degree of maxillary retrusion (a facial deformity).[citation needed]

Male facial attractiveness

The bone structure is "normal" when the maxilla is forward and upward and the cheekbones are high and forward-projecting. Any deviation from this "normal" bone structure will result in increased repulsiveness.[1]

A "normal" bone structure is not necessarily a deal-maker, but a deformed one (like a retruded maxilla) is a deal-breaker.[vague]

The skin can function as an attractant or a repellent. Orange skin indicates health and is attractive. Pale skin or pimples will increase repulsion.[2]

Yet another quality is the leanness of the face, with 12% being the optimal bodyfat percentage.[3]

Female sexual attractiveness

Female facial attractiveness

The following traits are considered to be attractive to males:

Indicators of health:

  • Orange skin
  • Red lips
  • Clear skin

Indicators of youth:

Indicators of neoteny / paedomorphism / cuteness:

One could also say that "low-set eyes" are attractive but low-set eyes are a result of a short midface or jaw.


  • Large eyes - Females have large eyes relatively to their skull due to greater scleral show. However, it’s not only due to scleral show. Females have smaller skulls which makes their eyes appear larger.
  • Wide-set eyes - Females actually don't have eyes farther apart than males. Females have shorter midfaces which makes their eyes appear farther apart.
  • Thick lips - Females actually don't have thicker lips than males.[4] Females have smaller skulls which makes the lips appear thicker.
  • Higher eyebrows - Females have higher eyebrows because of eyebrow trimming.[5]

Female bodily attractiveness

Indicators of youth:

Indicators of fecundity:

Indicators of resource availability:

  • Large breasts - Indicates energy available from stored fat
  • Large buttocks

Indicators of neoteny:


  1. Mouth Breathing & Facial Development
  2. Scott, I. M., Pound, N., Stephen, I. D., Clark, A. P., & Penton-Voak, I. S. (2010). Does masculinity matter? The contribution of masculine face shape to male attractiveness in humans. PLoS one, 5(10), e13585.
  3. Rantala, M. J., Coetzee, V., Moore, F. R., Skrinda, I., Kecko, S., Krama, T., ... & Krams, I. (2013). Adiposity, compared with masculinity, serves as a more valid cue to immunocompetence in human mate choice. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280(1751), 20122495.
  4. virtualffs - Lips
  5. Eyebrows