Skin colour and science of attraction

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London, Mar 16 (UNI) Wonder why most of the Indian men drool over sparkling complexioned Katrina Kaif with wavy locks, while girls crave for wild and tanned Akshay Kumar.

It's the fair maiden of myth that provides a basis in scientific reality! According to new research, experts looking into attractiveness in men and women suggested that men of all races were subconsciously attracted to fairer-skinned women, while women were more drawn to dark-complexioned men.

Cutting across different reaces, the attraction was driven by preferences based on moral assumptions.

Men were subconsciously attracted to fairer skin because of its association with innocence, purity, modesty, virginity, vulnerability and goodness.

Women are attracted to men with darker complexions because these are associated with sex, virility, mystery, villainy and danger.

In an analysis of more than 2,000 advertising photographs of men and women, the researchers found that the skin of white women was 15.2 per cent lighter than the skin of white males, and the skin of black women 11.1 per cent lighter than the skin of black men.

''The research shows that our aesthetic preferences operate to reflect moral preferences. Within our cultures we have a set of ideals about how women should look and behave. Lightness and darkness have particular meanings attached to them and we subconsciously relate those moral preferences to women,'' the Independent quoted researcher Shyon Baumann as saying.

Many judgements about beauty are made at a conscious level, such as about height, weight, leg length, and the shape of the nose and the mouth.

The findings explain the meanings that lightness and darkness have in cultures and highlight the links between moral and aesthetic judgements.

However, there also exists an appreciation for a darker complexion in women that appears to coexist with a view of such women as more overtly sexual, Dr Baumann said.

UNI XC SYU BST1110

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