Title: Physical Attractiveness and Health in Western Societies : A Review
Author(s): Weeden, Jason, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Sabini, John, Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania
Source: Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 131(5), September 2005. pp. 635-653.
Publisher: American Psychological Association
ISSN: 0033-2909
Digital Object ID: 10.1037/0033-2909.131.5.635
Article Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Evidence from developed Western societies is reviewed for the claims that (a) physical attractiveness judgments are substantially based on body size and shape, symmetry, sex-typical hormonal markers, and other specific cues and (b) physical attractiveness and these cues substantially predict health. Among the cues that the authors review, only female waist-to-hip ratio and weight appear to predict both attractiveness and health in the claimed manner. Other posited cues—symmetry and sex-typical hormonal markers among them—failed to predict either attractiveness or health (or both) in either sex. The authors find that there is some indication that attractiveness has an overall relationship with health among women, but little indication that male attractiveness relates to male health.

(You can read the entire article online through the UNH library. As you might know or guess, this was a topic of great interest to Darwin and many since. Darwin rescognized the significance of attraction but, as I recall seemed to think human beauty was largely cultural rather than something of a universal pattern. In the same journal (above) are several critical commentaries on these isssues.)

Evolution of Life-History Trade-Offs in Mate Attractiveness and Health: Comment on Weeden and Sabini (2005). By: Geary, David C.. Psychological Bulletin, Sep2005, Vol. 131 Issue 5, p654-657, 4p; DOI: 10.1037/0033.2909.131.5.654; (AN 18530880)

Physical Attractiveness and Health: Comment on Weeden and Sabini (2005). By: Grammer, Karl; Fink, Bernhard; Møller, Anders P.; Manning, John T.. Psychological Bulletin, Sep2005, Vol. 131 Issue 5, p658-661, 4p; DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.131.5.658; (AN 18530881)