Beauty is subjective, we all believe in this till a certain extent, but how much is it defined by genes and how much is it influenced by our own experiences?
A new study at Massachusetts general hospital in Boston co-led by psychologist Laura Germine found out that our perception of beauty is largely determined by our own personal experiences rather than genetic factors (which explains only 20% of the variations in people’s tastes).
Personal experiences (like the friends you make, odd chance encounters etc.) play a major role in defining our perception of beauty e.g – you are highly likely to find the face of your your first romantic partner, or someone who looks like them,attractive for years.
Genes do play a role in helping us identify someone as beautiful . E.g – We mostly tend to find symmetrical faces more attractive as it exhibits good development. Hence finding symmetrical faces attractive might be written in our genes.
Germine (working with colleagues at Wellesley college) analysed preference of faces entered by 35,000 volunteers entered through testmybrain.org.
She found , after looking closely at the data of 547 and 214 pairs of identical and same-sex non-identical twins respectively who grew up in the same family environment, that they differed in their preference for faces and this was influenced by their personal, individual experiences (the type of shared environment by those who grow up in the same family is not as important as a factor than personal experiences is).
Beauty, indeed, is in the eye of the beholder.
Summarised up to 50% by Brevity from – If the face fits: science of attraction is based on personal experience – study