On Selection

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What initially attracts a person to another? To some, it’s the eyes. To others, it’s the face, physique, height, or butt. Then again, it could be breasts, hair, skin tone, or a combination of any of the listed. We could get into the finer details involving hands, personality, or cheekbones, yet the question remains – What initially attracts a person to another?

From a biology perspective, I see human commonality with the rest of the living world. After all, organisms select mates based on color, strength, the ability to sing or dance, and rituals. in the end, it’s about the best genes getting together to increase the odds of the species’ best genes being passed on to the next generation. Keep in mind that the biological purpose of any organism is to grow and survive so the species can perpetuate.

Yes, that’s natural selection – as opposed to artificial selection when humans decide which domestic organisms breed. In terms of passing along the best genes, artificial selection is similar to natural selection, but it occurs outside of the rules of nature. Breeding dogs and other domestic animals is big money because pedigree is important. Breeding race horses is even bigger money, but in the end, it’s artificial selection.

In general, celebrities fascinate the masses – and how often to we see attractive celebrities with another attractive person. The parents pass these attractive genes to their offspring, but that’s natural selection, not artificial selection.

But the initial question remains – What initially attracts a person to another?

A ratio is a relationship between two numbers. Mathematics provides the Golden Ratio, which some artists, designers, architects, and others apply this because they believe the Golden Ratio is the most beautiful and most pleasing shape.

Maybe a ratio is what first attracts one person to another. If so, which one?

Various ratios influence what a person finds attractive. Shoulder-waist ratio, waist-hip ratio, torso length to leg length, face length to face width, and other facial ratios.

Whatever the ratio or body feature that initially captures one’s attention, it’s different for each of us. Gender, age, and culture account for some of the differences in our preferences. In the end, these are selection factors – yep – natural selection.

… and I couldn’t resist these fitting musical selections …

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67 thoughts on “On Selection

  1. Those videos are a hoot (notice I commented on multiple videos, Frank. Because I pay attention to criticism!)

    You will not be surprised to note that for me and John, it was “none of the above.” I was attracted to John’s sense of humor. He worked with an old boyfriend of mine in a law firm where there were many social functions. Somehow, John and I (to the chagrin of my boyfriend) ended up sitting next to each other, more often than not. And we would insult each other — trying to outdo each insult, and laughing all the while. Erik, my then-boyfriend, was not at all jealous — nobody recognized the attraction including me and John — but he was annoyed because “people don’t understand that you’re joking.” Three years after Erik and I broke up, John and I started dating. That’s when I noticed how cute he was…

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    • Elyse,
      Glad you enjoyed the video. This post has been in my head for years. Once the writing chance came, it went in a different direction. Once it was done, the videos came to my mind. I debated using them because I didn’t want to diminish the topic, but I couldn’t resist!

      Thanks for sharing your personal story about how the Queen found her prince. (Notice I didn’t call him King).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post, Frank, one that makes for interesting discussion. I’ve often wondered what makes one person get all a titter over another person only to find a third person just so-so. It doesn’t always come down to physical aesthetics, does it, although certainly that plays a role. I suppose it goes deeper into personality matches, intelligence level, sense of humor, etc. But for whatever reason, some people innately click with each other while others don’t. I suppose our pheromones come into play too.

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    • Carrie,
      A good discussion topic indeed. I was intentionally very careful when including “initially” in my question .. after all, aspects of behavior also come into play, especially over time.

      Many factors indeed, and as a collective, yep … natural selection to pass on those genes. Glad you enjoyed this one.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Pauline,
      You thought could center around the complexity of human behavior … both from the attractor and atractee perspective. But then, I would return to my premise of initial attraction.

      Like

  3. Frank!
    You should be ashamed of yourself! Just kidding. I have to agree with Carrie – it’s got to be the pheromones. Even with our “advanced” species. The videos are intriguing, and maybe even a touch salacious! I’m not sure whether we humans have evolved to a place where natural selection is a given or we have turned our choices over to the popular media!

    Truly great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cathy,
      Natural selection is across the biological world, including humans … which is one of my points. Nonetheless, the complexity is noted.

      In terms of the videos, I initially wrote the post without the thought of the videos … then they came to mind. Salacious yes, … and I was worried about them taking away from the serious side of the topic. Then again, they fit in a peculiar way.

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  4. Considering that there seems to be a standard of beauty promoted by the media, which at least in some way affects our preferences, it is therefore not a totally natural selection.

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  5. Who knows, Frank. Maybe it’s in the stars. I do think people are leaning a certain way prior to their match up and deep down it’s said to be about passing down down your genes. I read that somewhere. Of course, after a few dates, that could be all out the window. Great post!

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    • Amy,
      Oh yes …all gone after a few dates … but my question included was about the initial attraction. To me, “in the stars” points to the complexity of one’s selection of mates. Let’s face it … that in itself is complex … and we go through a learning process. After all, most of us had a crush on the kid down the street at age 7. Even then, I wonder what was the initial attraction. (I have no clue.).

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  6. I do wonder about this sometimes too – I can look at someone who objectively I can see is really good looking, with a perfect physique etc, but they do nothing for me, and then another time I could look at someone who objectively I would assess as just average in appearance, and my heart is aflutter! I think it’s really hard to pinpoint.

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    • Vanessa,
      Great examples … and then placed in different circumstances, the reactions could be very different. Nonetheless, there is something about the initial reaction and it is different for each one of us ,, and each encounter is different ,,, add in other factors, yes … it’s complex and hard to pinpoint.

      Like

    • Bulldog!!!!
      Hooray …. back in the house … so I must rush over to see if you’ve posted. Meanwhile, I imagine one of those videos made you laugh! Hope all is well with you.

      Like

  7. There is an old expression, perhaps largely forgotten now, that “opposites attract.” Consider our case. I am 6’2″ tall, slim, medium frame, and inclined to be rational and decisive, sometimes rash. My wife is 5’2″, small frame, and comes from a long line of nurturers on her mother’s side. She is a pure peacemaker, but fiercely defensive of family. Also, cute as a bug’s ear. Go figure.

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  8. I chuckle at your remark about “… how often do we see attractive celebrities with another attractive person” because it reminds me of the joking comment “A sound mind, a sound body – take your pick.”
    Hollywood celebrities have chosen the latter.

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  9. This sure is a fascinating and complex subject! Great post to get people thinking! You seem to really understand the definition of natural selection! Back in my modeling days, I opened a show to that song “I’m Too Sexy” – talk about cheesy, I know. When and if I ever hear it, it takes me back to that moment. Enjoyed your mention of The Golden Ratio! Although that’s just based on physical aspects. I think the physical part of attraction is a lot less at play than all of the others in most people, which is a good thing since it changes over time the most – a lot more easily than character and values and outlook and ability to love, right? It’s all really just so complex!

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    • Kelly,
      I intentionally focused on the physical aspect because I talked about the initial attraction … what catches one’s initial attention … and most of the time it will be physical. After all, other aspects as personality take more time to discover. Bottom line – yep – the selection process is complex.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You ask a compelling question. I think some things should just remain mysteries. When I first saw my guy (the guy I’m with now) over 30 years ago, something about him made me stop in my tracks. He felt the same way about me. We never forgot each other and here we are today, reconnected and making a life together. I’ve never felt that wow-factor with any other man. I’ve seen men who I’ve found quite attractive, but they never had that “pull” on me like he did (and still does). I can’t explain it and don’t want to! 🙂

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    • Lorna,
      Yes – not only a compelling question, but also a complex question. The Wow factor is huge in a relationship – which probably is a synergy of multiple factors. On the other hand, my question included a key word – “initial” … which implies not what one comes to know. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting, because my initial “wow” spun my guy into being a kind of superhero. When I came to know him years later, I realized how human and three-dimensional he is. I now feel a different kind of “wow” about him, charged by that old “wow,” but informed by the new “wow.” Double “wow,” right?! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  11. It sure is funny how this all works. I “met” Mick on the phone first. His voice compelled me to meet him! That he turned out to be good looking was a bonus! We met that night and he never left; well, until he had no choice, that is. It would have been our 20th this coming 25th of June.

    I cannot hear “Baby Got Back” without thinking of Cameron Diaz in “Charlie’s Angels”!

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  12. “Keep in mind that the biological purpose of any organism is to grow and survive so the species can perpetuate.” That may be true, Frank, but as a non-breeding lesbian, I never felt any need to have any of my eggs fertilized, back in the day when I had eggs in those caverns that now house dust. Some years ago, when I still had my final few eggs rolling around, a well-meaning friend suggested that Milton and I hurry up and breed! We didn’t heed that advice, even though he is my platonic mate Numero Uno. Erotic attraction for me has been with a wide array of people of my own gender and the older I get, the less I seem to have a specific type other than someone who doesn’t look like a cyclops and is willing. I enjoyed this post and the videos!

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  13. As well as looks, people and animals are attracted by scent and sound, too. Humans are also attracted by people’s minds (intelligence, humor, etc.) There are couples who have fallen in love through letters they write to each other without ever meeting, or meeting only after they’ve fallen in love. Of course, sometimes it doesn’t work out once they do meet. 😉

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  14. Interesting Frank. I find my choices have little in common with each other, but meet needs of mine at the time. Those needs change, have changed over time.

    Love the music choices this time, perfect.

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  16. What attracted me to my husband years ago, was his personality, afterwards I found his looks attractive. I believe it is, for me at least, a personality that makes an individual more attractive.

    FYI, you may not see me around much for the next two weeks or so, I have my Twitter friend staying with us. She is British but currently living in Dubai with her husband. This is our first time meeting in person and all is working our fab.

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  17. Now those are perfect videos for going into the weekend. Very funny! I suppose natural selection is often responsible for the way couples often resemble one another, or at least look well “matched.” But maybe I’m mixing that up with the way people resemble their dogs. 🙂 Nonetheless…very interesting!

    Like

    • Debra,
      The videos were a last-minute addition to this post. In terms of the content, the coupling of people is another story … and much more complex than initial attraction.

      Like

  18. I don’t know what to say to this, other than I am content in the belief attraction to another has something to do with a ‘bow and arrow’. “If it makes you feel good it can’t be wrong”.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. LOL on the video choices for the post.
    You def have a great sense o’ humor.
    And – this is one of the many reasons that I’m addicted to your blog.
    {Hugs}

    Like

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