ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (10): 1743-1757.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.01743

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What is beautiful is good? The role of physical attractiveness in intimate relationships

LI Xue, ZHENG Yong()   

  1. Faculty of Psychological Science, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China
  • Received:2018-11-07 Online:2019-10-15 Published:2019-08-19
  • Contact: Yong ZHENG


Physical attractiveness plays an important role in the formation and development of intimate relationships. Since individuals with higher ratings of physical attractiveness are perceived as having more socially desirable traits and better genes, they are regarded as having a higher mate value that can facilitate the establishment of intimate relationships. However, because of the dissimilarity in physical attractiveness, the less attractive partner tends to employ a range of mate retention, jealous, insulting, and sexual coercion behaviors. These behaviors contribute to an acceleration of the breakup of intimate relationships. Other studies have suggested that attractive men have a higher probability of not possessing good genes, which would be favorable to intimate relationships and women do not show a stronger preference for attractive men when in the hormonal states associated with high fertility. The viewpoint of “what is beautiful is good” is currently being questioned, the findings of which have been controversial and divergent. As a result, the relevant direct evidence needs to be further consolidated.

Key words: physical attractiveness, mate value, mate retention

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