“The study gets at the basic perceptual aspects in mating,” said psychologist Jon Maner, of Florida State University, who headed the team.
“It shows how quickly, strongly and automatically people are attuned to physical attractiveness whether looking for mates or guarding their mates from potential rivals,” he added in an interview.
Maner and his team, who published their findings in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, discovered that people tend to fixate on attractive faces within the first half-second of seeing them before sizing them up as a possible mate or rival.
In the study university students were shown pictures of very attractive or average-looking people for one second before being asked to look at something else. By measuring people’s reaction time, Maner and his team were able to determine that half a second is all it takes to decide if someone is attractive.
The researchers also noticed that people fixated on attractive faces for half a second longer after the one second time limit.
Single people in the study were interested in members of the opposite sex.
“These are the kind of people we might prefer as romantic partners, but it doesn’t mean we’d be able to have a relationship with them because highly-attractive people are very sought after,” said Maner.
But people in committed relationships who viewed the pictures were interested in attractive members of the same sex.
“These are the type of people we are jealous of and vigilant towards, worrying about infidelity as we try to guard our mates,” Maner explained.
The study also showed the pitfalls of visual fixation, including negative effects on self-esteem when looking at an attractive person of the same sex. Maner said the negativity could potentially be linked to illnesses such as bulimia.
Another pitfall is that people may become less satisfied in their current relationships.
“The evidence shows when we see attractive alternatives to our partners it can make us feel less satisfied and less committed with our current partner, which clearly has implications for relationship success,” said Maner.
Rocky relationships hurt men more than women
While young women are more affected by their relationship status—that is, whether they are in one or not—young men are more sensitive to a relationship’s quality, such as how supportive or straining it is, LiveScience reported.
“Simply being in a relationship may be more important for a woman’s identity,” said lead researcher Robin Simon of Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Having a relationship “is something that is emphasized constantly for women. Just pick up any woman’s magazine.”
But once in a relationship, the romance’s strengths are particularly helpful to men, and its difficult periods are particularly hard on them, Simon told LiveScience.
In the study, 1,611 men and women between the ages of 18 and 23 answered questions about their relationships and their own emotional states, including rating symptoms of depression and substance abuse. The questions were asked twice, two years apart, helping researchers deduce that emotional states were largely influenced by a relationship, not the other way around.
Rocky relationships were associated with equal amounts of depression in young men and women, and significantly greater problems with substance abuse and dependence among men. The correlative findings were published in the June issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
Why relationships affect young women and men differently is not yet clear. But the finding contradicts the conventional view of women as the more emotionally involved romantic partner.
No matter their game face, men are not stoically impervious to a relationship’s ebbs and flows, Simon said.
Bonding with moms leads to better romance
Researchers at the Montclair State University in New Jersey found that teenagers` bonding with their parents, especially with mothers, influence their romantic life in adulthood.
“Parents` relationships with their children are extremely important and that`s how we develop our ability to have successful relationships as adults, our parents are our models,” said Constance Gager, who led the study.
“So if kids are not feeling close with their parents then they are probably not going to model the positive aspects of that relationship when they reach adulthood,” Gager was quoted as saying by LiveScience.
The findings, according to the researchers, highlighted the importance of the parent-child bond for building relationships later in life.
However, they found that the strength of the parent-child connection later in adolescence, after the age of 14, did not seem to influence the children`s romantic relationships when they were older.
This might be because late adolescence is too late to have an impact, Gager said.
“Adolescents may be more fully formed by age 14 so that there`s not as much effect of their parents` relationship on them.”
For their study, Gager and her colleagues analysed the results of a national survey involving nearly 7,000 married couples in the US.
Between 1992 and 1994, the mothers, fathers and children, aged 10 through 17, were asked about their relationships with each other.
About a decade later, between 2001 and 2004, the children, now aged 20 to 27, were surveyed about their relationships with people they were dating (but not living with).
In the first survey, the parents and children were asked to rate statements about the “warmth” and closeness of their relationships, while in the second one, the grown-up children had to answer questions regarding relationship satisfaction and how much conflict they were having with their dating
US agree for Female Viagra
A panel of federal advisers will soon wrestle with a question that has bedeviled poets, philosophers and generations of frustrated men: What do women want?
That enigma will be part of a Food and Drug Administration committee’s deliberations on June 18 when it considers endorsing the first pill designed to do for women what Viagra did for men: boost their sex lives.
A German pharmaceutical giant wants to sell a drug with the unsexy name “flibanserin”.
The prospect of the drug’s approval has triggered debate over whether the medication represents a long-sought step toward equity for women’s health or the latest example of the pharmaceutical industry fabricating a questionable disorder to sell unnecessary drugs.
“Achieving a happy and healthy sex life can be a real and important problem for some women,” said Amy Allina of the National Women’s Health Network.
“But we have lots of questions about the pink Viagra.”
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