Specifically looking at what attracts us to a sexual partner, I.e. sexual attraction, what it entails, how it effects our relationships and what exactly causes us to be sexually attracted to certain people. There is a lot of factors to take into consideration to why we find certain individuals sexually attractive, here are just a few of the most interesting possibilities.
What exactly is sexual attraction? Sexual attraction is the foundation of arousing sexual desire or attract the sexual interest of another (Wikipedia, 2017). What are some of the reasoning behind why our sexual interests are heightened in regards to specific individuals? A possibility is that the individual may resemble ourselves. Through a study with heterosexual individuals they were giving several faces and were told to rate them on a attractiveness level. One of the images was actually a digitally modified image of themselves as the opposite sex. The participants actually rated their digitally modified image as the most attractive. Penton-Voak, Perrett and Peirce (1999), theorize that this is due to unconscious effort to preserve certain traits, specifically inherited traits.
Which also explains the hypothesis that we tend to be attracted to individuals that resemble our parents. Taking into consideration Freud’s Oedipus Complex theory, which is a child’s repressed desire to have sexual relations with their parent of the opposite sex (Freud, 1899). Freud believes this is due to the child identifying with the parent of the same sex, which manifests into a desire for their partner I.e. their parent od the opposite sex.
The color red, a theory wildly shared in western culture, that by wearing the color red you are more likely to attract sexual attention. Specifically the sexual attention of men as men unconsciously associate the color red with other achromatic and chromatic colors. Such as the lush of red a woman’s skin often become during sexual activity (Elliot and Niesta, 2008).
Often times we may find someone sexually attractive but have no plausible reason to find this person sexually appealing, non that we may be able to pin point at least. A possibility for such situation could be caused by your minds association with a certain feeling in relation to a specific individual (Dutton and Aron, 1974). For example if you happen to meet a new person as you were leaving the gym, unconsciously your brain may associate the elevated heart rate and excess oxytocin with this new individual, causing those thin to increase in future interactions with this individual.
There many other plausible reasoning’s to why we find certain individuals sexually attractive. It may not be one reason or another but a collective of many possibilities.
Elliot A. J. & Niesta D. (2008) Romantic Red: Red Enhances Men’s Attraction to Women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 95, 1150–1164.
Dutton, D. G., & Aron, A. P. (1974). Some Evidence for Heightened Sexual Attraction under Conditions od High Anxiety. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30, 510-517.
Penton-Voak, I. S., Perret, D. I., & Perice, J. W. (1999). Computer Graphic Studies of the Role of Facial Similarity in Judgments of Attractiveness. Current Psychology, 18, 104-117.