“What is beautiful is good”—but why? A recent article in The Quarterly Review of Biology provides a compelling physiological explanation for the “beauty stereotype”: why human beings are wired to favor the beautiful ones.
Studies have shown that humans subconsciously attribute positive social qualities (such as integrity, intelligence, and happiness) to physically attractive individuals. Even across cultures there exists a significant consensus on relative beauty: youthful facial features, including, for women, relatively large eyes, a relatively high craniofacial ratio, and a relatively small jaw. In an article published in the September 2013 issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology, Dr. I. Elia, an independent scholar at Cambridge University, bridges genetics, physical and social anthropology, and psychology to interpret the findings of the “farm fox experiment” in Russia to reveal “a possible and replicable demonstration of the origin of beauty while inadvertently illuminating its ancient philosophical connection to goodness via a plausible neurohormonal pathway.”