Why are mixed-race people perceived as more attractive?


Previous, small scale, studies have suggested that people of mixed race are perceived as being more attractive than non-mixed-race people. Here, it is suggested that the reason for this is the genetic process of heterosis or hybrid vigour (ie cross-bred offspring have greater genetic fitness than pure-bred offspring). A random sample of 1205 black, white, and mixed-race faces was collected. These faces were then rated for their perceived attractiveness. There was a small but highly significant effect, with mixed-race faces, on average, being perceived as more attractive. This result is seen as a perceptual demonstration of heterosis in humans-a biological process that may have implications far beyond just attractiveness.

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Cite this paper

@article{Lewis2010WhyAM, title={Why are mixed-race people perceived as more attractive?}, author={Michael B. Lewis}, journal={Perception}, year={2010}, volume={39 1}, pages={136-8} }