Where Do Our Sexual Attractions Come From?

Where Do Our Sexual Attractions Come From?

Why are we sexually attracted to some people, but not others? Where do our attractions come from in the first place? 

As a social psychologist who has studied issues of attraction extensively, I’ve learned that attraction is a verycomplex process. As I discuss in my book The Psychology of Human Sexuality, attraction is influenced by a wide range of biological, psychological, and social/environmental/cultural factors. For example:

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Do People Get Better Looking When The Bar Is About To Close?

“Ain't it funny, ain't it strange the way a man's opinions change when he starts to face that lonely night.” – Lyrics from the song “Don’t the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time” by Mickey Gilley

What happens when something is only available for a short period of time or exists in limited quantities? We want it. Badly. That’s why advertisements and infomercials are always telling you to “act now, before time runs out” if you want to get your hands on the latest, overpriced, completely unnecessary product they’re selling. However, the illusion of scarcity and its effects are not unique to the world of business—scarcity may also affect how we perceive potential sexual and romantic partners. As some evidence of this, consider a classic study on the so-called “closing time effect,” or the idea that everyone gets better looking when the bar is about to close because the window of opportunity for finding someone to take home dwindles.

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