Anthropology, Department of



Ryan Schacht

Date of this Version


Document Type



Published in Nebraska Anthropologist Vol. 20 (2005). Copyright © Ryan Schacht; published by The University of Nebraska-Lincoln AnthroGroup.


The goal of mate selection is to choose a partner that will contribute to one's reproductive success. This contribution can be found in two possible ways: either through genetic quality or parental investment. These qualities are generally visible by the expressed phenotype of an individual and found to be more or less attractive based on their value to reproduction. Those features found to be attractive between the sexes are generally the same although, their proportions may vary. Indicators of attractiveness include waist-hip ratio, body mass index, facial and bodily symmetry, as well as other physical attributes. These phenotypic markers indicate the fitness of a potential mate and the attraction experienced by a person of the opposite sex is as a result of the value they place on them.

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