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Why do we give so much importance to the symmetry of face in the opposite sex? Why do we yearn to reproduce with a person with a beautiful face? How is it important for survival, if at all? Is there a biological explanation for this?

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    $\begingroup$ Who exactly is "we" here? From my own experience & observation, I hardly think it is universal to regard the face as all that important in attractiveness. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Sep 28 '19 at 3:19
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    $\begingroup$ Well it does seem like symmetric faces are more attractive (to both genders; Grammar and Thornil, 1994) $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Sep 28 '19 at 4:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Remi.b: I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. I'll accept that symmetric faces are more attractive than non-symmetric ones; what I'm questioning is the idea that the face, whether beautiful or not, is more than a minor factor in overall attractiveness. $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Sep 28 '19 at 18:06
  • $\begingroup$ @jamesqf What does it matter if its minor or major factor? My question was about the fact that it clearly has some importance in survival why else would people care about facial symmetry? $\endgroup$ – user10093863 Sep 29 '19 at 5:20
  • $\begingroup$ @user10093863: The problem is your assumption that "we yearn to reproduce with a person with a beautiful face", which at least from my observation isn't generally true. I could cite any number of examples, from the feminist complaints about men not looking at their faces, to the cruel description of a fat woman as "but she has such a pretty face". $\endgroup$ – jamesqf Sep 29 '19 at 17:09
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Facial symmetry is currently believed the be a sign of developmental stability and good health and thus good genes. More precisely a sign of genetic diversity in a potential partner.

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Parasites, disease, or injury can cause asymmetries. The complexity of the face, and our visual sensitivity to facial features, makes us most sensitive to subtle symmetries and asymmetries in facial features.

Therefore facial symmetry is a sensitive and reliable indicator of health. Healthy mates are more likely to possess good genes to pass on for strong healthy offspring. Healthy mates are also likely to be more physically capable of producing and raising offspring.

Any individual who possesses a gene that causes attraction to symmetric partners is more likely to select such a mate. That individual is therefore likely to produce more offspring, and more likely to produce strong healthy offspring.

Therefore the gene for attraction to facial symmetry is more likely to survive and spread.

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  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE! Your answer sounds reasonable, however, it is likely to receive a more favorable response if you include supporting references (primary literature is best). ——— Please also take the tour and then consult the help pages for additional advice How to Answer effectively on this site and then edit your answer accordingly. Thanks! 😊 $\endgroup$ – tyersome Nov 26 '19 at 21:48

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