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Environmental experiences have as much influence on people's idea of beauty as genetics. Pixabay

Why do some people find American actor Brad Pitt “dreamy” and others think he’s merely handsome? A new study suggests that what a person finds good-looking in another individual is shaped by our environment and experiences. Beauty, say, experts, is very individual. While Pitt is undeniably good-looking, not everyone agrees to what extent.

That’s what Laure Germine, a researcher in psychiatric genetics at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, recently helped to publish in the journal Current Biology, where investigators studied the face preferences of over 35,000 people who visited the website TestMyBrain.org.


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“We wanted to focus specifically on this so-called ‘eye of the beholder,’ the individual judgments of face attractiveness that differ from each other,” she said. “So I think most people agree that, for example, Brad Pitt is better looking than, say, [American presidential candidate] Donald Trump. But when it comes to Brad Pitt versus [actor] George Clooney versus [actor] Ryan Gosling, then reasonable people might disagree.”


The preference for beautiful — or dislike of average — faces agreed only about 50 percent of the time. Pixabay

Included in the study were almost 550 sets of identical twins who share 100 percent of their genetic material, and 214 pairs of same-sex, non-identical twins whose genes are dissimilar. It was expected that the identical twins would share an identical face preference, while the fraternal twins’ preferences would be more diverse like the general population.

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In fact, the preference for beautiful — or dislike of average — faces agreed only about 50 percent of the time, suggesting that environmental experiences have as much influence on people’s idea of beauty as genetics.

“So it could be if someone has a romantic relationship with someone they are very close to and they think of very positively, the characteristics of that person’s face then will seem even more attractive to them even on other people, and vice versa,” said Germine. In other words, beauty appears very much to be very much “in the eye of the beholder.” (VOA/JC)


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Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar (57kg) and Deepak Punia (86kg) enjoyed fruitful outings at the Tokyo Olympic Games as they secured semifinal berths in their respective weight categories at the Makuhari Messe on Wednesday.

On the opening day of the wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar defeated Bulgaria's Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the last-four in the men's 57kg category, while compatriot Deepak Punia overcame China's Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the semifinals.

Ravi Kumar will take on Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the last-four, while Punia will be up against David Morris Taylor of the USA.

Earlier, Ravi Kumar had won his opening-round bout by technical superiority against Colombia's Oscar Tigreros to secure a quarterfinal spot. Competing in the Round-of-16 bout against the Colombian wrestler, the 23-year-old Ravi Kumar, who is making his Olympic debut, showed no nerves as he dominated the bout to win by technical superiority (13-2).

Ravi Kumar landed attack after attack and went 13-2 up, winning the bout by technical superiority with minutes to spare. In wrestling, building up a 10-point lead over the opponent results in a victory by technical superiority.

India's 86kg freestyle wrestler Deepak Punia showed no signs of the niggle that had forced him to pull out of the Poland Open Ranking Series in Warsaw in June, as he defeated Nigeria's Ekerekeme Agiomor on technical superiority to secure a quarterfinal berth.

He got his Olympic campaign to a fine start as he was in control from the start of the bout and hardly ever allowed his Nigerian opponent any room to maneuver his moves, finally winning with a 12-1 on technical superiority.

Punia, who had also suffered an elbow injury just before the Games, was slow at the start but came into his own as the bout progressed, inflicting takedowns at regular intervals to earn points.

The Indian wrestler eased into a 4-1 lead at the break and extended his lead comfortably in the second period.

Punia, the silver medallist from the 2019 world wrestling championships, then set up a clash with China's Lin Zushen in the quarterfinals and defeated him 6-3.

(IANS/HP)