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Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, say boffins

By John von Radowitz

Published 02/10/2015

Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, a "nature or nurture" study has found.

Whether or not someone is "your type" is largely the result of unique personal experience rather than genes, researchers have said.

Scientists came to the conclusion after testing 761 identical and non-identical twins who were asked to rate the attractiveness of 200 photographed faces.

They found that only limited notions of beauty - such as symmetry - are fairly universal and may be hard-wired into our genetic make up.

Beyond that, an individual's idea of attractiveness was shaped by that person's own unique experiences, including exposure to media images, social interactions, and even the appearance of a first boyfriend or girlfriend.

US researcher Dr Laura Germine, from Harvard University, said: "The types of environments that are important are not those that are shared by those who grow up in the same family, but are much more subtle and individual."

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