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They used Photoshop to manipulate the angle of curvature on photos of women, and in two studies, men's interest grew as the lower back curve moved closer to the presumed optimum, perhaps discovering the evolutionary correlate to Meghan Trainor's song "All About That Bass." Evolutionary standards of attraction work both ways: Women are drawn to physical characteristics indicating good health and a likely ability to provide and protect—broad shoulders with narrower hips, athleticism, a strong jawline, and a deep voice.

In my case, that translates into attraction to men who are swarthy, soulful, and, in some cases, hairy.

The main adaptive problem for men, evolutionarily speaking?

The fact that human female ovulation is largely concealed.

They've been sculpted over so many thousands of generations," Geher says.

"In spite of how much the environment has changed, our evolved mindset is based on ancestral conditions." Attraction to good looks may be a fundamental part of human evolution, but modern society has bolstered the bias.

But "even if we consciously say, 'I'm not going to do these things you say I'm evolved to do,' it's hard to get away from them.Other female primates signal fertility in clearly detectable ways, such as a chimp's pink genital swelling. "This dramatically changed the ground rules of mating for humans," Buss says."Human males have to detect fertility from physical cues that happen to correlate with it." Since female fertility peaks in the mid-20s and declines to zero around age 50, the theory goes, cues correlated with youth and health have evolved into a universal standard of female attractiveness.We also can take steps to attract the right person to us."There are universal standards of attraction, and they're not skin deep but rather fundamentally anchored in adaptive problems that men and women have to solve in mate selection," says David Buss, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of The Evolution of Desire." Or, to quote Rainer Maria Rilke, "Look, that is how, if you do not come, I shall crawl to my ending." Joshua was successful in a highly competitive creative field, which heightened his appeal, just as evolutionary psychology would predict."Every marker of creativity seems to play into mating," Geher says, "Being attracted to someone creative means that person's creativity could help you and your offspring and that those genes could pass on to your offspring.It can sometimes seem as if we have no dominion over our romantic tastes, but "humans have a lot of control and a lot of volition" in this realm, says Glenn Geher, a psychology professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz and a co-author of .We can overcome an initial, unwise attraction, no matter how powerful, and be drawn to a great partner, even if it isn't lust at first sight."The media portray the ideal as someone who is exceptionally physically attractive," says Eastern Connecticut State University psychology professor Madeleine Fugère, a co-author of ."In reality, you have to be only moderately attractive to be attractive to most of the population," Fugère says.