Joshua Chasseur

Do humans naturally like fairer skin?

27 posts in this topic

Apparently contrast is a gender cue, with higher contrast faces being perceived as more feminine and low contraste faces as more masculine. I wouldn't be surprised if this was related.

 

Also, you could just as easily say that men are darker on average and ask if humans naturally like darker skin. I don't think a minor difference between the average of the sexes is enough to make sweeping statements about humanity in general.

Edited by Delta1212
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I read that women on average are lighter skinned than men, so I was wondering, are humans more inclined to be attracted to lighter skin or is it just cultural?

Look at this study: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-535828/Why-men-prefer-fair-skinned-maidens-women-like-dark-handsome-strangers.html

Not all humans are attracted to women.

Also it's in the Daily Mail...

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Well, apparently on average women are lighter than males. Based on this, would it be correct to say that men prefer lighter skin?

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Having read the article now in full, there seems to be a lot of speculation in there about the reasons.

 

Women may indeed be lighter on average than men, but the reasons for it given by the researcher that was interviewed seem to have been pulled straight out of his ass rather than being based in any kind of actual data at all. It's the worst kind of Freudian psychobabble and doesn't belong in serious research.

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Here:

 

http://evoandproud.blogspot.ca/2006/12/skin-color-preference-in-sub-saharan.html

 

and this:

 

It has been observed that adult human females are consistently lighter in skin pigmentation than males in the same population.[9] This form of sexual dimorphism is due to the requirement in human females for high amounts of calcium during pregnancy and lactation. Breastfeeding newborns, whose skeletons are growing, require high amounts of calcium intake from the mother's milk (about 4 times more than during prenatal development),[76] part of which comes from reserves in the mother's skeleton. Adequate vitamin D resources are needed to absorb calcium from the diet, and it has been shown that deficiencies of vitamin D and calcium increase the likelihood of various birth defects such as spina bifida and rickets. Natural selection has led to females with lighter skin than males in all indigenous populations because women must get enough vitamin D and calcium to support the development of fetus and nursing infant and to maintain their own health.[7]

thoughts?
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Well, that seems reasonable, although I wonder what keeps the men darker, then, unless women require a slightly sub-optimal pigmentation from the perspective of purely UV protection in order to gain the benefits of vitamin D synthesis which men don't have as an additional constraint.

 

Although then you'd expect similar latitudes to have almost identical skin pigmentation across the board (excluding recent transplants), certainly within that 11 percent at least for there to be a noticeable effect, and I'm not sure it's that close?

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Well, that seems reasonable, although I wonder what keeps the men darker, then, unless women require a slightly sub-optimal pigmentation from the perspective of purely UV protection in order to gain the benefits of vitamin D synthesis which men don't have as an additional constraint.

 

Although then you'd expect similar latitudes to have almost identical skin pigmentation across the board (excluding recent transplants), certainly within that 11 percent at least for there to be a noticeable effect, and I'm not sure it's that close?

 

Based on this, can we say men prefer fairer skin generally or not exactly?

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Based on this, can we say men prefer fairer skin generally or not exactly?

 

Not at all.

 

Much of what you quote centres on studies (I use the term lightly) of small samples of the Igbo tribe - one of about 250 tribes in Nigeria. Most of these, particularly the older ones but some more recent too, have obvious non-scientific agendas.

 

On this basis alone, attempting to extrapolate conclusions (such as they are) to the human population in general is just simply crass.

 

Attitudes towards colour within sub-saharan tribes are (in my limited experience) varied and complex.

 

Within Igbo culture in particular, there is at least some tie up with https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osu_caste_system. As none of the references you quote even mention this factor, their conclusions are generally (for me) not worth the paper they're written on.

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At one time, Hollywood wanted leading men to be tall, dark and handsome, but it's no longer true, and that description only applied to whites. In those days almost all parts in movies were played by whites, including roles played in blackface. At least some of those prejudices have been broken.

Edited by EdEarl
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It has been shown in human history light skin has been valued

That may be your opinion, but I have not seen evidence of it.

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No, it is fact that in many cultures, light skin in women was deemed more attractive due to a class thing as it indicated that she did not work out in the sun

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No, it is fact that in many cultures, light skin in women was deemed more attractive due to a class thing as it indicated that she did not work out in the sun

 

And in many other cultures, it wasn't. What's your point? Are you trying to show the attraction is universal? Is that what you're after when you ask if men "generally" prefer fairer skin?

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No, it is fact that in many cultures, light skin in women was deemed more attractive due to a class thing as it indicated that she did not work out in the sun

The OP asked if humans were attracted to lighter skin. Perhaps men are so attracted; what about the women who mostly prefer men.

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No, it is fact that in many cultures, light skin in women was deemed more attractive due to a class thing as it indicated that she did not work out in the sun

And in other places and times, a nice tan was considered attractive because it meant that the person had the resources to afford outdoor leisure time instead of being stuck working inside.

 

In some times and places, being fat was considered attractive because it meant the person had ample access to food and didn't have to do a lot of manual labor. Elsewhere and when strength and "fitness" are considered attractive because they mean that someone has the time and budget to afford to go to the gym regularly and to choose what they eat based on how healthy it is.

 

Congratulations, you have discovered that people are attracted to signs of wealth and social status. In some times and places, that has included fairer skin for a wide variety of societal reasons, but that's exactly what the reasons are: societal.

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I asked a few questions about your intent. Are you saying I need to read this book to find the answers?

 

 

No, I just wanted you to take a look and then give me your thoughts

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I think it is mostly a cultural thing. But it is true that in most cultures fairer skin color is preferred. Actually, it relates to human history in which most of the time darker skinned people were dominated by fairer people (example: aboriginals of India by Aryans, Uzbek, Turks and British).

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Do women being lighter than men have something to do with it?

 

 

Are women lighter than men? (And do you mean lighter in colour or lighter in weight?)

 

But as the attractiveness of lighter or darker skin appears to be purely cultural (as others have noted) it is hard to see how it could be relevant.

 

If there were some such correlation, then it could be that in cultures where paler women are considered more attractive then a proportion of women will attempt to make themselves appear paler. Ditto for darker skin.

Edited by Strange
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Well, it's all about personal preference, some prefer Asian girls, some prefer American girls, I prefer both being Asian

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I think that some men are irresistible to women because they are much better-looking than other men so they can get affection and intimacy from women more often and much more easily.

 

I think that looks are basically everything when it comes to human sexual attraction. This is true in humans as well as in other higher animals.

 

Good-looking men have much higher chances of getting reciprocal affection (and sex) from good-looking women and vice versa.

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I think that is slightly hyperbolic in that no one is "irresistible" and looks are not "everything."

 

They are quite important, though. No denying that.

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