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What is it with the world’s obsession with race and complexion and why are studies asking which race is deemed as more attractive necessary?

I see beauty in all races and I do not think one ethnicity is more appealing to the eye then others. Is it not down to individual tastes? The results of a recent survey say different.

In the largest study of its kind people of mixed race are perceived as being more attractive than non-mixed-race people, a Cardiff University study has found.

Dr Michael Lewis of Cardiff University’s School of Psychology, said: “A random sample of 1205 black, white, and mixed-race faces was collected and rated for their perceived attractiveness. There was a small but highly significant effect, with mixed-race faces, on average, being perceived as more attractive.”

The study could also have wider implications than just attractiveness.

First established by Darwin in 1876, heterosis (or hybrid vigour) is a biological phenomenon that predicts that cross-breeding leads to offspring that are genetically fitter than their parents.

As heterosis is considered to be a universal biological effect, it is possible that humans are also subject to its influence and helps explain why mixed-race people appear more attractive.

Dr Lewis added: “The results appear to confirm that people whose genetic backgrounds are more diverse are, on average, perceived as more attractive than those whose backgrounds are less diverse. This can be taken as evidence for heterosis among human population groups.

“There is evidence, albeit anecdotal, that the impact of heterosis goes beyond just attractiveness. This comes from the observation that, although mixed-race people make up a small proportion of the population, they are over-represented at the top level of a number of meritocratic professions like acting with Halle Berry, Formula 1 racing with Lewis Hamilton; and, of course, politics with Barack Obama.”

A copy of Dr Michael Lewis’ paper – Why are mixed-race people perceived as more attractive? is available on-line here.

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