From the Telegraph, Updated March 5, 2008 

Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but it could now be in the microchip too, after experiments suggest that a computer can use geometry to predict whether or not a face is attractive.

American scientists have programmed a computer to rate attractiveness using factors such as the golden ratio, a proportion that has been used by artists and architects since antiquity because it is aesthetically pleasing.

Females really are the fairer sex – rated more attractive by both men and women – according to the study by the team from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, which has devised an objective way to measure facial attractiveness, which gives reasonable agreement with what people think.

They also found a smaller chin and nose, a larger distance between the eyes and smaller mouth width were deemed desirable traits for females.

For men, the face being divided into equal vertical thirds was attractive, as well as the symmetry of the upper tips of the lips and the nose. Symmetry was also a factor, though not as important as the ratios.

The work confirms the emerging view of scientists that the appreciation of beauty has a deep-seated biological explanation: the face of an intended Valentine or date gives a profound insight into whether our true love will efficiently pass our genes on to future generations.

Entire article here.

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