2010 volume 39(1) pages 136 – 138
doi:10.1068/p6626

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Lewis M B, 2010, "Why are mixed-race people perceived as more attractive?" Perception 39(1) 136 – 138

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Why are mixed-race people perceived as more attractive?

Michael B Lewis

Abstract. Previous, small scale, studies have suggested that people of mixed race are perceived as being more attractive than non-mixed-race people. Here, it is suggested that the reason for this is the genetic process of heterosis or hybrid vigour (ie cross-bred offspring have greater genetic fitness than pure-bred offspring). A random sample of 1205 black, white, and mixed-race faces was collected. These faces were then rated for their perceived attractiveness. There was a small but highly significant effect, with mixed-race faces, on average, being perceived as more attractive. This result is seen as a perceptual demonstration of heterosis in humans—a biological process that may have implications far beyond just attractiveness.

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