Skip to main content

Cross-Cultural Comparison of Sensory Preferences in Romantic Attraction

Abstract

Various physical characteristics of a partner—visual, auditory, tactile and kinetic, olfactory, and gustatory—can affect human mate choice and romantic attraction. Evolutionary factors, as well as socioeconomic and cultural parameters play their role in these sensory preferences. A series of studies in societies varying in social, economic, and cultural parameters (10 samples in six countries with 2740 participants in total) explored cross-cultural similarities and differences of sensory preferences that people have in their romantic attraction. The results revealed that social development of countries and their cultural parameters allow prediction of preferences of certain sensory parameters in one’s romantic partner’s appearance. The most general distinctions of sensory preferences are in the societies with different degree of modernization, along with corresponding social and cultural parameters. The stable biologically and evolutionarily determined characteristics of physical appearance, such as smell, skin, body, etc., are important for one’s sensory preferences in romantic attraction in less modernized societies, which are characterized by greater power distance, lower individualism, indulgence, and emancipative values. On the other hand, the characteristics of romantic partner’s appearance, which are more flexible and easier to change, such as expressive behavior, dress, dance, etc., are more important in more modernized societies with lower Power Distance, high value of Individualism, Indulgence, and Emancipation.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Addington, D. W. (1968). The relationship of selected vocal characteristics to personality perception. Speech Monographs,35, 492–503. https://doi.org/10.1080/03637756809375599.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Apicella, C. L., Feinberg, D. R., & Marlowe, F. W. (2007). Voice pitch predicts reproductive success in male hunter-gatherers. Biology Letters,3, 682–684. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2007.0410.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bachorowski, J. A., & Owren, M. J. (2001). Not all laughs are alike: Voiced but not unvoiced laughter readily elicits positive affect. Psychological Science,12, 252–257. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.00346.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Barber, N. (1995). The evolutionary psychology of physical attractiveness: Sexual selection and human morphology. Ethology and Sociobiology,16(5), 395–424. https://doi.org/10.1016/0162-3095(95)00068-2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Baron, R. A. (1981). Olfaction and human social behavior: Effects of a pleasant scent on attraction and social perception. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,7(4), 611–616.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Belsky, J., Steinberg, L., & Draper, P. (1991). Childhood experience, interpersonal development, and reproductive strategy: An evolutionary theory of socialization. Child Development,62(4), 647–670. https://doi.org/10.2307/1131166.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Belsky, J., Steinberg, L., Houts, R. M., Halpern-Felsherd, B. L., & the NICHD Early Child Care Research Network. (2010). The development of reproductive strategy in females: Early maternal harshness → earlier menarche → increased sexual risk taking. Developmental Psychology,46, 120–128. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0015549.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Bonnough, S., & Moore, E. (2017). The interaction effect of facial and vocal attraction on overall perceived attractiveness. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research,22(3), 231–241.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Brown, B. L., Strong, W. J., & Rencher, A. C. (1973). Perceptions of personality from speech: Effects of manipulations of acoustical parameters. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America,54, 29–35. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.1913571.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Brown, B. L., Strong, W. J., & Rencher, A. C. (1974). Fifty-four voices from two: The effects of simultaneous manipulations of rate, mean fundamental frequency, and variance of fundamental frequency on ratings of personality from speech. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America,55, 313–318. https://doi.org/10.1121/1.1914504.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Sciences,12, 1–49. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X00023992.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Buss, D. M. (1994). The evolution of desire: Strategies of human mating. New York, NY: Basic Books.

    Google Scholar 

  13. Buss, D. M., Abbott, M., Angleitner, A., Asherian, A., Biaggio, A., Blano-Villasenor, A., et al. (1990). International preferences in selecting mates: A study of 37 cultures. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology,21(1), 5–47. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022190211001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Cartei, V., Bond, R., & Reby, D. (2014). What makes a voice masculine: Physiological and acoustical correlates of women’s ratings of men’s vocal masculinity. Hormones and Behavior,66(4), 569–576.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Chen, R., Austin, J. P., Miller, J. K., & Piercy, F. P. (2015). Chinese and American individuals’ mate selection criteria: Updates, modifications, and extensions. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology,46(1), 101–118. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022114551793.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Collins, S. A. (2000). Men’s voices and women’s choices. Animal Behaviour,60, 773–780.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Cunningham, M. R., Barbee, A. P., & Pike, C. L. (1990). What do women want? Facialmetric assessment of multiple motives in the perception of male facial physical attractiveness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,59, 61–72.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Cupchik, G. C., Phillips, K., & Truong, H. (2005). Sensitivity to the cognitive and affective qualities of odours. Cognition and Emotion,19, 121–131. https://doi.org/10.1080/0269993044100011.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Dion, R. K., & Dion, K. L. (1993). Individualistic and collectivistic perspectives on gender and the cultural context of love and intimacy. The Journal of Social Issues,49(3), 53–69. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1993.tb01168.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Dion, K. K., & Dion, K. L. (1996). Cultural perspectives on romantic love. Personal Relationships,3, 5–17. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6811.1996.tb00101.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Ellis, B. J., & Symons, D. (1990). Sex differences in sexual fantasy: An evolutionary psychology approach. The Journal of Sex Research,27, 527–555.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Feinberg, D. R., Jones, B. C., Smith, M. J. L., Moore, F. R., DeBruine, L. M., Cornwell, R. E., et al. (2006). Menstrual cycle, trait estrogen level, and masculinity preferences in the human voice. Hormones and Behavior,49, 215–222.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Feingold, A. (1990). Gender differences in effects of physical attractiveness on romantic attraction: A comparison across five research paradigms. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,59, 981–993. https://doi.org/10.1037//0022-3514.59.5.981.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Fisher, H., Aron, A., & Brown, L. L. (2005). Romantic love: An fMRI study of a neural mechanism for mate choice. The Journal of Comparative Neurology,493, 58–62. https://doi.org/10.1002/cne.20772.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Frederick, D. A., & Haselton, M. G. (2007). Why is muscularity sexy? Tests of the fitness indicator hypothesis. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,33, 1167–1183.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Frith, K., Shaw, P., & Cheng, H. (2005). The construction of beauty: A cross-cultural analysis of women’s magazine advertising. Journal of Communication,55(1), 56–70. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2005.tb02658.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Gangestad, S. W., & Thornhill, R. (1997). Human sexual selection and developmental stability. In J. A. Simpson & D. T. Kenrick (Eds.), Evolutionary social psychology (pp. 169–195). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

    Google Scholar 

  28. González-Ibáñez, R., Shah, C., & Córdova-Rubio, N. (2011). Smile! Studying expressivity of happiness as a synergic factor in collaborative information seeking. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology,48(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1002/meet.2011.14504801171.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Goodwin, R., Marshall, T., Fülöp, M., Adonu, J., Spiewak, S., et al. (2012). Mate value and self-esteem: Evidence from eight cultural groups. PLoS ONE,7(4), e36106. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0036106.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Goodwin, R., Realo, A., Kwiatkowska, A., Kozlova, A., Luu, L. A., & Nizharadze, G. (2002). Values and sexual behaviour in Central and Eastern Europe. Journal of Health Psychology,7(1), 45–56. https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105302007001651.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Goodwin, R., & Tinker, M. (2002). Value priorities and preferences for a relationship partner. Personality and Individual Differences,32(8), 1339–1349. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0191-8869(01)00122-2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Greenlees, I. A., & McGrew, W. C. (1994). Sex and age differences in preferences and tactics of mate attraction: Analysis of published advertisements. Ethology and Sociobiology,15, 59–72. https://doi.org/10.1016/0162-3095(94)90017-5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Gulledge, A. K., Gulledge, M. H., & Stahmann, R. F. (2003). Romantic physical affection types and relationship satisfaction. The American Journal of Family Therapy,31, 233–242.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Hajnal, A., Smith, G., & Norgren, R. (2004). Oral sucrose stimulation increases accumbens dopamine in the rat. American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology,286, R31–R37. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00282.2003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Herz, R. S., & Cahill, E. D. (1997). Differential use of sensory information in sexual behavior as a function of gender. Human Nature,8, 275–286.

    Google Scholar 

  36. Hodges-Simeon, C. R., Gaulin, S. J., & Puts, D. A. (2010). Different vocal parameters predict perceptions of dominance and attractiveness. Human Nature,21(4), 406–427.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Hodges-Simeon, C. R., Gaulin, S. J., & Puts, D. A. (2011). Voice correlates of mating success in men: examining “contests” versus “mate choice” modes of sexual selection. Archives of Sexual Behavior,40(3), 551–557.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Hofstede, G. (1980). Culture’s consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Hofstede, G. (1991). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind. London: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  40. Hofstede, G. (2011). Dimensionalizing cultures: The hofstede model in context. Online Readings in Psychology and Culture, 2(1). https://doi.org/10.9707/2307-0919.1014.

  41. Hofstede, G. (2015). Long-versus Short-Term Orientation in 10 minutes. Retrieved from https://www.google.ru/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=2ahUKEwjyoovbufPiAhUnlosKHSzVCj8QFjAAegQIBBAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fgeerthofstede.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F08%2FLong-Short-Term-Orientation-in-10-minutes-2015-09-05.pptx&usg=AOvVaw1dpL-iLa6cP6KZcRwBMN3Y. Also available at https://www.hofstede-insights.com.

  42. Hönekopp, J., Rudolph, U., Beier, L., Liebert, A., & Müller, C. (2007). Physical attractiveness of face and body as indicators of physical fitness in men. Evolution and Human Behavior,2, 106–111. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2006.09.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Hopper, R., Knapp, M. L., & Scott, L. (1981). Couples’ personal idioms: Exploring intimate talk. Journal of Communication,31, 23–33.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Hsu, H. (2003). National culture and clothing values: A cross-national study of Taiwan and United States consumers (Doctoral dissertation). Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Hughes, S. M., Dispenza, F., & Gallup, G. G., Jr. (2004). Ratings of voice attractiveness predict sexual behavior and body configuration. Evolution & Human Behavior,25, 295–304. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2004.06.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Hughes, S. M., Farley, S. D., & Rhodes, B. C. (2010). Vocal and physiological changes in response to the physical attractiveness of conversational partners. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior,34, 155–167. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-010-0087-9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. Hughes, S., & Gallup, G. (2003). Sex differences in morphological predictors of sexual behavior: Shoulder-to-hip and waist-to-hip ratios. Evolution and Human Behavior,24, 173–178.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Hughes, S. M., Harrison, M. A., & Gallup, G. G., Jr. (2002). The sound of symmetry: Voice as a marker of developmental instability. Evolution & Human Behavior,23, 173–180. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1090-5138(01)00099-X.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Hughes, S. M., Pastizzo, M. J., & Gallup, G. G., Jr. (2008). The sound of symmetry revisited: Subjective and objective analyses of voice. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior,33, 93–108. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-007-0042-6.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Inglehart, R. (1997). Modernization and postmodernization: Cultural, economic, and political change in 43 societies. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Inglehart, R. (2015). Measuring culture and cultural change: an introduction. In L. Harrison & E. G. Yasin (Eds.), Culture matters in Russia and everywhere: Backdrop for the Russia-Ukraine conflict (pp. 345–364). Lanham: Lexington Books.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Inglehart, R., & Baker, W. E. (2000). Modernization, cultural change, and the persistence of traditional values. American Sociological Review,65(1), 19–51. https://doi.org/10.2307/2657288.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Inglehart, R., & Welzel, C. (2005). Modernization, cultural change, and democracy: The human development sequence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Johnston, V. S., Hagel, R., Franklin, M., Fink, B., & Grammer, K. (2001). Male facial attractiveness: Evidence for hormone-mediated adaptive design. Evolution and Human Behavior,22, 251–267.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Karandashev, V. (2017). Romantic love in cultural contexts. New York, NY: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Keating, C. (1985). Gender and the physiognomy of dominance and attractiveness. Social Psychology Quarterly,48, 61–70.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Kornrich, S., Brines, J., & Leupp, K. (2013). Egalitarianism, housework, and sexual frequency in marriage. American Sociological Review,78(1), 26–50. https://doi.org/10.1177/0003122412472340.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Landolt, M. A., Lalumiere, M. L., & Quinsey, V. L. (1995). Sex differences in intra-sex variations in human mating tactics: An evolutionary approach. Ethology and Sociobiology,16, 3–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/0162-3095(94)00012-V.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. Lassek, W. D., & Gaulin, S. J. C. (2009). Costs and benefits of fat-free muscle mass in men: Relationship to mating success, dietary requirements and native immunity. Evolution and Human Behavior,30, 322–328.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Levine, R., Sato, S., Hashimoto, T., & Verma, J. (1995). Love and marriage in eleven cultures. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology,26(5), 554–571. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022195265007.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Lippa, R. A. (2007). The preferred traits of mates in a cross-national study of heterosexual and homosexual men and women: An examination of biological and cultural influences. Archives of Sexual Behavior,36(2), 193–208. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-006-9151-2.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  62. Little, A. C., Jones, B. C., DeBruine, L. M., & Caldwell, C. A. (2011). Social learning and human mate preferences: A potential mechanism for generating and maintaining between-population diversity in attraction. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,366(1563), 366–375.

    Google Scholar 

  63. Low, K. E. (2008). Scent and scent-sibilities: Smell and everyday life experiences. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  64. Luo, S., & Zhang, G. (2009). What leads to romantic attraction: similarity, reciprocity, security, or beauty? Evidence from a speed-dating study. Journal of Personality,77(4), 933–964. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.2009.00570.x.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  65. Malach Pines, A. (2001). The role of gender and culture in romantic attraction. European Psychologist,6(2), 96–102. https://doi.org/10.1027//1016-9040.6.2.96.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  66. Maner, J. K., Kenrick, D. T., Becker, D. V., Delton, A. W., Hofer, B., Wilbur, C. J., et al. (2003). Sexually selective cognition: Beauty captures the mind of the beholder. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,85(6), 1107. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.85.6.1107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  67. Marmot, M. (2005). Social determinants of health inequalities. Lancet,365, 1099–1104.

    Google Scholar 

  68. Marston, P. J., Hecht, M. L., Manke, M., McDanield, S., & Reeder, H. (1998). The subjective experience of intimacy, passion, and commitment in heterosexual loving relationships. Personal Relationships,5, 15–30.

    Google Scholar 

  69. Masuda, T., Gonzalez, R., Kwan, L., & Nisbett, R. E. (2008). Culture and aesthetic preference: Comparing the attention to context of East Asians and Americans. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,34(9), 1260–1275. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167208320555.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Matsumoto, D. (2006). Culture and nonverbal behavior. In V. Manusov & M. L. Patterson (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of nonverbal communication (pp. 219–236). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  71. McDermott, J. H. (2012). Auditory preferences and aesthetics: Music, voices, and everyday sounds. In R. J. Dolan & T. Sharot (Eds.), Neuroscience of preference and choice: Cognitive and neural mechanisms (pp. 227–256). San Diego, CA: Academic Press/Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  72. Mogilina, A. A., Litvinova, N. A., Shabaldin, A. V., Kazin, E. M., Zubrikova, K. U., Bedareva, A. V., et al. (2013). Influence of perfumes on odor attractiveness and reproductive behavior in young people. Valeology, 2, 62–22 [Moгилинa A.A., Литвинoвa H.A., Шaбaлдин A.B., Кaзин Э.M., Зyбpикoвa К.Ю., Бeдapeвa A.B., Цeпoкинa A.B. Bлияниe пapфюмepныx oдopaнтoв нa зaпaxoвyю пpивлeкaтeльнocть и peпpoдyктивнoe пoвeдeниe y мoлoдыx людeй. Baлeoлoгия, 2, 62–66].

  73. Mueller, U., & Mazur, A. (2001). Evidence of unconstrained directional selection for male tallness. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology,50, 302–311.

    Google Scholar 

  74. Neto, F., Pinto, M., & Furnham, A. (2012). Sex and culture similarities and differences in long-term partner preferences. Journal of Relationships Research,3, 57–66. https://doi.org/10.1017/jrr.2012.4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  75. Nevid, J. S. (1984). Sex differences in factors of romantic attraction. Sex Roles,11(5–6), 401–411. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00287468.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  76. Norenzayan, A., Schaller, M., & Heine, S. J. (2006). Evolution and culture. In M. Schaller, J. A. Simpson, & D. T. Kenrick (Eds.), Evolution and social psychology (pp. 343–366). New York: Psychology Press.

    Google Scholar 

  77. Patzer, G. L. (1985). The physical attractiveness phenomenon. New York, NY: Plenum Press.

    Google Scholar 

  78. Pawlowski, B., Dunbar, R. I. M., & Lipowicz, D. I. (2000). Evolutionary fitness: Tall men have more reproductive success. Nature,403, 156. https://doi.org/10.1038/35003107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Pazzaglia, M. (2015). Body and odors: Not just molecules, after all. Psychological Science,24, 329–333.

    Google Scholar 

  80. Pierce, J. D., Cohen, A. B., & Ulrich, P. M. (2004). Responsivity to two odorants, androstenone and amyl acetate, and the affective impact of odors on interpersonal relationships. Journal of Comparative Psychology,118, 14–19. https://doi.org/10.1037/0735-7036.118.1.14.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Pinel, J. P. J. (1997). Biospychology. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

    Google Scholar 

  82. Pisanski, K., & Feinberg, D. R. (2013). Cross-cultural variation in mate preferences for averageness, symmetry, body size, and masculinity. Cross-Cultural Research,47(2), 162–197. https://doi.org/10.1177/1069397112471806.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  83. Pisanski, K., Jones, B. C., Fink, B., O’Connor, J. J., DeBruine, L. M., Röder, S., et al. (2016). Voice parameters predict sex-specific body morphology in men and women. Animal Behaviour, 112, 13–22.

    Google Scholar 

  84. Puts, D. A. (2005). Mating context and menstrual phase affect women’s preferences for male voice pitch. Evolution and Human Behavior,26, 388–397. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2005.03.001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  85. Ray, G. B., Ray, E. B., & Zahn, C. J. (1991). Speech behavior and social evaluation: An examination of medical messages. Communication Quarterly,2, 47–57. https://doi.org/10.1080/01463379109369790.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  86. Regan, P. C., & Berscheid, E. (1995). Gender differences in beliefs about the causes of male and female sexual desire. Personal Relations,2, 345–358.

    Google Scholar 

  87. Regan, P. C., Levin, L., Gate, R., Sprecher, S., & Christopher, F. S. (2000). Partner preferences: What characteristics do men and women desire in their short-term sexual and long-term romantic partners? Journal of Psychology and Human Sexuality,12(3), 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1300/J056v12n03_01.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  88. Reinarz, J. (2014). Past scents: Historical perspectives on smell. Champaign: University of Illinois Press.

    Google Scholar 

  89. Ren, D., Tan, K., Arriaga, X. B., & Chan, K. Q. (2015). Sweet love: The effects of sweet taste experience on romantic perceptions. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships,32, 905–921.

    Google Scholar 

  90. Rhodes, G., Simmons, L. W., & Peters, M. (2005). Attractiveness and sexual behavior: Does attractiveness enhance mating success? Evolution and Human Behavior,26, 186–201.

    Google Scholar 

  91. Riding, D., Lonsdale, D., & Brown, B. (2006). The effects of average fundamental frequency and variance of fundamental frequency on male vocal attractiveness to women. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior,30, 55–61. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-006-0005-3.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  92. Roach-Higgins, M. E., & Eicher, J. B. (1992). Dress and identity. Clothing and Textiles Research Journal,10(4), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1177/0887302X9201000401.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  93. Saegert, S., Swap, W., & Zajonc, R. B. (1983). Exposure, context, and interpersonal attraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,25, 234–242. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0033965.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  94. Schmitt, D., Alcalay, L., Allensworth, M., Allik, J., Ault, L., Austers, I., et al. (2004). Patterns and universals of adult romantic attachment across 62 cultural regions. Are models of self and of other pancultural constructs? Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology,35(4), 367–402. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022022104266105.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  95. Schug, J., Matsumoto, D., Horita, Y., Yamagishi, T., & Bonnet, K. (2010). Emotional expressivity as a signal of cooperation. Evolution and Human Behavior,31(2), 87–94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2009.09.006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  96. Schwartz, S. H. (2006). Theory of cultural value orientations: Explication and applications. Comparative Sociology,5(2–3), 137–182. https://doi.org/10.1163/156913306778667357.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  97. Shackelford, T. K., Schmitt, D. P., & Buss, D. M. (2005). Universal dimensions of human mate preferences. Personality and Individual Differences,39(2), 447–458. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2005.01.023.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  98. Shaw, G. (2008). The multisensory image and emotion in poetry. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts,2, 175–178. https://doi.org/10.1037/1931-3896.2.3.175.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  99. Singh, D., & Bronstad, P. (2001). Female body odour is a potential cue to ovulation. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences,268, 797–801. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2001.1589.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  100. Smith, M. M. (2007). Sensing the past: Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching in history. Berkeley: University of California Press.

    Google Scholar 

  101. Smith, R., & Klases, A. (2016). Predictors of love attitudes: The contribution of cultural orientation, gender, attachment style, relationship length and age in participants from the UK and Hong Kong. Interpersona,10(1), 90–108. https://doi.org/10.5964/ijpr.v10i1.204.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  102. Sodavari, M., Ansari Shahidi, M., Hosseini Almadani, S. A., Moazedian, A., & Sabet Imani, M. (2014). The role of pleasant and unpleasant odors in the individual and social attractiveness. Journal of Educational and Management Studies,4, 311–315.

    Google Scholar 

  103. Spaiser, V., Ranganathan, S., Mann, R. P., & Sumpter, D. J. (2014). The dynamics of democracy, development and cultural values. PLoS ONE,9(6), e97856.

    Google Scholar 

  104. Stone, E., Shackelford, T., & Buss, D. (2008). Socioeconomic Development and Shifts in Mate Preferences. Evolutionary Psychology,6, 447–455. https://doi.org/10.1177/147470490800600309.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  105. Swami, V., & Furnham, A. (2008). The psychology of physical attraction. New York, NY: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  106. Swami, V., Furnham, A., & Joshi, K. (2008). The influence of skin tone, hair length, and hair colour on ratings of women’s physical attractiveness, health and fertility. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology,49(5), 429–437.

    Google Scholar 

  107. Symons, D. (1979). The evolution of human sexuality. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  108. Thornhill, R., & Gangestad, S. W. (1999). The scent of symmetry: A human sex pheromone that signals fitness? Evolution and Human Behavior,20, 175–201. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1090-5138(99)00005-7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  109. Thornhill, R., & Grammer, K. (1999). The body and face of woman: One ornament that signals quality? Evolution and Human Behavior,20(2), 105–120. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1090-5138(98)00044-0.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  110. Tooke, W., & Camire, L. (1991). Patterns of deception in intersexual and intrasexual mating strategies. Ethology and Sociobiology,12, 345–364. https://doi.org/10.1016/0162-3095(91)90030-T.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  111. Tuomi, S. K., & Fisher, J. E. (1979). Characteristics of a simulated sexy voice. Folia Phoniatrica,31, 242–249.

    Google Scholar 

  112. Ubillos, S., Páez, D., & González, J. L. (2000). Culture and sexual behavior. Psicothema, Suplemento,12, 70–82.

    Google Scholar 

  113. United Nations Development Program (2015). Human Development Report 2015: Work for Human Development. Retrieved from http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/2015_human_development_report.pdf.

  114. Vroon, P., van Amerongen, A., & de Vries, H. (1997). Smell: The secret seducer. (Trans. P. Vincent). New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

  115. World Values Survey. Wave 6 2010-2014. Official Aggregate v.20150418. World Values Survey Association. www.worldvaluessurvey.org.

  116. Wedekind, C., & Füri, S. (1997). Body odour preferences in men and women: Do they aim for specific MHC combinations or simply heterozygosity? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences,264, 1471–1479. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.1997.0204.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  117. Wong, S., & Goodwin, R. (2009). The impact of work on marriage in three cultures: A qualitative study. Community, Work and Family,12(2), 213–232. https://doi.org/10.1080/13668800902778975.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  118. Yuki, M., Maddux, W. W., & Masuda, T. (2007). Are the windows to the soul the same in the East and West? Cultural differences in using the eyes and mouth as cues to recognize emotions in Japan and the United States. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology,43(2), 303–311.

    Google Scholar 

  119. Zuckerman, M., & Driver, R. E. (1989). What sounds beautiful is good: The vocal attractiveness stereotype. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior,13(2), 67–82.

    Google Scholar 

  120. Zuckerman, M., & Miyake, K. (1993). The attractive voice: What makes it so? Journal of Nonverbal Behavior,17, 119–135. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01001960.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Victor Karandashev.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Karandashev, V., Zarubko, E., Artemeva, V. et al. Cross-Cultural Comparison of Sensory Preferences in Romantic Attraction. Sexuality & Culture 24, 23–53 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12119-019-09628-0

Download citation

Keywords

  • Romantic attraction
  • Sensory preferences
  • Socioeconomic and cultural parameters
  • Cultural values
  • Modernization of societies