Does a Law on Human Attraction

“Opposites attract” is a law of attraction, at least where electromagnetism is concerned. But are there laws about attraction between two people? “In a world that is full of strangers” as a line in a famous song of the 1980’s
goes, is there a clear set of rules that allows two people to fall for each other?

Is attraction a matter of chemistry?

Maybe. According to scientists, the attraction between animals of the
opposite sex is all about chemicals called pheromones. The effect of
pheromones in behavior of insects is the most studied to date. It has
been observed, at least in some experiments, that pheromones are
responsible for communication among same species and colony of ants.

The horrible odor released by skunks to ward off enemies is said to be
a kind of pheromone. Some species of apes rub pheromone-containing
urine on the feet of potential mates to attract them. Some scientists
believe that animals (usually the females) such as insects and mammals
send out these chemical signals to tell the male of their species that
their genes are different from theirs.

This gene diversity is important in producing offspring with better chances of survival. The perfume industry has capitalized on pheromones as a means to increase one’s sexual attractiveness to the opposite sex. Animals such as the whale and the musk deer were hunted down for these chemicals.

Lately, scientists are looking into the existence of human pheromones
and its role in mate selection. There are many conflicting views in the
realm of biology, chemistry, genetics, and psychology. Most scientists
would assert that these do not exist, or if they do, do not play a role
in sexual attraction between a man and a woman. But new researches such
as that conducted by Swiss researchers from the University of Bern led
by Klaus Wedekind are slowly making these scientists rethink their

Their experiment involved women sniffing the cotton shirts of
different men during their ovulation period. It was found out that
women prefer the smell of men’s shirts that were genetically
different, but also shared similarities with the women’s

This, like in the case of insects and other mammals, was to
ensure better and healthier characteristics for their future children.
But researchers also cautioned that preference for a male odor is
affected by the women’s ovulation period, the food that men
eat, perfumes and other scented body products, and the use of
contraceptive pills.

Does personality figure in sexual attraction?

Yes, but so does your perception of a potential mate’s personality. According to a research conducted by Klohnen, E.C., & S. Luo in 2003 on interpersonal attraction and personality, a person’s sense of self-security and at least the person’s perception of his/her partner were found to be
strong determinants of attraction in hypothetical situations.

What does this tell us? We prefer a certain personality type, which attracts you to a person. But aside from the actual personality of the person, which
can only be verified through close interaction through time, it is your
perception of your potential partner that attracts you to him/her,
whether the person of your affection truly has that kind of personality
or not. This could probably account for a statement commonly heard from
men and women on their failed relationships: “I thought he/she was this kind of person.”

So how does attraction figure in relationships?

You have probably heard that attraction is a prelude, or a factor
towards a relationship. Most probably, at least in the beginning; but
attraction alone cannot make a relationship work. It is that attraction
that makes you notice a person from the opposite sex, but once you get
to know the person more, attraction is just one consideration. Shared
values, dreams, and passions become more significant in long-term

So should I stop trying to become attractive?

More than trying to become physically attractive, work on all aspects
of your health: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Physical
attraction is still a precursor. Remember, biology predisposes us to
choose the partner with the healthiest genes. Where your emotions are
concerned, just ask this to yourself: would you want to spend time with
a person who feels insecure about him/herself?

Probably not! There is wisdom in knowing yourself: who you are, your beliefs, values, and dreams. And do not pretend to be someone you are not. Fooling another person by making him/her think that you share the same values and beliefs is only going to cause you both disappointments.

When you are healthy in all aspects, attractiveness becomes a consequence and not an end. As mentioned in the Klohnen and Luo’s research, a
person’s sense of self-security matters, perhaps even beyond
attraction. But remember: do these things for yourself and not for
other people. Only then can you truly harness your attractiveness as a

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Diane Higgins

"Be your authentic self it's the path to success."-Psychologist Diane Higgins has authored numerous papers and has lectured extensively helping people find their authentic self, learn to be being purposeful and develop positive thinking. Diane is the author and/or editor of our Self Help Section.
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