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The science of dating: Body shape

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Apart from pheromones, body shape is the other main way we use to work out whether a bloke is attractive or not.

Shape and symmetry supposedly tell our subconscious minds all sorts of things about fitness and genetic health. So if the features on your face or elsewhere on your body aren't even, then they are a clue to possible genetic problems.

This means that a wonky nose isn't just a wonky nose, it's a sign that your genes could be a bit of a mess. Sorry about that.

It also seems that men are very concerned about looking for balanced features, while women are distracted by pheromones. A recent study at the University of New Mexico found that male college students preferred symmetrical female faces and discovered that symmetrically-featured women had more sexual partners and were sexually active at a younger age.

Men have also been shown to prefer women with a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7. You can work this out by dividing your waist measurement by the inches around your hips.

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This figure supposedly relates to physical fitness and fertility and doesn't really matter what you weight, which is comforting to those of us trying to drop a dress size.

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