The Rules of Attraction

Looks aren’t everything: We pick partners based on an intricate calculus of who we think will make us happy.

love-candies
The simple story of pleasure is that animals evolve to enjoy what’s good for them; pleasure is the carrot that drives them toward reproductively useful activities. (Pain is the stick.) It feels good to drink when thirsty and eat when hungry because animals that were inclined to feel such joys left more offspring than those that weren’t. This logic easily applies to sex. If one animal seeks out opportunities for mating and the other is indifferent, then, all else being equal, the firs...
DSC-CV1217web

The full text of this article is available to Discover Magazine subscribers only.

Subscribe and get 10 issues packed with:
  • The latest news, theories and developments in the world of science
  • Compelling stories and breakthroughs in health, medicine and the mind
  • Environmental issues and their relevance to daily life
  • Cutting-edge technology and its impact on our future
Already a subscriber? Register now!
Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on DiscoverMagazine.com, please log in.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
DSC-CV1217web
+