|Title of host publication||Encyclopedia of evolutionary psychological science|
|Editors||Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana Weekes-Shackleford|
|Place of Publication||Cham, Switzerland|
|Number of pages||5|
|ISBN (Print)||9783319196497, 9783319196510|
|Publication status||Published - 06 Sept 2017|
Researchers have advanced a range of hypotheses to explain why individuals perceive some phenotypic traits as attractive. One such hypothesis is that these phenotypic traits act as cues that reveal valid information about the bearer’s underlying physiological health. Choosing healthy long-term (or even short-term) mating partners confers obvious fitness benefits. Understanding precisely what aspects of health such traits reflect is not always straightforward. Modern medicine and abundant high calorie food (at least in Western diets) has likely weakened, obscured, or even modified ancestral relationships between health and some phenotypic traits. Further complexities arise from the breadth of states (such as current nutritional state, and disease burden) and traits (MHC heterozygosity and immunocompetence) that contribute to an individual’s health.