It is a fact that if men and women were not sexually attracted to one another, there would be no people on Earth.
However, this process of attraction is rather complex, and it requires a significant amount of biological explanation and also different types of learning.
EVENTS THAT HAPPENED BEFORE BIRTH
Many types of research on gender orientation show that hormonal events that occurred before birth can affect the person’s sexual preferences and to whom they are attracted. For instance, if the female baby is exposed to a high number of hormones in the womb when the mother hasn’t stopped taking diethylstilbestrol (a discontinued contraceptive), then the baby is likely to grow up being more sexually attracted to women.
Also, childhood has been a major focus during the time when gender differences in behavior happen. And this is not entirely a case of imitating others on the premise that aggression and gender differences in robust physical activity are connected to the effects of testosterone during prenatal development. Because otherwise, children would have developed a strong expectation that they should marry a person of the other gender simply by observing love and marriage around them, in their community.
PUBERTY AS ANOTHER BEGINNING
Puberty is still considered to be the mark for sexual awakening, at least for most of the boys because of the production of sex hormones that trigger sexual desire in their brain.
Girls, on the other hand, are more precocious than boys and they indicate some types of sexual behavior that precedes puberty. For instance, an aversion of the gaze and lowering of the eyelids is considered to be a flirting gesture in very young girls.
In general, though, puberty is known to increase the sexual attraction to the other gender in most boys and girls.
FETISHES AND PAVLOVIAN CONDITIONING
This phenomenon that was noticed during controversial experiments where male subjects were getting sexually aroused to the image of a pair of black boots that initially didn’t produce an erotic response. However, when the black boots were along a nude picture of an attractive lady, the male subjects got sexually aroused. What’s interesting is that they were still aroused when the nude photograph was no longer shown and there was only the picture of the black boots.
Those results showed a noteworthy flexibility in the sexual attraction in humans. One of the implications of this is that people in stable relationships are sexually responsive to certain aspects of their partner. So, they are sexually conditioned to be sexually aroused around their partner.
TRADITIONS AND FASHIONS
In undeveloped countries, men seem to be more attracted to women who have a large amount of fat stored in their body as opposed to in developed countries where men are more attracted to thin women.
This is explained by the fact that in societies where there is a lack of food, having body fat helps the women with the challenges of pregnancy and breastfeeding. In developed countries, however, where there is plenty to eat, women who are slender are perceived as more successful and attractive.
When it comes to men, they shave their beards as a means of tuning down their sexuality. Namely, beards are more popular in conservative societies where there is a lack of premarital sex. So, shaving the beard is a sign of transparency and honesty in a society where premarital sex is common and women are seduced and abandoned.
So far this is only related to physical attraction. The psychological aspects of attraction and mate selection are of course more complex and more important. They vary from religion, social status, and politics, to family ties, leisure interests, intelligence, and personal compatibility.