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The Science of Sex Appeal (2009)

The elusive qualities of sex appeal are examined through the lens of science in this probing documentary, which reveals the evolution and function of every component of human attraction. In... See full summary »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Alan Dunn ...
Lead Male
...
Narrator (voice)
Farrah Shaikh ...
Lead Female
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Lee Bowes ...
Herself
Lucy L. Brown ...
Herself - Neuroscientist
Lori Caulfield ...
Herself
Peter Cove ...
Himself
Lisa DeBruine ...
Herself - Psychologist, University of Aberdeen
David Feinberg ...
Himself - Psychologist, McMaster University, Canada
Helen Fisher ...
Herself - Biological Anthropologist, Rutgers University
Gordon Gallup ...
Himself - Psychologist, University at Albany
Karl Grammer ...
Himself - Evolutionary Biologist, University of Vienna, Austria
Julia Grob ...
Herself
Martie Haselton ...
Herself - Psychologist, UCLA
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Storyline

The elusive qualities of sex appeal are examined through the lens of science in this probing documentary, which reveals the evolution and function of every component of human attraction. In this study of the science behind "chemistry," you'll learn how the subtlest sounds, sights and smells can affect sex appeal, and how genetic, hormonal and neurological factors create sparks between people. Written by Anonymous

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8 February 2009 (USA)  »

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Failed in its exploration of the complexities of sexuality
9 February 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

While perhaps a good insight into some of the motivators and drivers of sexual attraction, there is something vital lacking in this documentary

  • that being, the diversity of sexuality and sexual orientation.




The documentary tries to develop a theory of sexual attraction as if all sexuality is driven by the suitability of a partner for the creation of healthy offspring, and theorizes how each of our senses function to achieve that goal.

Yet any theory of sexuality which does not consider its diversity is flawed, and if I might go further, inherently wrong in the most fundamental sense. It is unfortunate that psychological theories or conceptual constructions do not undergo the same level of scrutiny found in other scientific disciplines such as physics. When cosmologists discovered that gravity was not all that was at play in the orbits of stars around their galactic cores; when they discovered that other forces apart from gravity were at play, they searched to discover the nature of these forces and tried to incorporate them in their view of the universe.

Our view of sexuality is incomplete if the propensity for homosexual attraction, evident throughout the animal kingdom, is ignored. Just as one cannot describe the nature of cosmic forces through gravity alone; so is it wrong to describe the nature of sexuality without seeing the complete picture. Sexual diversity is something common to birds, reptiles, fish and mammals alike. Our closest genetic cousin, the Bonobo acts entirely bisexuality (50% of sexual encounters are with those of the same sex). As appealing as a 'heterocentrist' theory of sexuality may be in ensuring that the insecurities of the masses remain quelled, in the words of the great mathematician and philosopher Betrand Russell...

"Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficent social effects if it were believed. But look only, and solely, at what are the facts."


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