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People With This Eye Color Are the Most Attractive, New Study Says

Research finds that on average, men and women prefer different hues.

Age-old wisdom tells us that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But what if at least some of the beauty was also literally in the eye of the subject? In the era of online dating apps where swiping decisions happen with barely a first impression, it can be frustrating to figure out exactly what stands out in a sea of photos. But according to new research, your eye color can also play a small part in how attractive someone finds you to be. Read on to see which type of eye tends to be the most eye-catching.

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Research finds that the most attractive eye color in males is blue…

A close up of a man's blue eye

In a recent study, the U.K.-based contact lens retailer Lenstore used photos of one male and one female subject to be used in each of their dating profiles. Researchers then used image editing software to change the color of their eyes to blue, brown, green, hazel, black, and purple to determine how eye color might affect how many potential dates they would match with using the same photos across three different dating apps.

Results found that blue was the most attractive eye color in males, garnering 47 out of 173 total matches—or 27.17 percent. The next most popular color was brown, with 21.97 percent of votes, followed by green with 16.76 percent, hazel with 15.03 percent, and black with 10.98 percent. Purple—which is not a naturally possible color—received the lowest score with 8.09 percent of all matches.

…While hazel was found to be the most attractive eye color in females.

A close up of a woman's hazel eye

When it came to the most attractive eye color in females, the results were very different. Hazel eyes topped the list as the most popular, with 65 out of 322 total matches—or 20.19 percent. Purple received just one less match, however, giving it 19.88 percent. Interestingly, eye colors that were more popular in males were closer to the bottom of the list, with black getting 17.7 percent of matches, blue receiving 17.39 percent, and brown taking in 13.35 percent. Green eyes received the fewest matches with 11.49 percent.

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Experts say past experiences could affect someone's eye color preference.

things women don't understand about men

Of course, attraction differs from person to person, and the overall number of people with each different eye color could also be a factor in what we consider novel. According to data from World Atlas, brown is the most common eye color, covering 70 to 79 percent of the human population. Blue is the second most common at eight to ten percent of people worldwide, and hazel and amber both clock in at five percent. Green is the least common with just two percent of the population.

But when it comes to our preference of eye color, some experts believe that we may be primed to favor one hue over the other through early life experiences.

"If you prefer blue eyes, for example, it may be that you just have good past experiences as a child where happier feelings and positive hormones were released due to feeling safe with that person, and your memory may be recalling those moments when searching for a future partner or date," Ness Cooper, a sex and relationship coach, said of the study's results. "Although research on this is still limited, it may be that we like eye colors similar to the caregivers we had when younger due to the bonding that happens through hormonal releases when we're small, rather than a direct link to genetic family and eye preference. "

Other experts say our expectations of beauty have been set by popular culture and the media.

Woman looking at her face in the mirror
wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock

Similar to how our early experiences might affect how we covet different colors of eyes, experts also say that expectations set by beauty standards are also likely to play a role in how we look at other people's lookers.

"Cultural factors often dictate the collective consciousness of what is deemed attractive. Typically, blonde hair and blue eyes were highly valued and often emphasized and portrayed in the media," Alexander Lapa, MD, a psychiatrist at Ocean Recovery Centre in the U.K., said in a press release. "While we all have our specific preferences, we have often been subject to conditioning to what is deemed socially attractive. The recent rise in popularity of social media only perpetuated this."

RELATED: The Surprising Sign a Woman Finds You Attractive, New Study Says.

Zachary Mack
Zach is a freelance writer specializing in beer, wine, food, spirits, and travel. He is based in Manhattan. Read more
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