Why We’re Attracted to the People We’re Attracted To

A BU sociologist, biological anthropologist, and playwright offer their perspectives on human attraction

Video by Devin Hahn and Photos by Jackie Ricciardi for BU Today

Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash
In the video above, three BU faculty members offer insights into human attraction.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, romance is in the air. Ever wonder why we’re attracted to one person, but not another? It turns out, human attraction is a deeply complicated issue, with both biological and sociological underpinnings.

To help us better understand attraction, Boston University sought out three College of Arts & Sciences professors from different fields of study: Nazli Kibria, a professor of sociology, has for many years been teaching a course on the sociology of families, which touches on the complicated question of human partner selection; Eva Garrett, an assistant professor of anthropology, studies pheromones and the potential role smell plays in human attraction; and playwright Takeo Rivera, an assistant professor of English, writes plays that explore issues of sexuality and social capital.

While they may not help you figure out if that special person you have your eye on is really that into you, they offer some illumination into what draws us to certain people.

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Cutting-edge research and commentary out of Boston University, home to Nobel laureates, Pulitzer winners and Guggenheim Scholars. Find an expert: bu.edu/experts

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