Why contestants on Winter Love Island are more likely to find love than those on the summer version, according to scientists
- Love Island starts tonight with the second ever series to take place in winter
- Islanders may have a better chance at love than those on the summer version
- Studies show that men find female bodies more attractive during winter
- The ‘novelty’ of sunshine in January could also make them more receptive to love
Reality fans rejoice – the new season of Love Island starts tonight, with 10 new islanders ready and waiting to start their quest for love.
This will be the second ever series to take place during the winter, with the islanders shipped over to a brand new villa near Cape Town in South Africa.
While contestants will be spending their days in the sunshine just like those on the summer version, studies suggest they could benefit further from joining the show in January.
MailOnline takes a look at why replacing the rain and dark evenings in the UK with temperatures of up to 86°F (30°C) might help the singles find love.
The new season of Love Island is starting tonight with 10 new islanders ready and waiting to start their quest for love. This will be the second ever series to take place during the winter, with the islanders shipped over to a brand new villa near Cape Town in South Africa. Left: Winners of the last winter series Paige Turley and Finley Tapp. Right: Winners of the last summer series Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu and Davide Sanclimenti
The Winter Love Island series start on Monday January 16 at 9pm, airing on ITV2, and streaming on ITVX.
Fans will meet the new Islanders in the luxurious villa in South Africa on Blue Monday, which is said to be the most depressing day of the year.
The series will be hosted by Maya Jama for the first time after she replaced Laura Whitmore, and the grand finale will take place in eight weeks time on March 13.
Men find women’s bodies more attractive in winter
A 2008 study found that men actually find women’s bodies more attractive during the winter months than in the summer.
Researchers from the University of Wrocław in Poland asked 114 heterosexual men to rate photos of women in spring, summer, autumn and winter in 2005.
They found that participants gave higher scores for body shape and breast attractiveness in the winter, and lowest in the summer.
They hypothesised that this was the result of the ‘contrast effect’ – when a bias towards something is inflated because of its extreme difference to the alternative.
The authors wrote: ‘More frequent exposure to women’s bodies in warmer seasons might increase men’s attractiveness criteria for women’s body shape and breasts.’
Their point was supported by the fact that attraction towards the faces in the photos did not change throughout the seasons.
The finding means that the single ladies spending the next two months cracking on in the Love Island villa could appear more attractive to the male islanders than those in the summer version.
A 2008 study revealed that men find women’s bodies more attractive during the winter months than in the summer. Pictured: Average attractiveness assessments by men in five studied seasons
The finding means that the single ladies spending the next two months cracking on could appear more attractive to the male islanders than those in the summer version. Pictured: Gemma Owen raises Luca Bish’s heart rate in Love Island 2022
‘Novelty’ of good weather makes islanders more receptive to love
Many studies have linked summer love to the blazing sunshine that comes with that time of year.
Helen Fisher, chief scientific officer for Match.com, says that sun exposure decreases the production of the hormone melatonin, which causes sluggishness.
She told The Washington Post: ‘As light hits the retina, it goes into the pineal gland and slows the production of melatonin.
‘That’s what gives you that light spring in your step, the feeling of giddiness and euphoria.
‘As the melatonin recedes and the light begins to affect the brain, there’s every reason to think that people will simply be more attractive as partners.’
Dr Michael F. Holick, an endocrinologist and medical professor at Boston University, says that this lack of melatonin makes you more open to new ideas, but isn’t the only way sunshine aids love.
He told Women’s Health: ‘Exposure to sunlight triggers the body to produce mood-boosting dopamine and serotonin, plus a hormone called MSH – all of which spur your libido.’
Many studies have linked an increase in successful relationships to the summer due to the blazing sunshine that accompanies that time of year. Pictured: Paige Thorne, Adam Collard, Dami Hope and Indiyah Polack enjoy the sunshine on Love Island 2022
The islanders will have all recently left the UK, where it is cold, dark, wet and even expecting snow over the next few days. Any rays they catch at their luxurious villa in South Africa will provide more of a contrast to life back home than it would if it was summer. Pictured: The boys of winter Love Island 2023 prepare to couple up
Studies back this up, as scientists from Southern Brittany University found that women are more receptive to flirting when the sun is out.
They asked an ‘attractive’ 20-year-old man to approach women aged between 18 and 25 walking alone in the street and ask them for their phone number.
It was found that 22.4 per cent of the women provided their phone number during sunny days, but this reduced to 13.9 per cent during cloudy days.
‘Positive mood induction by the sun may explain such results,’ the authors wrote.
‘These results also supported the notion that receptivity to a courtship request addressed by a man to a woman is influenced by environmental factors.’
Another study from Kafkas University in Turkey tested the levels of testosterone in 80 men aged between 20 and 35 years old in winter and summer.
It found that levels were lower in January and February than in July and August, suggesting that men feel friskier in summer too.
Love Island bosses have reportedly splashed out on a £1.2M villa which will see the contestants compete like Gladiators to win the show’s sportiest season yet
According to The Sun, the lavish mansion in South Africa boasts a zip line, 400m running track as well as both rugby and football pitches
Both the winter and summer versions of Love Island take place in countries which see warm weather at their respective times of year.
This means that any links between sunshine and finding love is unlikely to benefit one cast over the other.
However, Ms Fisher has linked the successes people have with finding love in the spring to the ‘novelty’ of having sunshine after winter.
She told MPR News: ‘There is so much more colour, new smells, people take their clothes off and you can see more of them.
‘And so there is a lot of new stimuli that trigger the brain and drive up dopamine, and make you more susceptible to love.’
The islanders will have all recently left the UK, where it is cold, dark, wet and even expecting snow over the next few days.
Any rays they catch at their luxurious villa in South Africa will therefore provide more of a contrast to life back home than it would if it was summer.
‘Cuffing season’ isn’t over
The weeks leading up to Christmas where singles start to search for a partner with a little bit more urgency than during the rest of the year is known as ‘cuffing season’.
This desire to partner up is thought to be motivated in equal parts by the romance of the season and the onset of colder weather.
While it may seem like a modern term created to encapsulate the feeling of wanting someone to watch rom-coms with while sipping a hot chocolate, its origins could be much older.
Dr James Coan, a neuroscientist from the University of Virginia, told Insider that humans have evolved to want to press their bodies together when cold.
This instinct, dubbed ‘social thermoregulation’, aided survival through harsh weather, and it could thus be triggered by winter today.
So, while it may be warm in South Africa, the British contestants of Love Island may still benefit from a residual desire to couple up thanks to the time of year.
While it may be warm in South Africa, the British contestants of Love Island may still benefit from a residual desire to couple up thanks to the time of year. Pictured: Chris Hughes and Olivia Attwood of Love Island 2017
New villa encourages exercise more
Love Island bosses have reportedly splashed out on a £1.2M villa which will see the contestants compete like Gladiators to win the show’s sportiest season yet.
According to The Sun, the lavish mansion in South Africa boasts a zip line, a 400m running track as well as both rugby and football pitches.
The spectacular home also features its very own river rapids alongside 50-metre swimming lanes in a vast lake.
It is named Ludus Magnus after a Gladiator school in ancient Rome where where slaves battled for their lives against armoured gladiator in front of baying Romans.
And, according to science, the couples that work out together stay together.
A study from George Mason University in Virginia, USA found that exercise increases the chance of you experiencing a positive social interaction the next day.
That’s because physical exertion stimulates the body’s release of endorphins – hormones that trigger positive feelings of joy, contentment and delight.
Working out also brings about a reaction similar to that experienced when you are attracted to someone – with sweat, a raised pulse and shortness of breath, for example.
A 1974 study found that men were more likely to be attracted to a woman after crossing a wobbly suspension bridge and expressing the physical symptoms of nerves.
The researchers hypothesised this was the result of them attributing these symptoms to sexual arousal rather than their anxiety on the bridge.
Other studies have shown that physiological arousal drives attraction to one’s partner and increases relationship satisfaction.
Therefore, the increased sports facilities provided to this year’s islanders may work to increase their attraction to each other, and help them find love.
The increased sports facilities provided to this year’s islanders may work to increase their attraction to each other, and help them find love. Pictured: Davide and Ekin-Su work out
Islanders are acting on New Year’s resolutions
The first Sunday of January has recently been dubbed ‘Dating Sunday’, as it is known to be the busiest day of the year on dating apps.
Tinder revealed that it sees 10 per cent more singles using the app than usual on Dating Sunday, and 35 per cent more Swipe activity.
Laura Wilkinson-Rea, Senior Director of Communications for Northern Europe at Tinder, told MailOnline: ‘Dating Sunday tends to be the day the people have finished with the festivities and have some time for themselves.
‘It’s a time of year where people are investing in themselves and deciding what the next 12 month will hold for them.
‘For those that are single, they use this time to spruce up their dating app profile and actively look to get back out there and see where a swipe could lead.’
While the Love Island contestants won’t have access to dating apps while in the villa, they may arrive imbued with more of a desire to couple up than those on the summer series. Pictured: Haris Namani, 21, from Doncaster, and Shaq Muhammad, 24, an airport security officer from London, heading into the villa for the first time
But Dating Sunday is just the pinnacle of what is a busy time on dating apps, as many singletons start to follow up on their New Year’s Resolutions.
These could include promises to put themselves out there more, try out new things or make this year the year they get into a successful long term relationship.
This period is known to last up until around Valentine’s Day, as people prioritise dating in order to meet someone special.
Annabelle Knight, relationships expert at Lovehoney, told MailOnline: ‘The “New Year New Me” philosophy has people wanting to try new things, re-trying old things or resolving to do something for themselves, and dating is often near the top of these lists.’
A combination of sunshine, exercise and increased desire to couple up may see the contestants on the latest Love Island be more lucky in love than their predecessors. Pictured: The boys from the 2023 winter series chat to new host Maya Jama
While the Love Island contestants won’t have access to dating apps while in the villa, they may arrive imbued with more of a desire to couple up than those on the summer series.
A combination of sunshine, exercise and increased desire to couple up may see the contestants on the latest Love Island be more lucky in love than their predecessors.
Paige Turley and Finley Tapp won the last series to be aired in January through to March in 2020, and they are still together today.
Love Island starts tonight at 9pm, airing on ITV2, and streaming on ITVX.
LOVE ISLAND 2023: MEET THE CONTESTANTS
Name: Tanya Manhenga
Occupation: Student and model
Something not many people know about her: ‘I have Vitiligo, which is a skin pigmentation, you may not even notice it.’
‘It’s on my lip and I have a stripe on my hair. Not many people know that but I think it’s quite cute.’
‘I don’t care about covering it up all the time, I think it’s a vibe.’
Name: Lana Jenkins
Occupation: Makeup artist
Something not many people know about her: ‘In my work as a makeup artist I’ve worked with lots of celebrities.
‘Also, when I was 6-years-old I used to live in Spain and I was in an episode of Benidorm as an extra.’
Name: Anna-May Robey
Occupation: Payroll assistant
Something not many people know about her: ‘I went on a date once and I never saw him again.’
‘We went for food and shared a bottle of wine. As I was speaking to him he fell asleep!’
‘I had to clink his wine glass to wake him up.’
Name: Tanyel Revan
Location: North London
Occupation: Hair stylist
Something not many people know about her: ‘My celebrity crush is Channing Tatum – I don’t like pretty boys, they give me the ‘ick’ because they always have a crap personality.’
‘Channing Tatum is handsome but not too pretty. He’s manly and he can dance.’
‘If a man can dance I’m in love with him straight away.’
Name: Olivia Hawkins
Occupation: Ring girl and actress
Something not many people know about her: ‘I did a film with Jason Statham and had a nice 10-minute convo about life.’
‘I’ve been a ring girl for KSI, I played a waitress in James Bond with Daniel Craig and I’ve also been a body double for Michelle Keegan and Emma Watson.’
Name: Kai Fagan
Occupation: Science and PE teacher
Something not many people know about him: ‘I’m a Jamaican citizen. Because of that I played rugby 7s for Jamaica.’
‘I play semi-professional rugby now for Burnage RFC.’
‘I’ve technically got three different degrees and went to three different unis.’
Name: Ron Hall
Occupation: Financial advisor
Something not many people know about him: ‘On meeting me, you’d never know I am blind in one eye.’
‘It was the result of a football injury when I was 8. I’ve got two different coloured eyes, one blue and one green.’
Name: Will Young
Something not many people know about him: ‘Every night I light a candle and meditate for 20-25 minutes.’
‘A girl I was seeing told me to meditate, I tried it and loved it. I stopped seeing her and carried on meditating!
‘It’s a nice way to self reflect.’
Name: Shaq Muhammad
Occupation: Airport security officer
Something not many people know about her: ‘I’m a very emotional person. It can be a blessing and a curse.’
‘Every time I watch Dear John I cry.
That’s my favourite film. Any time I’m with someone and they say, ‘Let’s watch a romantic film’, I’m like, ‘How about Dear John, how does that sound?’
Name: Haris Namani
Occupation: TV salesman
Something not many people know about her: ‘I’ve never found love. I think this is the show that can help me.’
‘It’s the best opportunity for me to find the girl and find the right one. I’ve obviously not found the right one myself.’
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