> Dating advice > Specific issues > What makes men and women sexually attractive?

Specific issues

What makes men and women sexually attractive?

We’ve always suspected it and now science has confirmed it. A recent article in the Belfast Telegraph reveals that when it comes to sexual attraction, women prefer bad boys and men shy away from “overly confident” women.

What makes men and women sexually attractive?

A major study at the University of British Columbia in Canada surveyed over 1000 men and women and asked them to rate the sexual attractiveness of members of the opposite sex based on facial expressions commonly associated with various character traits (happiness, pride and shame). But while men were broadly attracted to women who smiled and looked happy, women preferred men who looked proud (raised heads with their chest sticking out) or “shameful” (lowered eyes, brooding look). The researchers claim that this is all to do with evolution.

For example, pride and confidence in males implies status (and therefore the ability to provide). Happiness in women could signify lack of dominance, hence a traditional gender role of the female in nature. Interestingly, the study did not explain why women go for brooding, unhappy looking men. This is something that happens all the time, so it would be interesting to get an evolutionary perspective as to why.

Another interesting point to note is that the study is only looking at initial sexual attraction. It has not attempted to discover which qualities are deemed as important for finding a long term partner. So there’s no need for all you men out there delete your smiling photos off PARSHIP and replace them with proud alpha male or brooding depression shots. In fact, past research has indicated that while women tend to go for the alpha males when it comes to casual sex (as they see them as having good genes), they often view these men as unreliable when it comes to actually settling down and starting a family, often opting for the nice guy instead. In nature it may be socially acceptable to produce offsprings with the alpha male but raise them with a less dominant one, but in our society it’s more often than not the nice guy (i.e. the smiling one) who gets to settle down and have babies. So although the original article does provide a few dating tips based on the results of the survey, do keep in mind that initial sexual attraction and long term compatibility are not at all one and the same.

As for women and confidence – it’s certainly true that independent, confident women can put off some men, but as Michelle Obama recently noted in an interview – “good men like strong women”. What’s certain, though, is that you’ll get much further with a kind smile both on and off your dating profile!

The full text of the Belfast Telegraph article can be found here.

Shimrit Elisar Written by Shimrit Elisar
Parship GmbH

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