Lust Is Complicated, But Studies Show These 19 Things Make Men More Attractive To Women (2023)

romantic attraction is acomplicated thingthat scientists still do not fully understand.

But through research and experimentation, they came up with many ideas about what attracts one person to another.

Below, we've rounded up some of the most compelling scientific knowledge about the traits and behaviors that make men more attractive to women.

The best part? None of the items on this list require you to undergo cosmetic surgery or a major personality overhaul. We're talking about small tweaks like acting better and changing your deodorant.

Read on for easy ways to up your dating game.

Look for universal signs of flirting

Rutgers University anthropologist and best-selling author Helen E. Fisher says that women around the world show interest with a remarkably similar sequence of expressions.

As shared on Psychology Today, it looks like this:

"First, the woman smiles at her admirer and raises her eyebrows in a rapid, jerky movement as she opens her eyes wide to look at him. Then she lowers her eyelids, tilts her head down and to the side, and looks away. Often, she also covers her face with her hands, giggling as she hides behind her palms.

"This sequential flirtation gesture is so distinctive that [German ethologist Irenaus] Eibl-Eibesfeldt was convinced it is innate, a female courtship maneuver that evolved eons ago to indicate sexual interest."

Find someone 'in your league'

Men, and women, are attracted to people who are just as attractive as they are.

in a study, researchers at the University of California at Berkeley analyzed the behavior of 60 heterosexual men and 60 heterosexual women on an online dating site. While most users were inclined to search for highly attractive people, they were more likely to get a response if that person was as attractive as they were (as judged by independent raters).

"If you're looking for someone more or less [like] you in terms of attractiveness, you avoid two things," said Mark Sergeant, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University who was not involved in the study.and food a The Independent"If they're a lot prettier than you, you're worried they'll go out and have affairs. If they're a lot less attractive, you're worried you'll be able to do better."

Present as high status

A2010 studyfrom the University of Wales Institute found that men photographed with a silver Bentley Continental GT looked much more attractive than those photographed with a red Ford Fiesta ST.

mia 2014 studyfrom Cardiff Metropolitan University found that men photographed in a luxury apartment were rated as more attractive than those in the control group.

Interestingly, men do not seem to be more attracted to women when they are portrayed in a high-status context.

he looks old

Psychologists call this "George Clooney Effect."

As2010 studyof 3,770 heterosexual adults suggested thatwomen generally prefer older men. As the women became more financially independent, they said they liked older men even more.

"We think this suggests that greater financial independence gives women more confidence in their mate choices and attracts them to older, powerful and attractive men," wrote lead author and University of Dundee psychologist Fhionna Moore.said in a statement.

Evolutionary psychologists say thatyoung women and older men often pair upbecause while fertility only lasts from puberty to menopause in women, it can extend into middle age for manymen.Society also provides men with greater opportunities to accumulate status and resources as they age.

Grow a light beard

In a2013estudoFrom researchers at the University of New South Wales, the researchers had 177 heterosexual men and 351 heterosexual women look at images of 10 men in one of four conditions: clean-shaven, unshaven, unshaven, or full beard. on various features, including attractiveness.

That women said that the most attractive beard length was the stubble.

"Facial hair correlates not only with maturity and masculinity, but also with dominance and aggression."writing authors Barnaby J. Dixson and Robert C. Brooks.

"An intermediate level of beard is more attractive," they add.

Build muscle (but not too much)

In a2007 study from the University of California, Los Angeles, 286 women looked at photos of shirtless men and indicated which seemed to be the best long-term and short-term partners.

The results showed that women were more likely to want short-term relationships with men who had big muscles.

The evolutionary sign that could be at work here?

Characteristics like muscularity are "signals from genes that increase offspring viability or reproductive success," say authors David A. Frederick and Martie G. Haselton.

But Frederick and Haselton made another revealing finding: Less muscular men were seen as more suitable for long-term relationships. So if you want to grab a woman's attention and keep her attention, it's best not to overdo it.

be gentle

One of the best documented discoveries in psychology is the halo effect.a biaswhere you unconsciously take one aspect of someone as representative of their overall character. That's why we think beautiful people are good at their jobs, even when they aren't necessarily.

Like psychologist and writer Scott Barry Kaufmannotes, the halo effect works in other ways as well.

In achinese study 2014, more than 100 young people looked at images of men's and women's faces and rated them based on their attractiveness. Each portrayed face was paired with a word that described either a positive personality trait, such as kindness or honesty, or a negative personality trait, such as being bad or mean.

The results showed that people described with positive traits were rated as more attractive.

"Although beauty is an evaluation of the value of physical condition, there is no reason why the evaluation of physical condition should be purely physical."kaufman writes, which means that acting nice can make you appear more attractive.

wear red

A2010 cross-cultural study- with participants from China, England, Germany and the United States - found that women are more attracted to men who wear red.

In a study experiment, 55 female students looked at a color photo of a man wearing a red or green shirt and then rated the man's attractiveness.

Sure enough, men were found to be significantly more attractive when wearing a red shirt. The results were similar when the researchers compared the red jersey with jerseys of other colors.

Interestingly, the participants were generally unaware that the color of a man's clothing was influencing their perceptions of his attractiveness.

make your partner laugh

Multiplestudiesindicatethat women are more attracted to men who make them laugh. Interestingly though, men are generally not more attracted to women who can make them laugh.

In a2006 studypublished in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, the researchers asked college students (they did not indicate their sexual orientation) to indicate how much they valued their partner's ability to make them laugh and their own ability to make their partner laugh.

The results showed that the women valued both their partner's sense of humor and their own ability to make them laugh; men only valued their own ability to make their partner laugh.

go for a walk with the dog

in a 2014to tryfrom the Ruppin Academic Center in Israel and the University of Michigan, 100 Israeli women read cartoons about men.

Some of the men were described as "rogues": they would cheat on their partners and get into fights. The other men were described as stereotypical "fathers": they would work hard at their jobs and take good care of their children.

Whenever the story featured a scoundrel who had a dog, women found that man to be a more suitable long-term partner than a scoundrel who didn't own a dog. Scoundrels with dogs were rated slightly more attractive than dads with dogs.

The researchers concluded that owning a pet indicates that you are affectionate and capable of making long-term commitments. It can also help you look morerelaxed, approachable and happy.

play good music

In a 2014 study, researchers at the University of Sussex asked about 1,500 women (average age 28) to listen to simple and complex pieces of music and rate the composer's attractiveness.

The results showed that the women preferred more complex music and said they would choose the composer of more complex music as a long-term partner.

practice mindfulness

Australian researchersrecently studiedcollege students participating in a speed dating session, and discovered thatconscious menThey tend to receive higher attractiveness ratings from women.

Before the start of the session, 91 students were asked to complete a mindfulness questionnaire in which they indicated their degree of agreement with statements such as:

• "I am aware of my feelings and emotions without having to react to them."

• "I notice changes in my body, such as my breathing getting slower or faster."

• "I'm good at finding words to describe my feelings."

After each interaction with an opposite-sex partner, the students privately indicated how "sexy" they found their partner and how much they would like to date that person.

The results showed that overall, men were more attracted to physically attractive women. (Independent coders assessed the attractiveness of the students beforehand.) But overall, women were more attracted to attentive men.

Practice extreme sports (carefully)

A 2014 studyled by researchers at the University of Alaska at Anchorage found that women are attracted to men who take what researchers call "hunter-gatherer risks."

More than 230 students completed questionnaires about how attractive they would find a partner who engaged in certain risky behaviors, compared to a partner who engaged in low- or no-risk behaviors.

Hunter-gatherer hazards included mountain biking, deep-sea diving, and extreme skating. "Modern" risks included plagiarizing an academic paper, casually handling chemicals in a lab, and not updating the virus protection software on your computer.

Low-risk and no-risk behaviors included bicycling on paved paths and handling chemicals carefully in a chemistry lab class.

The results showed that women said they would be more attracted to men who engaged in hunter-gatherer risks, the kind that were similar to risks faced by ancient humans. Women said they would be less attracted to men who dabbled in modern risk-taking, which might seem silly.

Use a scented deodorant

Just knowing you're wearing a new fragrance can make youact more confident, and even make you look more attractive to other people.

In a small 2009 studypublished in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science, researchers gave one group of male students a spray with antimicrobial ingredients and fragrance oil, and another group an unscented spray that contained no antimicrobial ingredients. In the days that followed, the men who used the scented spray reported increased self-confidence and felt more attractive.

The weird part? When a group of women watched silent videos of men, they found men using scented sprays more attractive, even though they obviously couldn't smell them. The researchers determined that the men who used the scented spray displayed more confident demeanor, which made them more attractive.

eat garlic

The smell of garlic on your breath is generally considered an instant romantic killer. but recentseries of studies, from researchers at Charles University and the National Institute of Mental Health in the Czech Republic and the University of Stirling in the UK, suggests a different story when it comes to body odor.

In one study, eight men ate a slice of bread with cheese and 12 grams of fresh garlic; another eighty-cheese bread without garlic. For the next 12 hours, the men wore cotton pads under their armpits and were instructed not to wear deodorants or fragrances.

The next day, all the men returned to the lab, where 40 women smelled the pads and rated the scent on liking, attractiveness, masculinity, and intensity. The results showed that the garlic group was rated as more pleasant and attractive and less masculine and intense.

do volunteer work

A2013 studyof UK researchers found that women find men more attractive when they do sovoluntary work.

About 30 women looked at a photo of a man with a brief description of his hobbies, which sometimes included volunteer work. The same procedure was repeated with about 30 men looking at a photo of a woman. Everyone rated how attractive they found the person portrayed in a short- and long-term relationship.

Both sexes rated the person portrayed as more attractive for a long-term relationship when they were portrayed as volunteers, but the effect was stronger for women who rated men.

show your scars

That scar on your chin from when you fell off your bike can help you attract a partner.

In a2009 study, researchers from the University of Liverpool and the University of Stirling took photographs of 24 male and 24 female students. They digitally manipulated half of the images to make the subjects appear to have facial scars—for example, a line on the person's forehead that looked like the result of an injury.

Next, the researchers recruited another group of about 200 male and female heterosexual students to rate all the people portrayed based on attractiveness for short- and long-term relationships.

The results showed that men with scars seemed slightly more attractive for short-term relationships than men without scars. Women, on the other hand, were perceived as equally attractive, regardless of whether or not they had facial scars.

Use open body language in your online dating photo

A2016 study- from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Northwestern University - suggests that we are more attracted to people who exhibitexpansive body language.

In an experiment included in the study, researchers created profiles for three men and three women on a GPS-based dating app.

In one set of profiles, men and women were depicted in contracted positions, for example, folding their arms or hunching their shoulders.

In the other set of profiles, the same men and women appeared in wide positions, such as raising their arms in a "V" shape or reaching out to grab something.

The results showed that people in expansive stances were selected as potential dates more often than those in contractive stances. This effect was slightly larger for women who selected men.

looks proud

A2011 study from the University of British Columbiarevealed a curious finding: heterosexual men and women prefer different emotional expressions in potential partners.

In an experiment included in the study, the researchers had nearly 900 American adults look at photos of members of the opposite sex online.

The researchers were specifically comparing people's perceptions of expressions of pride, happiness, shame, and neutrality (other people had already identified the emotion behind the expression in the photo). For the women who rated the men, the most attractive expression was pride and the least attractive expression was satisfaction.

Even stranger, an expression of embarrassment was relatively attractive to both men and women.

This is an update to an article originally published bydraco baer.

This article was originally posted byBusiness Insider.

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