What Do Women Want in a Man? We Analyze What Social Scientists Say
It’s the age-old question—what do women really want in a man? Is it all about good looks, money and power? We analyze the research and uncovers the truth of what attracts women to men.
This is far from the case. In fact, there are plenty of traits (both physical and non-physical) that can make a man a prime dating prospect.
According to social scientists, here is the consensus on what women want in a man:
- A man’s attractiveness increases when he has a good sense of humor.
- Women seek out relationships with men who have healthy, glowing skin.
- While attraction may be more than skin deep, tall and muscular men do have an advantage.
A Good Sense of Humor
Who doesn’t want a partner who can laugh with them? There is ample research that tells us what we already know to be true: that women want a man who can make them laugh.
The problem is that what men find humorous doesn’t always match with what women find humorous. For example, a new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that men who told clean jokes were considered more attractive to women than men who told crude jokes (see claim: “Women found clean humorists as better long- and short-term mates.”)
Of course, there will always be women who enjoy the occasional dirty joke. But if you want to significantly increase your dating prospects, consider working on your clean jokes.
Glowing skin is an indicator of a man’s overall vitality and health. It makes sense then that women generally find clear, healthy skin an extremely attractive trait in men.
Study after study has found that a person’s facial appearance can greatly influence how we feel about the person. According to a 2016 study, people with smooth facial skin were perceived as being more trustworthy, honest and moral than those with variations in skin texture (see claim: “…the manipulation of a single facial textural property (skin smoothness) affected explicit evaluations of trustworthiness, competence, attractiveness and health independently and in combination.”)
Bottom line—start taking better care of your skin. Incorporating a daily skin care regimen for men will do wonders for both your dating life and your self-confidence.
Want to be more attractive to women? Start volunteering at your local food bank and going out of your way to help people.
According to a study published in the journal of Evolutionary Psychology, men who performed acts of altruism were considered more desirable for long-term relationships (see claim: “The results showed women preferred altruistic men, particularly in LT relationships…”) Another study found similar results, with altruism being perceived as an indicator of good parenting in long-term relationships in both men and women (see claim: “Both males and females significantly preferred altruistic mates for long-term relationships…”)
Tall and Muscular
Most men don’t need social scientists to tell them that being tall and muscular can give them a huge advantage in the dating game. However, we now have proof that women do prefer their men to have a certain body shape (Hint: it’s not the dad bod.)
According to a study from Griffith University in Queensland, researchers found that cues of upper body strength (such as muscular biceps and pecs) increased the attractiveness of men. Wide shoulders and being physically fit were also seen as attractive by women.
Evolutionary psychologists believe that physical strength is an indicator of a man’s fighting ability and that women are more likely to choose mates who can protect them and their future offspring (see claim: “Indeed, evolutionary psychologists have shown that women's mate choice mechanisms track many cues of men's genetic quality and ability to invest resources in the woman and her offspring.”)
The same study also found that being tall and lean were favored traits by women, accounting for 80 percent of a man’s physical attractiveness.
Men as the Main Provider
In a similar vein, some studies show that women may prefer to take on traditional gender roles. A controversial study published in the journal of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that women prefer men with “benevolent sexism” (BS) attitudes, in which men view women in traditional homemaker roles while they are the main caretakers (see claim: suggest that women prefer BS men despite having awareness of the harmful consequences.”)
Researchers theorized that women are attracted to men with BS attitudes because it indicates a willingness to invest in the relationship. Although the study is controversial, other studies have found similar results in the past.
A notable 2015 study by Harvard Business School analyzed the differences of ambition in men and women and found that men want more power than women do. Interestingly, the study discovered that although women have more life goals than men, they are less focused on professional power (see claim: “we find that, compared to men, women have a higher number of life goals, place less importance on power-related goals…”)
Although these studies may indicate that some women prefer traditional gender roles and stereotypes, don’t assume that all women lack professional ambition. In fact, it’s becoming more common for men to be stay-at-home dads while the woman focuses on her career.
Gentlemen, the truth is that you don’t need to be jacked or have a nice car to attract women (although it certainly helps). Non-physical traits such as humor and kindness can go a long way in attracting a long-term partner.
It all starts with being confident in yourself. If you want to increase your dating prospects, start going to the gym, eating healthy and taking better care of your skin (choose one of our five skin care systems to make this part easy.) By radiating self-confidence, you will naturally attractive women and feel self-assured.