Many women claim, when it comes to what they’re looking for in a man, it isn’t muscle, chiselled abs and a six-pack.
However, scientists have now proven these women are either trying to appear humble, attempting to be kind to their partners or are simply straight up liars.
Men, you better get back to the gym as the new study, published in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B, has revealed women prefer polished pecs to a saggy stomach.
In the study, conducted by California State University and Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, 160 women were asked to rate the attractiveness of a series of headless male torsos.
Every single woman surveyed chose the stronger and more muscular torsos over the rest.
It’s safe to say the researchers got a pretty definite answer as to what women prefer!
Aaron Sell, the senior lecturer at Griffith University, who led the study, told The Guardian the results came to no-one’s shock:
We weren’t surprised women found physically strong men attractive… what did surprise us was just how powerful the effect was.
Our data couldn’t find even a single woman that preferred weaker or feminine male bodies.
Well, the finding is quite something!
The results of this study contradicts a popular theory, how a sweet spot exists when it comes to strength and therefore too much could be unappealing.
Yet since every woman picked the most muscular torso, this research claims the complete opposite.
Aaron Lukazsweski, an evolutionary psychologist at California State University, told The Guardian there are reasons why women pick stronger men:
The theory is, yes, there would’ve been benefits ancestrally in terms of the ability to acquire resources, protecting offspring, hunting and so on.
But at a certain point, mating with highly dominant men, they can exert all this aggressive coercive control and there might be costs?
The research paper also highlighted how stronger men would be less willing to invest resources into building a family.
However, it appears women don’t mind these downsides to being drawn in by the muscle.
Previous studies have used line drawings of the male body rather than photos, which could’ve been misleading as some of the images may have been too extreme and not human-like at all.
During this research the women were shown photos of real male bodies with the heads blanked out.
One set showed a series of university students while the other showed men who worked out at a gym three to five times a week.
These men were all given strength tests and this was by far the strongest indicator about whether he would be rated as being attractive by the women.
One thing which didn’t really matter was weight and height, with tallness only giving a small boost and being overweight just earning a few negative points.
Our results suggest even if you’re a bit overweight, looking strong can buffer that. Basically, being a strong, fat guy is ok, which I think would bring comfort to many?
Not all hope is lost then!
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.