Long legs, perfect teeth, and eyes that sparkle… all legitimate reasons why a guy would fall for a girl. But are such visual triggers as superficial as they seem? Well, it actually turns out that there’s a science to seduction; indeed, physical cues – along with specific personality traits – will commonly get men to fall for women. As we take a look inside the murky depths of the male psyche, then, we discover 20 things men find irresistible about women according to scientific data – and the findings are truly amazing.
20. Long arms
We’ve all heard the expression “legs for days,” but who’d have thunk it that men would find “arms for days” a major temptation? Weirdly enough, though, it is true – a study by researchers in Hong Kong and Australia concluded that men had a particular penchant for women with long arms. Gangly girls rejoice!
Guys can sniff out ovulating women?! Apparently, yes. Research done in Florida showed that men can sense when women are ready to go and find them more attractive during this fruitful window. In fact, in these so-called “sweaty T-shirt experiments” men’s testosterone measurements spiked when they got a whiff of the garments donned by ladies who were ovulating. Survival of the fittest!
18. Slightly neurotic girls
Okay, no girl likes to be called “crazy,” but there’s actually an up side to this not-so-hot label… Scientists have suggested, moreover, that modest amounts of neuroticism may in fact be a draw for men. Supposedly, this points to the fact that she may turn out to be a caring mom.
17. Laughing at men’s jokes
That awkward moment when your joke is met with a deafening silence is a terrible feeling. So it may not be surprising to hear that the folks at University of Miami infer – thanks to their small sampling – that guys love women who think they have comedic skills. Just don’t indulge them too much, girls, or they’ll be doing stand-up all night!
University of Texas at Austin psychology professor David M. Buss and his colleagues found that men are hit harder by unfaithfulness than their female counterparts – it’s a macho primitive pride thing. So, it stands to reason that honesty – a timeless quality – is very appealing to men, and additional data backs this up.
15. The right mouth positioning
Ever heard of the “golden ratio?” Sounds a bit complicated, but broken down to the basics of attraction it’s actually rather simple. Researchers at the University of California apparently uncovered this set of mathematical rules which govern female beauty. And their take-away was that a lady is most attractive if her eyes are located at a specific distance from her mouth: that is, so that the space between them spans 36 percent of the length of her face. Time to break out that ruler!
14. Wearing red
Red is the color of love, and of course, fertility. And men see women wearing red as more alluring and sexually open than those sporting other hues, according to University of South Carolina Aiken assistant professor in social psychology Adam D. Pazda and his colleagues. There’s even a known occurrence named after it – “The Red Dress Effect” – and, in pop culture, a famous scene in The Matrix featuring “the woman in the red dress.”
13. Big puppy dog eyes
Why are puppies so cute? It’s definitely something to do with those big innocent eyes. And, apparently, this love of adorably large peepers translates into the human realm, too. Experiments are said to have shown that men take a shine to women with large eyes – which are a “neotenous feature,” or one associated with infants and kids. And youth equals fertility. Remember this the next time a guy calls you baby!
12. Long, radiant hair
Long and luscious locks have traditionally always made men’s heads turn. And, in fact, glistening, flowing tresses also tell a man what a woman’s reproductive potential is. A study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology focused on this, highlighting the fact that younger women tend to have longer hair than those women who have racked up more years on the planet. But the real question is: how much do men value maintaining an unclogged shower drain?
11. Mirroring men’s moves
If a woman mirrors a man’s movements, it doesn’t necessarily mean she wants to be like him. Actually, this under-the-radar action drives a man crazy in all the right ways according to studies and body language experts. Subtle copying of a guy’s movements, moreover, allegedly has the effect of creating a link with him. And some “how to pick up women” books have also touted this technique, so it may well work to attract both sexes!
What woman hasn’t been told to smile by some male stranger on the street? As annoying an episode as this is, it’s backed up by hard facts. That’s because, although some guys fall for the sultry look, studies have concluded that a smiley woman is far more tempting. On the other hand, research conducted by the University of British Colombia showed that on this point men differ from women – who tend to go for those dark, mysterious brooding fellas.
9. Less makeup
“Less is more” – or so they say. In a study published in Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, participants were shown photos of women with varying degrees of makeup. In the end, the men involved by and large found the snaps of women with 40 percent less makeup than they had initially applied to be more alluring. Referring back to our previous point on honesty: keep it real – no man likes a fake.
8. Girl squads
…Or “the cheerleader effect.” This is a real thing – it’s even in the Urban Dictionary. Indeed, a University of California experiment demonstrated that men ranked the appeal of women in group photographs higher than in solo snaps of them. It seems, then, that the faces of not-so-cute looking ladies placed alongside knockouts get “averaged in.” Hugh Hefner – king of the Playboy Playmates – clearly got the memo on this one!
7. Girls who brazenly put it out there
The hard-working researchers at Webster University carried out a study live at a pickup bar, which showed that the more direct and confident a girl was with a guy, the more he pursued her – even the less than beautiful ladies. It’s not unlike a sales pitch: a self-possessed woman will always prevail over a shrinking violet. Time to say your daily affirmations, girls!
6. That tried and true hourglass shape
We’re all aware of the proverbial whistle-worthy hourglass shape of the allegedly ideal woman’s body. And, yes, apparently this sexy trait is supported by science. A study conducted by the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand tracked men’s eye reactions to various women and found that they were most exhilarated by skinny waists and the hourglass physique – regardless of bosom size. Cliché, much?
5. A beautiful bod
This one could be called the “Butterface principle” – as in a woman who is otherwise good-looking but for her face. In this vein, psychology researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that men who are seeking a quick fling or a one-night stand are more lured in by a woman’s physique than her face. Only one thing on the brain and all that…
4. A face that says forever
Carrying on from the same study, the reverse is true for men who want to commit to a serious and stable relationship. Their eyes go past a woman’s body and right up to her face – where shape and definition apparently give a lot away. A blessing for those ladies with heart-shaped faces like Reese Witherspoon, for sure!
3. A woman who values them
Men want to be cherished and recognized by women – who wouldn’t? Studies have apparently shown that guys crave being valued and respected by the fairer sex. Indeed, a guy wants to be seen as a girl’s knight in shining armor – even when he leaves socks on the floor. However, social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister backs up the fact that men may sometimes get the wrong cues from an appreciative female friend.
2. A soprano – not a baritone
Contrary to the popular belief that low, raspy Scarlett Johansson-like voices drive men crazy, guys actually prefer to hear sweet female voices of a higher octave. According to research undertaken by University College, London, female “high-pitched, breathy voices with wide formant spacing” conjure up images of a slight and petite – read: feminine – body.
1. A damsel in distress
There’s apparently nothing more attractive to a man than the proverbial deer caught in headlights. A University of Texas, Austin, study that showed men photos of tired, stupid-looking and even drunk women found that the guys perceived these vulnerable gals as sexier than those depicted in more sober and smart-looking states – yikes.