Moody men 'more attractive' than happy men

05.01.2012 10:38

The Telegraph: Happy men don't get the girl because women find moody looking men far more attractive, according to scientific research.
The study suggests that flashing a 'winning smile' is not the way to a woman's heart.
Indeed, men who swagger or look gloomy are much more likely to get pulses racing.
The surprising findings may help to explain the enduring appeal of 'bad boys'.
Experts say the findings indicate that smiling men do not appear to be as strong, powerful or masculine as those who glower or who seem arrogant.
In contrast, men are far more attracted to happy, smiling women.
It is suggested this is because men prefer more approachable, submissive women.
The research, carried out by a team of psychologists, may prompt men to change their dating behaviour and update profile pictures used on dating websites.
Professor Jessica Tracy, who led the study, said: "Showing a happy face may be considered essential to friendly social interactions, including those involving sexual attraction.
"However, there's been little research into whether a smile is, in fact, attractive.
"This study finds that men and women respond very differently to displays of emotion, including smiles.
"We found that women were least attracted to smiling, happy men, preferring those who looked proud and powerful or moody.
"In contrast, male participants were most sexually attracted to women who looked happy, and least attracted to women who appeared proud and confident."
The team, from the University of British Columbia, Canada, got more than 1,000 adults to rate the sexual attractiveness of hundreds of photos of the opposite sex.
These pictures showed men and women engaged in various displays of happiness, with broad smiles, pride - raised heads, puffed-out chests, and shame - lowered heads or averted eyes.
Study co-author Alec Beall, a psychology graduate student, said: "We explored first-impressions of sexual attraction to images of the opposite sex.
"We did not ask participants if they thought these targets would make a good boyfriend or wife - we wanted their gut reactions on carnal, sexual attraction."
Prof Tracy said other studies suggest that what people find attractive has been shaped by centuries of evolutionary and cultural forces.
For example, evolutionary theories suggest women may be attracted to male displays of pride because they imply status, competence and an ability to provide for a partner and offspring.
Mr Beall added that expressions of pride also exaggerate typically masculine physical features, such as upper body size and muscularity.
He said: "Previous research has shown these features are among the most attractive male physical characteristics, as judged by women."
Smiling has also been linked with a lack of dominance, which is consistent with gender stereotypes of the "submissive and vulnerable" woman, but inconsistent with "strong, silent" man, the researchers say.
Mr Beall added: "Previous research has also suggested happiness is a particularly feminine-appearing expression."

Men are more predictable than women 'but it helps them find a mate'

Men are more predictable than women, but the trait helps them to find a partner, scientists believe.
Whether it is being loud or quiet, males are more likely to find their defining characteristics early and stick with them.
Females, by contrast, are more changeable and likely to adapt their behaviour to circumstances, according to researchers.
But they appreciate consistency in their partner, a review of studies analysing humans and the animal kingdom dating back more than 30 years shows.
Dr Wiebke Schuett, from the University of Exeter, who led the study, said: “Our study suggests that, while males tend to exhibit more pronounced personalities, including more predictable behaviour, in a range of different contexts, females are more receptive to these traits in males.
“We found a surprising level of similarity across a range of species."
The reason for these differences could lie in the theory of sexual selection, the researchers believe.
Originally devised by Charles Darwin it suggests that traits evolve because of the competition between males for female attention.
These attributes can range from peacock feathers to oversized antler horns.
However, while scientists have in the past been confident of the effect of the phenomenon on physical characteristics they have been less sure of its impact personality.
Now they believe that male personalities have developed over time to be more predictable help them get the girl.
Dr Sasha Dall, from the University of Exeter, who led the study, said: “Females like predictability in their males as it allows them to make good long-term decisions, and to deal with changing circumstances if they know their male is consistent.
"It is not one personality trait, such as being aggressive, it is the fact that they always exhibit that trait that matters.
"This body of research suggests that male personality could have evolved in much the same way as signs of physical attractiveness – to help attract a mate.”
The findings are published in the journal Biological Reviews.
The study is published in the American Psychological Association journal Emotion.

Men and women have distinct personalities

A new analysis of a survey of 10,000 people found that each sex has firmly entrenched characteristics, with women showing more sensitivity, warmth and apprehension than men.
In contrast, emotional stability, dominance, rule-consciousness and vigilance are more typically male characteristics, experts said.
Previous research has claimed that that average personality differences between men and women are small.
But the new analysis published in the Public Library of Science One journal revealed that each sex shares a distinct set of characteristics, with just 18 per cent of men having a typically "female" set of traits or vice versa.
Past studies have shown that men and women average similar scores on the 16PF5 – a well-known and frequently used measure of personality.
But by estimating the average difference in men's and women's scores on each of the test's 15 different measures of personality, and comparing them against one another, researchers found that in fact the sexes shared less ground than previously thought.
The study showed that because men scored higher in some areas and women in others the differences between the sexes cancelled each other out when viewed as a simple average, but made for a significant gulf when added together.
The new paper "clearly rejects the idea that there are only minor differences between the personalities of men and women," researchers said.
The study could explain why certain professions, such as engineering, are dominated by a particular sex in spite of efforts by governments to promote equality, Dr Paul Irwing, of Manchester University, who co-authored the paper, said.
He added: "You find far fewer women in engineering and it is normally contended that you cannot explain this in individual differences, but that is on the assumption they are small and our study shows they are huge.
"People are self-selecting into careers that fit their personality characteristics – it is the complete opposite of what people have assumed for the past 100 years."
Dr Marco Del Giudice, who led the study, said: "Sex differences in personality are believed to be comparatively small. However, research in this area has suffered from significant methodological limitations.
"The idea that there are only minor differences between the personality profiles of males and females should be rejected as based on inadequate methodology."
Prof Janet Hyde of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, who proposed the theory that men and women have largely similar characteristics, said the method used by the researchers led to "uninterpretable" results.
She said: "The scientific evidence still shows that, contrary to stereotypes, men and women are quite similar on a wide array of psychological qualities."