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Thursday, March 12, 2009

What a Man Really Wants In a Woman

To be fair, I wish to report some recent research, some thorough and some not so, concerning what men prefer in women. Certainly not complete, the partial list does represent some very interesting preferences worthy of review and discussion. So, here we go, girls, with some carefully gleaned revelations.

1. Men may depersonalize sexual images of women but not by total control. In fact, it's a byproduct of human evolution, experts say. The first male humans had an incentive to seek fertile women as the means of spreading their genes. (Susan Fiske, Princeton University, American Association for the Advancement of Science)

2. Men desire intimacy and collaborative relationships; however internal, opposing forces often lead them to develop avoidant and competitive attitudes. The ultimate result of this psychological state is stifling of the human potential for personal development in men and of those they hold dearest. (O’Neil, 1997) 3. Men "think" about sex constantly. 54% of men think about sex several times a day (as compared with just 19% of women). They think about what men really want from their women, from their dates, girlfriends, and wives. The things that men want, which not only keep them faithful, but keep them coming back for more again and again. (Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, Indiana University)

4. Men are not as empathic as women and have more trouble verbalizing emotions. The female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy. The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems. (Simon-Baron and Alon Gratch, Cambridge, The Truth About the Male and Female Brain)

5. Men often say that honesty is crucial for a relationship while women rarely do. (Susan Dunn, 2005) 6. Men talk about facts and want clarity and brevity. (Reuven Bar-on, Senior Assessment Consultant at the Center for Social and Emotional Education, New York) 7. Men really do go for an attractive mate - though will make do with someone who falls somewhat short of this ideal - while women - apparently understanding this - adjust their desire for a "high-quality" mate according to how attractive they perceive themselves to be. (Peter Todd, Lars Penke and others; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) 8. Men, the majority in the UK are ready to get into serious, stable relationships. 73% of men feel they would like to start a long-term relationship, while the same amount said equality was extremely important in a relationship. (Love and Friends. com., September 2008) 9. Men consider such features as being seen as a man of honor and respected by friends more important than being successful with women. (Love and Friends.com., September 2008) 10. Men believe that the most important for them (30%) was good health. The second most important factor was a harmonious family life, followed by a good relationship with their significant other. Sex was considered number one priority by only 2 percent of the correspondents. (The Journal of Sexual Medicine)

11. Men are increasingly interested in an educated woman who is a good financial prospect and less interested in chastity. (Christine Whelan and Christie Boxer, University of Iowa)

Here is a summary of their other findings. Groupings were compiled using the natural breakpoints in the value continuum for the statistical means.

What Men Want

Essential characteristics:

  • Mutual attraction and love.
  • Dependable character.
  • Emotional stability.

Important characteristics:

  • Education and intelligence.
  • Good looks.
  • Ambition.

Desirable characteristics:

  • Good financial prospect.
  • Good cook and housekeeper.

Unimportant characteristics:

  • Similar political background.
  • Chastity.
12. Men are drawn to physical features that tell them their partner is healthy and will give them a fighting chance to carry on their genetic lineage. (Current Directions in Psychological Science, 2007) 13. Men consider women more attractive and sexually desirable in red. From the red ochre used in ancient rituals to today's red-light districts and red hearts on Valentine's Day, the rosy hue has been tied to carnal passions and romantic love across cultures and millennia. This work studies the effects of color on behavior in the context of relationships. Under all of the conditions, the women shown framed by or wearing red were rated significantly more attractive and sexually desirable by men than the exact same women shown with other colors. (Elliot, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2008) 14. Men may not see their flirtations with an attractive woman as threatening to the relationship while women do. Women protect their relationship more when an attractive man enters the picture but men look more negatively at their partner after they've met an available, attractive woman. Men can learn to resist temptation when trained to think that flirting with an attractive woman could destroy their relationship. (John E. Lydon, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) 15. Men love the breasts and bodies of women (bare and in bathing suits) most of all in the winter; in the summer, they gave the same photos the lowest ratings. Opinions of the women's faces stayed steady year around. (Regina Nuzzo, Health and Fitness, 2008) 16. Men find women equally enticing whether alone or with other women, but women in a group of men dropped dramatically in attractiveness. (Regina Nuzzo, Health and Fitness, 2008) 17. Men find women bar patrons a lot more attractive between 10:30 p.m. and midnight than at 9 p.m. The researchers didn't factor in alcohol, however, of which there was plenty. Other, more careful studies have found the closing-time effect in drinkers and teetotalers alike, but only for those not in a relationship. (Classic study in 1979 reported by Regina Nuzzo)

18. Men who date a woman who leads them to believe she is insecure or needy immediately find the woman to be less attractive and kill any chance for a relationship. (Naomi Miller, Meet and Keep the Right Man, 2009)

19. Men give up when a woman shows lack of control over her feelings, especially when she cannot control her reactions to disappointments, anger and insult. (Naomi Miller, Meet and Keep the Right Man, 2009)

20. Men are capable of staying in a long relationship, even when they know it's not what they wish for. They simply treat the relationship as one of temporary compromise with low self-involvement while waiting for something better to appear. (Naomi Miller, Meet and Keep the Right Man, 2009)

21. Men find women more attractive when they smell fertile. (Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, Chicago)

22. Men find the scents of pumpkin pie and lavender most arousing. (Charles University, Prague, 2006)

23. Men tend not to enter the live-in arrangement with a firm sense of commitment and sacrifice, but women do. (Dr. Scott Stanley, University of Denver)

24. Men believe that the real step of commitment is when the legal step of marriage is taken. (Dr. Scott Stanley, University of Denver)

25. Men who desire mail order brides want a woman who is completely dependent upon him. Rousseau explains this by saying that ...man is dependent on woman through his desires; woman is dependent on man through her desires and also through her needs; he could do without her better than she can do without him. She cannot fulfill her purpose in life without his aid, without his goodwill, without his respect..... Men want a woman, who from birth is raised for marriage. (The Phenomenon of Mail Order Brides, 1998) 26. Men have had a preference for a female body with a small waist throughout history. (David Buss, 2003) 27. Men find a woman's attractiveness more correlated to body mass index than waist-hip ratio. The waist-hip ratio (WHR) is a person's waist measurement divided by the hip measurement. Notwithstanding wide cultural differences in preferences for female build, scientists have discovered that the waist-hip ratio of any build is very strongly correlated to attractiveness across all cultures. Women with a 0.7 WHR (waist circumference that is 70% of the hip circumference) are usually rated as more attractive by men from European cultures. (BBC News, 2007) What should you do with any new-found knowledge? I really don't know. Research it more if you are interested. Please don't blame this male (me) if some (or all) of the information is implausible. You're on your own to apply any of the findings to your own experiences.

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