Bombshell: Women find muscular men attractive

posted at 1:53 pm on July 9, 2007 by Allahpundit

I … had hoped they’d see the inner beauty. You know, the way we do with them.

This is why I need the iPhone, people.

The finding, by PhD student David Frederick and associate professor Martie Haselton, stemmed in part from a study of 99 UCLA undergraduates of varying brawniness. As described in a news release about the paper (entitled “Lift more weights, find more mates”), the undergrads were photographed and then rated for muscularity on a 9-point scale, where nine was the most muscular and one was the least.

The men were also quizzed about their sexual histories — and the muscular ones, it transpired, were twice as likely as the less muscular to have had more than three sexual partners in their life…

To evolutionary psychologists Frederick and Haselton, this all adds up to a pattern: Muscularity is a sexual attention-getter akin to that show-off peacock’s tail. But both peacock tail and muscles have their downside, and in the latter case, Frederick says, it’s that the muscle-building hormone testosterone is associated with suppression of the immune system.

Thus, Frederick says, muscles are “indicators of mate quality” because — like that preposterous tail — they “demonstrate an ability to flourish in the face of what’s really a drag on the system.”

Really? It’s not that muscular types have less fat and thus are less at risk for the various health problems that come with obesity or that they’re more physically intimidating and therefore better able to protect/provide? It’s that they’ve triumphed over the scourge of testosterone?

I’m skeptical, but no matter. The thesis has already been debunked.

Besides, there are other paths to happiness.

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

This is why I need the iPhone, people.

Allah, I’ve had it since Saturday. It doesn’t help.

amerpundit on July 9, 2007 at 1:56 PM

I’m stunned that this was thought worthy of research. Yes, muscles on men are very much sexy; then again, women who are fit are also sexy.

Esthier on July 9, 2007 at 1:57 PM

Iphone. The last hope. The best hope. For AP’s sex life. Buy AP an Iphone. Iphone.

lorien1973 on July 9, 2007 at 1:58 PM

Ya Think?

Next thing those wily scientist will try to tell us that large breast are attractive to men.

TheSitRep on July 9, 2007 at 2:02 PM

The irony is that even the most “ahem” zoftig of women will demand that muscular characteristic in men. No one said life was fair. Next study!! How about, the lack of courage of the average politician is developed not genetic. Expand that to the average citizen as well. I suspect this is as obvious as the topic here.

MNDavenotPC on July 9, 2007 at 2:04 PM

Really? It’s not that muscular types have less fat and thus are less at risk for the various health problems that come with obesity or that they’re more physically intimidating and therefore better able to protect/provide? It’s that they’ve triumphed over the scourge of testosterone?

Up is down. Left is right. Right is wrong.

PRCalDude on July 9, 2007 at 2:10 PM

And the David Spade thing??

Just subjective proof that the Devil truly exists… he had to have sold his soul…

Romeo13 on July 9, 2007 at 2:12 PM

He is also shown with another monk hanging by a rope from his penis, and using his penis to pull a heavy stone roller.

ouch.

Alden Pyle on July 9, 2007 at 2:12 PM

My guess is there will be NO terrorist attacks in those monks’ airports.

Alden Pyle on July 9, 2007 at 2:15 PM

Wow… maybe next they will discover that the sun comes up in the morning…. or that gravity works…. or that children like to play. And these people learn such things in our institutions of higher learning … right ? How much do they pay for that again ?

Maxx on July 9, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Next, these “researchers” will tell us that women find larger penises more attractive than small penises.

Just think people, your tax dollars support idiots who go to university to spend your money, just to give them something to do, rather than get a real job and do something productive for civilization.

I bet that these “researchers” also watched algore’s hologram and rocked to akon.

jihadwatcher on July 9, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Awww, poor AllahP…

Mazztek on July 9, 2007 at 2:18 PM

lol@thesitrep

ajmontana on July 9, 2007 at 2:18 PM

How does David Spade get so much ass?

Sorry but sleeping with Pamela Anderson does not constitute a incredible achievement.

Jessica Alba maybe, but not Pam Anderson.

Mike Honcho on July 9, 2007 at 2:26 PM

Their method sounds a little fishy to me anyway.

“We grade you on a scale of ‘manliness’ from 1-9, then you tell us how many sexual partners you’ve had in your lifetime.”

Couldn’t the result just as easily be that, the more conscious a man is of his image (which results in a willingness to spend hours a day at a gym lifting weights and shooting up with steroids to get that ‘perfect body), the more conscious a man is of his image (which results in him ‘inflating’ the number of sexual partners he’s had).

Also, I couldn’t tell if they mean muscular (like muscle beach weight lifters) or if they simply meant fit (like lean, muscular, but still having a neck). I happen to like the latter and would take a tall, gangly guy any day over a body builder type (but would prefer the fit/lean guy over both).

JadeNYU on July 9, 2007 at 2:27 PM

OK I can’t help it.

He is also shown with another monk hanging by a rope from his penis, and using his penis to pull a heavy stone roller.

The monk’s name is……..Won Hung Low

conservnut on July 9, 2007 at 2:27 PM

Do real men eat quiche or use iPhones?

Wade on July 9, 2007 at 2:28 PM

Bombshell: Women find muscular men attractive

And I’m sure they find the steroid rage that comes with it attractive too???

soulsirkus on July 9, 2007 at 2:42 PM

JadeNYU on July 9, 2007 at 2:27 PM

I’m with you Jade, Id rather have the lanky fit type than the beefed up no neck type anyday. There is such a thing as TOO muscular in my opinion, and those are the guys that always seem to have something to prove.

Keli on July 9, 2007 at 2:45 PM

I’m with Jade. When I see a big huge muscular guy, I think steroids and otherwise anatomically… nonfunctional. Oh, and sharp as a bag of oatmeal.

Tanya on July 9, 2007 at 2:48 PM

The end of the piece notes that women prefer men who are toned but not muscle-bound.

Allahpundit on July 9, 2007 at 2:49 PM

“We grade you on a scale of ‘manliness’ from 1-9, then you tell us how many sexual partners you’ve had in your lifetime.”

JadeNYU

They would have used a scale from 1 to 10, but the only 10 is me, therefore they couldn’t.

Krydor on July 9, 2007 at 2:49 PM

I’m with Jade. When I see a big huge muscular guy, I think steroids and otherwise anatomically… nonfunctional. Oh, and sharp as a bag of oatmeal.

Tanya on July 9, 2007 at 2:48 PM

It’s pretty easy to tell the difference between naturally big and steroids, IMO.

PRCalDude on July 9, 2007 at 2:50 PM

The end of the piece notes that women prefer men who are toned but not muscle-bound.

How does that work? It says the more muscular they are, the more they have sex. That means the ginormous ones are getting the most, right?

Tanya on July 9, 2007 at 2:53 PM

He is also shown with another monk hanging by a rope from his penis

Oh, sorry, I thought this was the bell tower.

saint kansas on July 9, 2007 at 2:54 PM

How does David Spade get so much ass?

He’s got the moola shmoola, and many girls like that even more than muscles.

Kensington on July 9, 2007 at 2:55 PM

Sanctuary!

Tanya on July 9, 2007 at 2:55 PM

Dangit. That was for St Kansas.

Tanya on July 9, 2007 at 2:55 PM

THIS JUST IN………

People prefer being alive rather than being dead.
Parents prefer children that behave.
Starving people would rather eat than starve to death.

RobG on July 9, 2007 at 2:59 PM

Like many research studies, this one screws up the causality/correlation aspect. Here:

The men were also quizzed about their sexual histories — and the muscular ones, it transpired, were twice as likely as the less muscular to have had more than three sexual partners in their life…To evolutionary psychologists Frederick and Haselton, this all adds up to a pattern: Muscularity is a sexual attention-getter akin to that show-off peacock’s tail.

While being muscular does indeed significantly attract a mate, and thus ups the number of partners, how much of the increased quantity of sexual partners is the result of the men being more sexually aggressive because they have higher testosterone (cooinciding with bigger muscles).

It’s both, an additive effect. Frustrating when something that simple isn’t conveyed in an article/study like this …

BillINDC on July 9, 2007 at 3:02 PM

Well, some muscles, yeah. But as already mentioned by other discerning women, too many muscles are not attractive. They look narcissistic and phony.

I prefer a fella with that natural look that can only be achieved by a generally active lifestyle–not from hours in the gym.

Bob's Kid on July 9, 2007 at 3:06 PM

Update: Scientist discover a link between moisture and water !!!!

Maxx on July 9, 2007 at 3:08 PM

This just in:

An iPhone is a want not a need.

AP just does not “need” to spend the $$$

On-my-soap-box on July 9, 2007 at 3:14 PM

Good news on the home front.

Regarding the general thesis: Who knew taking care yourself helps to attract a mate? Shocker. It also has the benefit of irritating the French left.

Regard the specifics: A study of people at the gym seems, ahem, as serious waste of time.

Spirit of 1776 on July 9, 2007 at 3:15 PM

AP
I heard KP has an IPhone she has to play with all by herself!

abinitioadinfinitum on July 9, 2007 at 3:33 PM

They had to do a four year study to arrive at this conclusion? They could have thrown that money at me and I would have told them in half the time!

Ann on July 9, 2007 at 3:43 PM

I have my doubts about muscularity being sexually attractive because of any proof of better resistance to disease. One would think it is simply because muscularity implies greater ability to appropriate resources.

On the other hand, I tell kids that piercing is sexually attractive, because uninfected piercings show a strong immune system.

thuja on July 9, 2007 at 3:55 PM

These monks are crazy doods with mad skillz.

Aylios on July 9, 2007 at 4:01 PM

Interesting, I just received my daily Men’s Health Magazine e-mail and they talked about this very thing. Though they also said this:

You haven’t been wasting your time in the gym: Muscular guys have more sex partners, flings and affairs than soft or skinny men.

UCLA researchers analyzed data from over 700 respondents and found that women chose muscular guys for short-term relationships.

But women preferred long-term mates to be not so well-built — they think they’re more romantic and faithful.

The data comes from six studies on muscularity over 4 years. Their findings will appear in the August issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

So pump that iron, but keep in mind that more isn’t necessarily better. Women preferred a muscleman, but chose a Men’s Health cover model type of guy over the Incredible Bulks of the world.

The best news: You only have to be “more muscular than average” to fall into this group of highly laid men.

[ . . . ]

The data also showed that guys with muscles are simply more willing to have short-term flings, even with women who have boyfriends.

Michael in MI on July 9, 2007 at 4:03 PM

Okay, I am a woman and I do not find muscles flattering. I mean I do enjoy looking at physically fit men, but muscles, like Arnold and those hardbodies is quite disgusting to me.

heatherrc77 on July 9, 2007 at 4:20 PM

Please tell me that’s the rope that monk is swinging on.

Guardian on July 9, 2007 at 4:24 PM

I always thought it was my rapist wit.

TheSitRep on July 9, 2007 at 4:40 PM

Lo Fat Wang

angryoldfatman on July 9, 2007 at 4:53 PM

Dong No Dai

angryoldfatman on July 9, 2007 at 4:56 PM

This is why I need the iPhone, people.

Dude, you’ve got to get over this iPhone.. it sucks anyway.

Score something sweet like this (which I’m having trouble talking myself out of right now, because I don’t really need it… but it’s sweet!):

http://www.woot.com/

If you want it, get it quick. Woot offers items for only 24 hours, and usually they sell out before the new item appears at 1AM ET. This thing can be used like a DVR with the included travel adapter, but from what I’ve read you’d be even better off if you spent $60-80 on the “DVR station” too. Either way, this thing is sick. Keep your phone, get one of these, and screw the iPhone man, seriously.

RightWinged on July 9, 2007 at 5:03 PM

Michelle You must buy Allahpundit a iPhone…

OK AP I have done everything in my power to help you in your noble quest for iPhonage, the rest young padwan is up to you…

doriangrey on July 9, 2007 at 5:51 PM

Damn it…somehow HA filtered out my jedi mind trick quotes…

doriangrey on July 9, 2007 at 5:52 PM

Thus, Frederick says, muscles are “indicators of mate quality” because — like that preposterous tail — they “demonstrate an ability to flourish in the face of what’s really a drag on the system.”

In shape men have a quality that is likened to that preposterous peaock tail?
Huh? Since when have muscles been extraneous?
More toned the guy, the more testosterone makes them aggressive? Huh? Never have witnessed proof of that. Usually, in shape guys are much calmer than out of shape guys as they have found an outlet for their built-up energy and burned it off in a safe manner. That’s why sports and academics actually complement each other. Athletes focus better.
“Agenda slips” showing everywhere. This seems to have been written by the type of people who recommend pumping healthy boys up with Ritalin instead of letting them out at regular intervals to climb trees.
So, why do women like country boys, farmer’s tans and old pickup trucks? If a guy can pick up a bale of hay and carry it off, he’ll have no trouble picking up that gal and carrying her off too. She will have of course pre-positioned herself in such a manner as to be eminently pick-uppable.
AP, better get an iPhone with adjustable weights on it.

naliaka on July 9, 2007 at 6:12 PM

Good news on the home front.

Regarding the general thesis: Who knew taking care yourself helps to attract a mate? Shocker. It also has the benefit of irritating the French left.

Regard the specifics: A study of people at the gym seems, ahem, as serious waste of time.

Spirit of 1776 on July 9, 2007 at 3:15 PM

Here’s the first line of the linked article”

“President Sarkozy has fallen foul of intellectuals and critics who see his passion for jogging as un-French, right-wing and even a ploy to brainwash his citizens.”

‘Nuff said.

Hawkins1701 on July 9, 2007 at 6:36 PM

Do real men eat quiche or use iPhones?

Wade on July 9, 2007 at 2:28 PM

Real men eat anything they want, and we don’t worry about what lower orders think about it. Same for electronic devices. You want an Iphone AP, go for it.

Oldnuke on July 9, 2007 at 7:05 PM

Nothing compares with these guys:

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Papers.cfm?abstract_id=895442

They measure the amount of additional income needed by a prospective date in order to offset such unattractive features as being of the wrong race.

pedestrian on July 9, 2007 at 7:22 PM

Oh, I get it now! Women want a guy who is muscular but not too muscular, sensitive but not too sensitive, strong but not too strong, weak but not too weak, etc. It makes so much sense now. What women want is still a mystery and men are still going to try 10,006 different things apiece to try to figure out how to get one and then another billion or so things to try to figure out how to make her happy. Doing research on what women want in a man is sort of like researching the best way to herd worms and cats.

deepdiver on July 9, 2007 at 8:10 PM

Hmmmm…interesting. Women prefer muscular men. I wonder if the feminists approved of this finding. And will they demand legislation to make muscles in men illegal? After all, they want to outlaw balls…including “golf” balls.

But women preferred long-term mates to be not so well-built — they think they’re more romantic and faithful.

I don’t know. Here in NYC, because so many women are feminists and hard core liberals, for them relationships are business deals. Indeed, for most of the women here in general…looks (yes, we guys also are attracted to a woman by her looks…most definitely!),size,job, type of car, type of friends, bank account etc.,is what really seems to matter to NYC women (yes, I know, I know, there are some exceptions)when a man asks them for a date and if she wants to jump in bed with him. Being more faithful and more romantic doesn’t really seem to have anything to do with it. Indeed, a faithful guy is a nice guy, and nice guys in too many situations tend to sleep alone, right ladies? This is why I believe that such studies really cannot apply to NYC.

But, as we see in some of the postings here by some ladies, exceptions DO exist. Well, ladies, the men in your lives are lucky guys.

The False Dervish on July 9, 2007 at 8:11 PM

Hawkins1701 on July 9, 2007 at 6:36 PM

In a related note, the ladies love Sarkozy.

Spirit of 1776 on July 9, 2007 at 8:37 PM

Where can I send a video of myself flexing to Mary Katherine Ham?

Paul the American on July 9, 2007 at 9:52 PM

Awww, poor AllahP…

Mazztek on July 9, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Ok, like where do I find the original for that?

- The Cat

MirCat on July 9, 2007 at 10:12 PM

First it was 726 posts about Rosie…

Then it was 1,247 posts on the iPhone…

Now it’s iPhone + pictures of hairless Asian dudes swinging from each other wangs. I’m shocked you didn’t work Rosie in there too.

Looks like this site just turned gayer than Bill Schulz licking Ryan Seacrest’s ear in the back of Toyota Scion while listening to a Freddie Mercury dance remix CD. Yeeeeesh, you might as well start lobbying for HotAir to be in the Logo Channel‘s fall TV schedule…

ScottMcC on July 9, 2007 at 10:28 PM

Oh, those wacky Monks!

csdeven on July 9, 2007 at 10:29 PM

This is why I need the iPhone, people.

So, you’re saying you aren’t the image of Adonis.

It’s pretty easy to tell the difference between naturally big and steroids, IMO.

PRCalDude on July 9, 2007 at 2:50 PM

Isn’t that right, Barry?

In shape men have a quality that is likened to that preposterous peaock tail?
Huh? Since when have muscles been extraneous?
More toned the guy, the more testosterone makes them aggressive? Huh? Never have witnessed proof of that. Usually, in shape guys are much calmer than out of shape guys as they have found an outlet for their built-up energy and burned it off in a safe manner. That’s why sports and academics actually complement each other. Athletes focus better.

naliaka on July 9, 2007 at 6:12 PM

Unfortunately, naliaka, there is an unwarranted coalescing of two vastly different thoughts involved in that misapprehension you refer to. You are exactly correct that physical activity relieves stress and “burns off” pent-up energy that might otherwise produce some forms of malicious behavior. However, many people making such comments are referring to users of physical enhacements such as steroids, which both increase muscle mass AND the sort of hormonal energy which should be applied to physical activity. Sadly, there are people who feel the need to compensate in such ways, and there are many bad side effects, including reduction of immune function, undesirable alterations of physiology, loss of mental focus, and “roid-rage”.

Physically active men who stick to natural diets are, for the most part, exactly as you describe. But men are competitive beasts, especially when they think it will affect how well they attract women, and some will use any advantage they can, even if it turns out deadly for them.

That these researchers felt the need to study the obvious is a testament to their lack of common sense.

Freelancer on July 10, 2007 at 6:00 AM

I think that same study found that while women like muscular men it is mainly for flings or affairs. For long term relationships they actually prefer regular guys, or as the Today show puts it, scrawny men.

LaVentanita on July 10, 2007 at 8:38 AM

Caption for the pic:

“No more yankie my wankie…the Donger need food!”

James on July 10, 2007 at 10:25 AM

Ow

srhoades on July 10, 2007 at 11:32 AM

Women want a guy who is muscular but not too muscular, sensitive but not too sensitive, strong but not too strong, weak but not too weak, etc. What women want is still a mystery and men are still going to try 10,006 different things apiece to try to figure out how to get one

Oh, and we also want a guy who doesn’t try so hard. ;o)

Tanya on July 10, 2007 at 2:24 PM

Don’t worry Allah, Japanese sexbots are only a few years away.

TallDave on July 10, 2007 at 2:29 PM

Oh, and we also want a guy who doesn’t try so hard. ;o)

Tanya on July 10, 2007 at 2:24 PM

bwahahahahah
Dam I almost feel sorry for the guys.

Keli on July 10, 2007 at 3:10 PM