Psychology Magazine

What Makes a Man Attractive?

By Deric Bownds @DericBownds
In many species female mate preference is influenced by signs indicating the health and robustness of the potential male partner. Rehm points to work by Versluys et al. examining the effects of male arm to body and intra-limb ratio on the preferences of heterosexual US women by showing them computer-generated male images that vary average body proportions from 9000 US military men by making arms and legs slightly longer or shorter. Previous research had shown that women prefer men with legs that are about half their height (legs that are too short have been linked to type 2 diabetes). How long the model’s arms were relative to his height didn’t seem to matter; and women cared only a little about how the elbow or knee divided a limb. But as seen in previous work, women noticed if the legs made up more or less than half his height—and they didn’t like it.
What makes a man attractive?

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