From the editors of Marie Claire
Forget about types, a new survey has revealed that women are most attracted to men with muscular arms and toned torsos.
So that’s that, then.
Okay, so it’s not. But before you scream: ‘I like skinny legs and beer bellies!’ there are potentially scientific reasons behind the findings.
Researchers from Griffith University in Queensland, Australia showed a group of 160 women photographs of shirtless men with their faces cropped out and asked them to give a rating of attractiveness.
Estimated physical strength was the biggest factor, accounting for more than 70% of men’s appeal. This figure increased to 80% when tallness and leanness were also factored in.
The scientists reckon there could be ancient influences for this, involving the survival benefits of being with a healthy man who can hunt and fight.
In the study, they wrote: ‘The results show that most male bodily attractiveness stems from cues of formidability and physical strength, and that strength increases attractiveness in a linear fashion.
‘This effect of height and weight on attractiveness may be due to mate choice mechanisms responding to cues of health, or to the benefits that height and lean bodies have in protracted aggression, hunting and other aspects of fighting ability.’
Interestingly, the study seems to contradict other research that suggests some women prefer men with less masculine faces.
But the scientists have explained this one too. They say: ‘This has been interpreted as an evolved strategy to navigate the trade-off between securing high-quality mates and leaving one vulnerable to exploitation by powerful men.’
We’re not going to lie, we’re not entirely sure what a ‘less masculine face’ is. And let’s be honest, asking a tiny amount of women to judge faceless men is never going to be entirely accurate.
So while this is all very interesting, let’s just agree that everyone’s got different preferences. And hold off on sending our boyfriends off to the gym for arm day.