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Study: Women Prefer Strong Men

Blockquote “We weren’t surprised that women found physically strong men attractive … what did surprise us was just how powerful the effect was,” said Aaron Sell, a senior lecturer at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia, who led the work. “Our data couldn’t find even a single woman that preferred weaker or feminine male bodies.”

Strength - measured strength - was the first principal component in their analysis, accounting for 70% of the variance in attractiveness. Being taller was slightly helpful, being fatter was slightly unhelpful, but if you have to choose, choose strong but fluffy. Powerlifters rejoice:slight_smile:

That said, the classic physique gang will love this:

Blockquote Lukazsweski said the field appears to have been misled by studies which used line drawings of the male body, rather than photographs. “Most of the studies have been done using line drawings, which have shown hulk-like freaks of nature, that are at the borderline of looking like a human,” he said.

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There’s a theory in behavioral psychology called the Expectation Theory. Essentially, it says that humans react negatively to things that are outside (exceeds OR fall short) of his/her expectation. Back in college, I used this theory as relative evidence for a philosophical dissertation concerning why human speech evolved. I coupled it with a behavioral philosophy argument by Nicholas Humphrey called Human Chess (fascinating if anyone wants to look it up).

Anyway, I’ve always used it as proof as to why females think that bodybuilders are “unattractive” and why elite powerlifters/strongmen are “unattractive”, but are full of shit when they apply the word “unattractive” to in-shape, muscular dudes in general: Because the physiques of the former group fall outside of individuals’ expectations – i.e. the Jay Cutlers and Ronnie Colemans of the world have physiques that aren’t expected, or (for amateurs) looking semi-skeletal at 5% body fat doesn’t meet expectations – while the physiques of the latter group typically fall within individuals’ expectations.

Although, it seems difficult to trust a study where the conclusion is for all females when there are 3.8 billion women in the world (7.6 billion people in the world with about half being women), but only 160 women were surveyed…and this was somehow deemed to be a large enough survey pool…

I considered the headline “read it and weep, mass monsters”

It’s interesting to say the least that the common observation that the mass monsters look weird went away when they used actual photos. However the photo base sounds like it was pulled from the general lifter population, rather than competition shots.

That said, 160 is a small sample (although not that small, you can get a decent national opinion poll with 1k-ish) and you’ve got to wonder if the Reproducibility Crisis will eat this study.