Want to look attractive to women? Build upper body strength and get fit

A strong upper body, wide shoulders, being physically fit and having greater hand-grip strength makes men attractive to women, according to a study. “Evolutionary psychologists have shown that women’s mate choices use many cues of men’s genetic quality and ability to invest resources in the woman and her offspring,” said Aaron Sell from Griffith University in Australia. There have been similar studies that show that the most Herculean bodies were universally the most appealing.

“Among our ancestors, one variable that predicted both a man’s genetic quality and his ability to invest was the man’s formidability. Therefore, modern women should still have mate choice mechanisms that respond to cues of a man’s fighting ability,” said Sell. “One crucial component of a man’s ability to fight was his upper body strength,” he said.

The researchers tested how important physical strength is to men’s bodily attractiveness by showing women pictures of men’s bodies and asking them how attractive they were. The results, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, showed that it was possible to almost perfectly predict how attractive a man’s body is from three things: how physically strong he looks, how tall he is, and how lean he is.

The effect of strength was so large that none of the 150 women in the study preferred weak men. Furthermore, looking strong was much more important for man’s attractiveness than being tall or lean, researchers said. “The rated strength of a male body accounts for a full 70% of the variance in attractiveness,” Sell said.

“The effect of height and weight on attractiveness may indicate that women are 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,” he said.

Sell said while the women in their study preferred the strongest bodies, there was a sizeable dataset across many cultures that showed women did not always prefer the strongest looking faces.

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