Gym and weightlifting enthusiasts, there is cause for celebration. In a recent report released by the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, women classified men who displayed evident strength as most attractive. The study entailed the female participants rating photos of the male bodice. In addition, leanness and height were considered highly appealing traits as well, but strength of the male torso was deemed most important in their eyes.
“No one will be surprised by the idea that strong men are more attractive,” commented the lead writer Aaron Lukaszewski. “It's no secret that women like strong, muscular guys,” he continued.
There was absolutely no wiggle room for doubt in these findings as none of the 160 participants indicated a numerical fondness for feebler looking males. “That is so obvious, people are going to wonder why scientists needed to study it,” relayed Holly Dunsworth, who happens to be an anthropologist at the University of Rhode Island and did not take part in the study. “And the answer would be because they want to know how these preferences evolved.”
The lead psychologist and his fellow researchers formulated a photo database of tanktop-wearing or shirtless male university students, all of whom studied in the Santa Barbara area. However, their true identities were censored with face blurring. 60 men featured in the sample photos were drafted from the campus gym; 130 of whom were registered to study psychology subjects. The academics measured the mens’ physical aptitudes through various types of gym equipment.
The female participants were also students in late adolescence or early 20s registered at Oklahoma State University and randomly enough, Australia's very own Griffith University. Both sexes were instructed to cast judgement on how attractive or strong they believed the men to be, on a scale of 1 to 7. Apparently, humans are quite talented at guessing a random person’s strength as the results were very accurate.
There are evolutionary and biological reasons as to why women find strength so irresistible. A strong body signals a healthy individual with a hearty immune system who would, in turn, produce strong offspring. The study also found strength was an “indicator of one’s ability to provide material and social benefits,” Lukaszewski commented. In this sense, a robust male has worth as a probable guardian of women and children and is favoured by other males as a hunting associate.
If scientists had conducted this survey 100 years ago, when protein was rarer and physical labour was not, heftier torsos would have been considered more desirable than lean ones. Of course, leanness was not unanimously esteemed across all nations and time periods. Lukaszewski has stated that his crew of scientists intend to scrutinise physical attractiveness around the world. “We have a cross-cultural study that’s underway right now,” the psychologist revealed, one that encompassed over 12 sites.
Read the study here.