Looks or character: which is more important to women when choosing a partner?

The eternal question of what women look for in a man is always interesting. After all, women’s choices can vary greatly depending on culture, social norms and personal preferences. A recent study by psychologists at the University of Arkansas (USA) confirms that benevolence, lean muscles and a sense of humour play a key role, but their importance varies depending on the situation.

According to the study, published in the journal Personal Relationships, 394 heterosexual women, mostly young, most of whom (251) described themselves as single, expressed their views on what they found most attractive in men. So which is more important: bulging muscles or a sense of humour?

Looks or character: which is more important to women when choosing a partner?
Neuroimage by firefly.adobe.com

Muscles versus character

Interestingly, the choice depended on what kind of relationship the woman was looking for. Those who were looking for a short-term relationship were more likely to choose men with chiseled muscles. This may be because such men are perceived as healthier, stronger and able to protect the woman and her offspring.

On the other hand, women looking for a partner for a long-term relationship emphasised benevolence and a sense of humour. These qualities may indicate that the man will be a good father and husband, and able to provide emotional and psychological well-being for the woman.

Not all jokes are good

It is worth noting, however, that not all humour is attractive. Aggressive humour that might insult or humiliate someone was definitely not attractive to girls. On the contrary, kind and friendly humour seemed to be at the top of the list in terms of attractiveness.

Overall, the results of the study showed that women’s choices of male partners can vary and, as study leader Mitch Brown pointed out, “involve assessing the costs and benefits of different sets of characteristics”. Thus, women’s preferences can vary according to different circumstances and goals.

This study confirms that there is no single answer to the question of what is more important in a partner. It all depends on individual goals, desires and circumstances. But one thing remains the same: honesty, understanding and respect are important in any relationship.

Prepared by Mary Clair

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