back to article Chaps: Give up, you'll never understand women

Further scientific evidence emerged today that a commonly-held viewpoint is actually true. At least in some respects, women as a group simply don't agree on what they want: it's fairly useless therefore for men seeking female companionship to strive towards an ideal of attractiveness. By contrast, male psychology is simple and …

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  1. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Quick qualifier: AMERICAN women, 1 study

    Although this researcher polled 4000 people, I would hazard a guess (as the article doesn't state otherwise) that thee were all americans, or at least lived / worked in and around North Carolina.

    That's a helluva leap, to a generalisation about half the people on the globe.

    At best, all it tells us is that people who take surveys lie (maybe they *know* what conventional attractiveness is, and in the men's case just reply with that). At worst it tells us that what women find attractive cannot be ascretained from a mere photo.

    It's also bugger-all use in getting a partner, because, as everyone knows: the good ones are already taken.

  2. S Larti
    Paris Hilton

    Shock News!

    Men & women are different!

    In other research, arboreal ursine defecation unveiled!

    Paris, because she's "surveyed" a few chaps in her time.

  3. David Hicks
    Troll

    I'm not so sure about that...

    "Ladies reap additional benefit from their random approach to finding men attractive, as in general they don't face competition - their possible rivals probably favouring something quite different in the boyfriend line than what they may have snared themselves."

    In my (limited) experience, there's nothing that women like as much as a man who is already showing that he can be a satisfactory partner by being one.

  4. northern monkey
    Go

    There's only one answer...

    ...Go gay: "We're only picky if you're ugly."

  5. Paul Murphy 1
    Paris Hilton

    Hmm - was this in any way predicatable?

    Research into the male angle:

    5 mins down the pub and the results are in. 'hourglass figure and a smile (preferably a sly/dirty one)

    Research into the female angle:

    maybe 20 million years and still ongoing....

    And that's mainly because they don't know themselves what they want.

    PH - well I find her attractive at any rate (as long as she keeps her mouth shut anyway).

  6. Ed Blackshaw Silver badge
    Boffin

    This was done by questionnaire?

    I wonder how much of the apparent conformity amongst males is down to societal conformity, rather than actual personal preferences. Maybe the study would be better conducted using FMRI rather than asking the volunteers which they preferred?

  7. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Coat

    Not a realistic basis for the survey.

    The researchers made the mistake of assuuming the primary factor in attractiveness for females is physical looks. After all, to boost the response for a particular blokes photo, all they would have to do is take a snap of him in doctor's uniform, holding a large wad of cash, and some suitably sparkly jewelry ready for his "beloved", and I'm sure the majority of the women polled would put him top of their list even if he was a hairy, buck-toothed dwarf

    /OK, Mrs B, no need to push, I'm going!

  8. Nigel Wright

    It's easier...

    ...just to pay a whore for sex.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Que?

    Why is it "bad news all round" for the blokes? Surely the point is that however butt-ugly you are, somewhere out there there's a lass that'll take a shine to you?

  10. sleepy

    it's just evolution

    Males want a fit & healthy mate to bear and raise their children.

    Females want a powerful mate to protect them and their children.

    The conclusions of this survey are a simple reflection of that.

  11. Matt 21

    Depends

    If you're a spotty teenager looking for a shag, or an adult looking to form a relationship. The survey may be of help if the former, but doesn't really help with the latter.

    Of course they missed out on the boob angle, good smile indeed!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Well whatever women want in a partner...

    ...I just dont seem to have it. I look in the mirror and what I see looks ok, but sometyhing must be wrong, and I am not a hairy buck toothed dwarven Doctor either.

    IT angle? Mention computers on a first date and she'll exit so fast she'll meet herself coming in.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: It's easier...

    @ Nigel Wright. It may be easier to pay a whore for sex - but who is going to cook and do the dishes?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Wrong test

    Just ask women to rate men based on salaries. You probably wouldn't even need pictures...

  15. Jacqui

    Quattro

    I still remember my sister Lisa telling me (in the 80's) about my other sister Tracey's new BF over the phone. He sounded like a complete twat and I said so - her response "but he has a quattro!" as if this explained everything.

    Every time I watch Ashes to Ashes I am reminded of that fat greasy northeastern pillock she dated because he had a flash car.

    Jacqui

    p.s. Our Tracey has settled down and is married to an average looking sensible hard working fella, 2.2 kids, little car the works...

    I think the quattro twat was single until his "death by chips".

  16. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Missed the point... by *this* much

    This whole thing seems like the worst kind of evolutionary psychology "just so" story.

    If there's an evolutionary advantage to women in having different preferences (less likely to lose your mate to a competitor), why doesn't the same logic apply to men? Why haven't men evolved to prefer a wide variety of physical types? In fact, that logic would predict that the effect would be much STRONGER for men since when it comes to propagating genes to the next generation, the scarce and valuable resource is wombs. If you prefer the same "type" as all the other men, you lower your chance of reproducing while increasing your chance of being tricked into raising somebody else's spawn -- the worst possible outcome as far as your genes are concerned.

    This kind of post facto "any outcome can be explained" nonsense is exactly why evolutionary psychology struggles to be taken seriously as a science.

  17. Nigel Wright
    Thumb Up

    @AC

    Mum! :-)

    Or the casual female acquaintances I have when I'm at home.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The primary reason for attraction for women is looks.

    They're not going to admit to the guy whose money they want that they find a man 20 years younger, and fitter, more attractive are they.

    The reality is that men and women are each other's parasites. Thus the reason that women are impossible to work out, is because they're actively trying to ensure you never find out their motives.

    This is basic Psychology of the conman, never let the mark know he is.

    The easy way to work out what women want, is to look at what they get.

    If they end up with kids (whose paternal lineage is never proven,) plus money from a rich man who they nominate, plus the shagging of young good looking men, plus the absence of cleaning the money provider's socks, plus laws to help them do it, you can pretty much assume this is what they want. If they didn't, they'd be voting against it would they not?

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Tall and rich

    Last study I saw of this sort was based on "speed dating" data, and suggested that womens' preferences were very strongly correlated with the men being tall and rich.

  20. northern monkey
    Megaphone

    @Jacqui

    You better not be making slurs against north-easterners!? Jacqui and Tracey - you're pure class (not in the mackem sense) your family are!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Most men don't realise

    that, in Western society at least, women are the sexual predators now and have been for the last 2 decades.

    Let's face it guys, they enjoy sex more then we do. What we've got left to enjoy is to beat the shit out of each other: A Fight / Religious Club.

    'Mention computers on a first date ...' Made me laugh that. I've used 'Do you like maths?' to ward off any unwanted predators. I'm very picky when I'm focussing on my pint of cider.

  22. Richard 102
    Coat

    Speaking personally ...

    I like big b*tts and I cannot lie.

    Mine's the one with the iPod Shuffle full of Sir Mix-a-Lot

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting....

    Evidence shows that in the past our ancestors used a harem like group mating structure. The bigger stronger male would have many female mates. Apparantly this is why females are 15% smaller.

    Based on this it is to teh advantage of females to conform to a pattern to be as attractive as possible to the strongest male. Where as males are just interested in seed cariers

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So women don't hold as much value on looks?

    There you have it attraction mechanisms differ between men and women. Men place a lot of value on looks, women it appears are less interested in physical appearance when choosing a mate.

    To tell the truth this makes sense, think of all the butt ugly blokes you see walking around with a hot woman on their arm. I also heard it said that women are more attracted to your personality and how your being than requiring you to be the tall dark handsome archetype they ask for all the time.

    So guys be happy, looks while mattering do not matter as much as we may think they do.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    Re RE: It's easier...

    Who is going to cook and do the dishes? You'r enot paying that whore enough

  26. kissingthecarpet

    Theres also

    how good a shag a woman is. They might be beautiful, but if they lie there like a sack of taters, surely their appeal is limited to necros & blow-up doll users.

    Initial contact may be based on looks, but quality of sex(emotional & physical) is where its at.

  27. Sabine Miehlbradt
    Grenade

    Honestly

    We just like to confuse the hell out of you guys.

  28. Blitheringeejit

    Relevant to what exactly?

    There's little point losing sleep about attraction to types or photos, since that rarely has a bearing on anything other than idle conversation. Proper attraction is far more about how people smell, move and laugh than how they look on a photo.

    Yet even real attraction isn't necessarily that relevant to relationships. I long ago discovered (the hard way) that the women I find devastatingly attractive always seem to be complete nutters who do my head in if we get within emotional range of each other.

    And (I suspect like most people), I ended up living happily with someone who isn't really my type, in photos - which may be one of the reasons why she's sane, loving, and brilliant.

    But most importantly, she's probably the only person in the world who can actually put up with living with *me*. That's the one you have to find!

  29. TeeCee Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Posts indicate that Good Charlotte said it all then.

    Girls don't like boys, girls like cars and money!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @ Paul Murphy 1

    As long as PH keeps her mouth SHUT? I would limit it to as long as she doesn't talk...

    OK, OK, I'm leaving...

  31. JohnG
    Happy

    David Hicks - me too

    Yes, I can vouch for that, women are attracted to men who other women want, i.e. men who are already married.

    My experience is that women are typically just as shallow as men - they just won't admit it (often) :-)

    Actually, women don't understand women either. I can't count the number of times shop assistants have tried to help my wife choose something and she says "I don't know how she thinks she can help when I dont know what I'm looking for yet".

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Bears/Woods!

    Do what your told.

    Do some housework at least 25% of the time.

    Give up the odd Saturday for above chores.

    If you're in an argument, give up, 'cos you'll never win it, not matter if 100% right.

    No matter how minute the embarrassing thing you did is, she'll remember it forever, but forget the most embarrassing thing she ever did, 5 mins after it happened.

    Woman are better than us, mentally stronger than us! Spare a thought for us blokes with lots of female offspring! We get the pain of seeing it form, from early practised beginnings to the brain-melting fruition of woman in her full stride! ( There has to be some sort of retriement home somewhere for Dads of girls, surely? )

  34. Ian 31
    Thumb Up

    Thin?

    No thanks, bring on the chubby birds!

  35. Vicky
    FAIL

    Er...

    "The prof thinks that the possibly excessive amount of time spent by modern women becoming as thin and seductive as possible is actually well worthwhile, as simple-minded men will almost all react positively to the results."

    ... ASSuming you see the catching of a simple-minded man as a "worthwhile" result. Hmm.

  36. Stephen 5

    Re: Honesty is the best policy

    "Be yourself" no I say "Be your best self"

  37. David S
    Coat

    @sleepy

    Well...

    A slightly more likely evolutionary model would have women preferring a strong, reliable, dependable and secure (possibly boring, dumpy, bald) man to act as the head of their household / protector / provider.

    The chap who actually contributes the genes for the offspring, on the other hand, might be selected on entirely different criteria. Attractiveness, abilities in the sack etc.

    Hence, one might assume, the evolution of the bit-of-rough-on-the-side.

    (Don't blame me. I got it from some Richard Dawkins tome or another...)

  38. stu 4
    Grenade

    they are a feckin mystery to me

    I'm mid 30s. Look mid 20s (maybe its being single ages you less). I earn approx 90K a year. I am reasonably attractive looking, swimmers build. I have fast cars, nice motorbike.. I sky dive, scuba dive, fly my own aircraft.

    All in all, I'd have thought I was a decent catch.

    However most women seem to think I am either gay, or 'need to cheer up' (I just naturally look bored)

    fecking moon on a stick then want... moon on a feckin stick!!!

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't see how this is "bad news all round"

    more like good news, as it means there's a woman somewhere for everyone. Keep on searching...

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Erm?

    So, when the only information supplied was some photos, i.e. images of physical features, men's judgement was "based primarily around physical features". Really? They didn't base their choice on something other than the information given?

    Only conclusion is that if you ask a man to do something simple he does it, as asked. Ask a woman to do something simple......

    Yep, we are different, and viva la difference!

    Mine's the one with the "simple and proud" badge...

  41. b166er

    Unfortunately, Vicky...

    The Prof. is trying the oldest trick in the book by distinguishing himself from those 'simple-minded' men! I've yet to meet a man who doesn't find thin and seductive; attractive, whether simple-minded or not.

    I was once entertained by this thought from a co-worker; " when you're 18, make a deposit in the sperm-bank and then have the snip. Then the ball is in your court, 'cos her eggs ain't getting fertilised until YOU say so"

    BTW Jacqui, Quattro's rocked! (shh all you phallus extensionist whiners)

    It seems to me that women make out they want to change you, but in reality, they feel safe around the calm that is your single-mindedness and would dump you every time if you really did change. (Would see it as a sign of weakness)

    Sabine, I bet you've got a great smile! <pulls pin out and throws it back>

  42. This post has been deleted by its author

  43. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Headmaster

    @David S.

    Lots of empirical research (with chimps amongst others) to back it up. Women's preferences for men changes over the menstrual cycle. Add to that a suggested link between immune systems and the smell of sweat (inverted by the pill, apparently). Plus lots of research to be done on how much of a pack animal we actually are.

    So no one really knows but being confident in yourself seems to help both sexes, always.

  44. adnim

    @AC:Bears/Woods

    As a middle aged man and survivor of two long term (>=10 year) relationships and countless short term fun and frolic type relationships, I wholly concur with you. So much so it has to be repeated:

    Do what your told.

    Do some housework at least 25% of the time.

    Give up the odd Saturday for above chores.

    If you're in an argument, give up, 'cos you'll never win it, not matter if 100% right.

    However I would add... Do something special once every month or so... Flowers, chocolates, cook a nice meal, prepare a candle lit bath for two to share. Do whatever it is that makes your woman smile and feel appreciated. Do it when it is least expected.

    Yeah women or at least relationships with them are very hard work. And I am sure my lady experiences nothing but pure pleasure living with me.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Happy

    WTF Do what you're told?

    I don't get that one at all. Are you men, or are you mice?

    Yes, dear.

    @AC - 14:48 GMT - There has to be some sort of retriement home somewhere for Dads of girls, surely?

    Don't call me Shirley. And yes, it's out with the sheep.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    In a nutshell

    To sum up the research:

    Women are indecisive.

    Ouch!

  47. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    "thin" but also "muscular"

    ""thin" but also "muscular""

    As stated in the article.. well, this is confusing, but not by American standards. See when a lot of people here say "thin" they don't *really* mean "thin", they mean "not fat". People here will, with a straight face, call some 300-pound linebacker "thin" because he is all muscle.

    This also causes other problems though, people here will try to lose *weight* by exercising, instead of losing *fat* by exercising.. and then get all pissed "Oh my, I haven't lost a pound!!". My friend fell into this trap, he was getting ready to go on a starvation diet until I pointed out muscle is heavy, and he'd actually burned off most of his fat already -- he'd just replaced it with muscle.

  48. John H Woods Silver badge
    Happy

    @Stu4

    "I'm mid 30s. Look mid 20s (maybe its being single ages you less). I earn approx 90K a year. I am reasonably attractive looking, swimmers build. I have fast cars, nice motorbike.. I sky dive, scuba dive, fly my own aircraft. ... All in all, I'd have thought I was a decent catch."

    Not sure about that. I hate you already and I have only just met you.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Thanks Lewis

    I never thought you were one for reporting the bleedin' obvious.

    As for girls, well they're liars of course. I'm sorry, but I have yet to witness any comedians dating supermodels, which they must all be doing if it's true that a sense of humour is more important than physical attractiveness. Surely the funnier the guy the more attractive his girl, right? No. Because universally, comedians look like arse and couldn't score with other comedians that also look like arse.

    Every guy willing to tell the truth knows that only the preened Adonis of their school year got the girls they secretly lusted after. And he did so despite being caught cheating on them a dozen times with anyone else who caught his eye.

    So there you have it. That's everything men understand about women - they lie about what attracts them and they are mean when they have periods. Apart from those gems we haven't got a fucking clue because we don't understand a species that doesn't use the actual words they mean. Men we say what we mean, even if we're lying. To translate us, you read what we said.

    If we say "I want a beer" it means "I want a beer" and not "I need to be drunk to be in the same room as you". If we wanted to say that we'd say "I need to be drunk to be in the same room as you" and believe me, we're more than stupid enough to say it.

    To translate woman-speke you need another woman.

    /soapbox

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    my head is about to explode!!!

    @Sabine, no offense, you do a damn good job!

    @ el Reg: You mean to tell me someone actually commissioned this study to be done?!?! For real money?!?! Who are these people, because I've got some compelling theories on exactly which shade of blue the sky is, when it's clear, that I'll be happy to share with them for $100,000.

  51. Trixr
    Paris Hilton

    Yet more evo pysch bullshit

    Although I don't know how much this study is any different to the others that seem to show that *some* men tend to be more influenced by looks, where *some* women tend to be more about the whole package (and crap Quattro cars may well be part of the package).

    Also, how many *more* men are influenced by looks compared to the women? 2%? 20%? 80%? Someone needs to go back to Stats 101.

    /Paris, because she's not influenced by looks at all, oh no

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Pay a whore for sex

    Well, you've got the right idea. What you're actually paying a whore for is to go away after. If only the whores realised this, they wouldn't actually be whores. Possibly.

    When it comes to women, just try and pull the prettiest one you can. The ugly ones aren't worth the hassle. Trust me;).

    Paris is shedding a tear 'cause I haven't got around to her yet. Patience, darling;).

  53. Goat Jam
    Joke

    @Nigel Wright

    uh, any fule no that u don't pay a whore for sex.

    You pay her to go away afterwards.

    (with apologies to the South Park writers)

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    @ac - 23:41 GMT

    thanks for making me spew all over my nice, shiny, new keyboard.

    Can I have that beer now?

    Yes, be thankful the moderatrix didn't cane you for your 'when they have periods".

  55. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Utter rubbish

    Yes men "generally" prefer similar types of women (with only minor variances), but the researchers conclusions about women are a complete fail.

    Firstly the way women present themselves is rarely about attracting us males.... it's about competition with other women (ie they want to look as good as or better than their peers) in an effort to get respect from other women. The only time they care what us guys think of their presentation is when they want to manipulate us to get their way on a matter.

    Secondly, research, from a few years ago, proved that what women find physically attractive varies depending on what time of the month it is... around the time of ovulation they prefer stronger fitter looking males, while the rest of the cycle they prefer more sensitive (the research actually called it feminine) looking males.

    Lastly, women usually have a wide tolerance for what is physically "acceptable" in a mate, so their choices usually takes other factors into consideration; factors like:

    - how long can the guy avoid saying something stupid

    - how well can he provide, and protect

    - how easily can he be manipulated him (the more they hate him, the more attractive he is)

    - is he attractive to other women (the fact that someone else wants him marks him as worthwhile having)

    Other things women like in a man:

    - one who doesn't whine and act like a victim

    - one who will take responsibility and show leadership

    - money doesn't hurt (this is more important to some women that others)

    Yes women are full of contradictions, but that doesn't mean they can't be understood...

    I just wish I'd understood them when I was a growing up...

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    There is hope!

    "Meanwhile the female respondents' desires in a chap were much harder to predict,"

    This means that the rest of you geeks actually have a shot with some woman some place. But knowing your luck - they live 12000 km away and don't have running water or network communications.

    So go get a drink - it will feel better in about 6 pints.

  57. Jeffrey Nonken
    Troll

    Ummmmm

    ... some of us like the curvy women. You know, the ones that look like adult female humans, instead of starving teenaged boys with tits.

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Crosss-section of what population?

    North Carolina? Doesn't the population there include hill-billies from the Appalachians, where most of the women are proud to be able to grow a moustache and a good proportion of them have significant beard growth? And the guys go for them very enthusiastically and wouldn't want a girl who couldn't grow a moustache.

    And what are the women looking for? A guy with a half-ton truck with a couple of shotguns on the rack?

    Preferences do vary from area to area as well as from individual to individual.

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Grenade

    Huh, pointless cliches all around.

    Women want a man who they consider better than them. Look at any relationship you know and see what the man provides that the woman did not already have - for some, its stability, others its the ability to impress their friends, etc.

    A couple of worked examples; my best friend is a super-confident, articulate, intelligent unemloyed person, who attracts the thin model types with low self-esteem. I am an intelligent, relatively inexperienced wimp, who seems to attract the averagely smart women with a history of violence or infidelity.

    Equality is a myth; sad but true.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Blokes - take control of the situation

    Read "The Game" by Neil Strauss and then go out and fill your boots.

    PH cos she got gamed by Papa.

  61. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Blokes - take control of the situation

    Hmm. So, tell me, has 'negging' worked for you?

    Neil Strauss is a nut. If you have to resort to that level of manipulation to get a date then there's something wrong.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Objectives...

    Of course men are quite literally after only one thing when you're showing pictures.

    Women can get that very easily and don't value it as highly, so they're looking for someone they think is well paid (or rich enough not to be paid), this is not immediately assessable photographically so the poor dears struggle a bit.

    The other part of the test should have been showing them the blokes wallets, I bet they go for the fat ones there...

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Blokes - take control of the situation

    Sarah, Neil Strauss manipulates the situation - not the woman. Ross Jeffries on the other hand...

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