Unsurprising Study Finds Most Women Find Muscled Men More Attractive

If you, like me, are a dude who's on the doughier side, content to rock the dad bod regardless of parental status, you might not be completely out of luck with the ladies — if I've managed to find myself a nice woman to settle down with, anybody can — but it also might not hurt to trim down and try a few sit-ups to increase your chances.

And that's not just conjecture; science backs it up!

Researchers at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia did the dirty work confirming what we all suspected: ladies prefer muscled men.

Surely there must be some women out there with a soft spot for the proverbial 98-pound weaklings, but if so, they weren't involved in the Griffith University study.

For the study, the researchers recruited 160 women to rate the attractiveness of a series of pictures of headless torsos. Some of which were just random university students and some of which were taken from a local gym. All of the men in the photos also participated in a strength test.

And out of the 160 women participating, every single one found stronger-looking men more attractive.

That, on its own, didn't throw anybody for a large loop.

"We weren’t surprised that women found physically strong men attractive ... what did surprise us was just how powerful the effect was," study lead Aaron Sell told The Guardian. "Our data couldn't find even a single woman that preferred weaker or feminine male bodies."

Going into the study, the thinking was that muscles were only preferable up to a point.

Men that packed on pecs to the point of almost inhuman strength were thought to be less appealing, but the study shoved that idea to the ground and kicked sand in its face.

Aaron Lukaszewski, a Cal State evolutionary psychologist, put much of that misperception down to how previous studies into physical attraction were conducted.

"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 told The Guardian.

Just why, in scientific terms, women might show such a clear preference for hunky dudes is debatable.

In their paper on the study, the researchers suggested that it all goes back to primal forces guiding mate selection based on their ability to fight and secure resources.

"Modern women, therefore, should have mate choice mechanisms that respond to ancestral cues of a man's fighting ability. One crucial component of a man's ability to fight is his upper body strength," the study reads. "Estimates of physical strength determined over 70% of men's bodily attractiveness."

Yeah, 70% of a man's attractiveness comes from his perceived strength, according to the study.

The women in the study also gave additional points to factors such as height and leanness, but the vast majority of it came down to pure physical strength. Which in a way is good news for some fellows out there: "Our results suggest that even if you’re a bit overweight, looking strong can buffer that. Basically, being a strong, fat guy is OK, which I think would bring comfort to many," Sell told The Guardian. So if you're more muffin top than stud muffin, it's not the end of the world.

What do you think? Do you agree with the research, or has your experience varied? Let us know in the comments!

h/t: The Guardian

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