The fairy tales aren’t true. In books, movies, TV shows and more, we see a man’s man, a strong, self-assured hero storm the castle and sweep his lady love, a poised, feminine princess, the damsel in distress. It seems that these gender stereotypes though they make for great storytelling, are much farther from the true life relationships and what we look for in a mate than previously thought. According to a recent study by EliteSingles, a U.K. based dating website (www.elitesingles.co.uk), 76% of feminine women prefer feminine over masculine men when it comes to settling down and even dating. Does this have anything to do with women today being more educated and better able to support themselves economically? Those who were more masculine on the scale also preferred to keep company with those more like themselves. 59% of masculine men preferred having a lady in their life that was more masculine. 68% of women who described themselves as more masculine said that gender identity was a big part of who they were attracted to. Only 26% of feminine women chose masculine men and only 25% of masculine men picked feminine women.
The study’s lead researcher Dr. Wiebke Neberich said that there were two theories accounting for the type that others are attracted to. Common wisdom separates these two categories into “opposites attract” and “birds of a feather flock together.” But according to Dr. Neberich, those who are more alike have a “more realistic” chance of staying together and flourishing. Men and women who have similar personalities understand each other better. They are more likely to have similar needs, are more emotionally compatible, have similar perceptions of the same issues. Therefore they will be more supportive and understanding toward one another than those who are in an “opposites attract” relationship. Though these results are interesting and make perfect sense, it still doesn’t clear up that unquantifiable “it” that most couples are longing for, namely chemistry. Do couples who have a similar gender style, be they more masculine or feminine, experience more chemistry between each other? Perhaps this study alludes to it. Certainly however there is plenty of nuance between having so much in common and having chemistry. It can take quite a balancing act between the two to make the perfect relationship, a difficult sweet spot to achieve. And even when a person finds someone who is in that sweet spot, that perfect balance between familiarity and newness, there can be other factors that stand in the way of happiness. Surely, this study gives us lots of insight but few concrete details as to how to find lasting love. For more on this topic read, Love in 90 Days: The Essential Guide to Finding Your Own True Loveby Diana Kirschner.
When you’re getting ready for a date you fix up your hair, pick the right clothes, make sure your perfume or cologne is alluring, you even put your pregame face on pumping up your personality, confidence and charm. But there’s one thing that plays a role in the game of attraction that you can’t improve, alter or change, your name. Amy Perfors, a researcher at MIT came across this phenomenon with a recent study. She posted profile pictures on rating website hotornot.com and asked participants to rate each photo. What she found was astonishing. The person’s name affected how each photo was rated. What factor indicated whether a name made the person attractive or not? It all came down to vowel sounds according to Perfors. Linguistics classifies vowels by the position in the mouth where they are made. There are back vowels such as the ‘o’ sounds, both long and short. And front vowels such as the ‘i’ in hit or the ‘e’ in heat. In the MIT study guys whose names had front vowel sounds such as Rick, Dave or Ben were more attractive than those with back vowel sounds like Charles, Tom, or Luke.
For women the opposite was true. The back vowel sounds were the most attractive, found in names like Robin, Laura or Carmen. Researchers also considered how masculine or feminine a name sounds in relation to its owner’s attractiveness. Androgynous or feminine sounding names such as Jamie were less attractive to women than very masculine sounding names like Steve or Darren. For the ladies it didn’t matter whether the name was very feminine like Brittany or masculine like Sam. But androgynous names like Lee were considered less attractive. Though researchers don’t exactly know why the feminine names have this rule about androgyny but are more accepting of male sounding names. Perfors hypothesizes that tomboys and more male oriented traits in women are acceptable in our society, while more feminine traits are not acceptable when it comes to men. Don’t rush out to the courthouse to change your name if your original moniker is deemed unattractive by this study. If you have two guys side by side who have similar traits but one has a more attractive name, statistically speaking he wins out. But if one of them is George Clooney, his attractiveness will outshine his name. For advice on becoming more attractive, read YOU: Being Beautiful: The Owner’s Manual to Inner and Outer Beauty by Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
What kind of voice do you find attractive? Some men like a deep voice in a woman. But most prefer the high pitched, baby doll kind. Women usually prefer a deep male voice. But this isn’t just preference. There is biology at work here. According to a new study, men prefer a high voice and women a low one as the sound of someone’s voice gives the speaker’s body style away. Birds, other animals, and even humans can perceive the speaker’s intention and their body size from the quality and frequency of the speaker’s voice. Lower sounding voices allude to a bigger body and therefore dominance and the ability to protect the mother and her young. High pitched frequencies allude to a smaller body size, submissiveness and the need to be protected.
This study was completed at University College in London. Processor Yi Xu had male participants rate a female human voice for attractiveness. When he altered the quality, pitch and spacing to signal a smaller body type he found that this was the most attractive sounding to participants. Men also preferred a breathy, high pitched voice with lots of spacing between words. He did the same thing for female participants only this time it was a deep voice with less spacing that correlated with the most attractive. One surprise researchers found was that women also preferred a breathy quality to a man’s voice, indicating a softness under the aggression of a large body mass. Although we are far advanced compared to other creatures in the animal kingdom, it seems that we still have many biological qualities that are an integral part of the courtship process. You can find this study online in the journal PLOS ONE. For advice on how to improve your voice, read Set Your Voice Free: How to Get the Singing or Speaking Voice You Want by Roger Love and Donna Frazier.
So many movies are the same. The lovely young maiden is trapped by the evil wretched villain. Her only hope, a knight in shining armor who swoops in to vanquish his opponent, free his lady love, sweep her up into his arms and ride off with her clutching him as the sun sets and the credits roll. But it isn’t just Hollywood that’s obsessed with the damsel in distress, guys fall for this female character, too. Many women, particularly in the West who are independent and can take care of themselves, hate this stereotypical heroine, and Hollywood and other media sources have heard and adjusted. This phenomenon still hangs on. So why are guys drawn to the damsel in distress? Mostly it’s because it makes him feel manly to be able to swoop in and save her. It makes him feel wanted, needed, important, a hero. It also makes her look feminine to him. Men throughout the ages have been traditionally the protectors and providers. Women, whether the modern feminist minded want to admit it or not, are also attracted to men who can make them feel safe and secure. Helping boosts a man’s ego. But saving a woman whom he also finds irresistible, that is a recipe for a man in love. Another thing, it’s easy to approach this woman. She needs help and he can provide it. It puts him at a superior standing.
This feeling of being a man, of doing manly things and becoming secured in one’s manliness helps to build the male ego. When he feels important, wanted, needed, and essential it feeds his ego, makes him feel manly and gives him a sense of pride that he is doing something good for a woman who deserves his services. The trick is to be a damsel in distress and at the same time not to be needy. This is easier said than done. Guys do want a woman to be independent. He wants her generally to have her own friends, career and passions in life. But he doesn’t want to feel as though she doesn’t need him at all. If you want to get closer to him but still maintain your independence, simply ask for his help in something. It could be a little matter. To fix something, ask for help in using a technical piece of equipment for instance if you are both working in the office together. The copier is always a source of consternation for any office worker. If there isn’t anything mechanical or technical around, ask for his advice or opinion on something. Thank him later on and let him know how much he helped. Once you’ve primed his ego in this manner he’s bound to warm to you. Remember not to use this all the time if you happen to be dating a guy or else you may come off as needy. But a little request for help now and then can pique his interest in you and let him know he’s needed and desired. For more tips on how to attract a man, read the advice of Ellen Dugan in her book, How To Enchant A Man: Spells to Bewitch, Bedazzle & Beguile.
You know that old cliché of the frowning guy who sits quietly by himself in the corner and gets all the girls attention? According to new research it’s the brooding, moody, hard to get man that women find most attractive (hindustantimes). Happy and content men, not so much. The University of British Columbia conducted a study of one thousand adults to reach this conclusion. Smiling, content men were the least attractive because they didn’t appear as masculine, strong or robust as their brooding cohorts. There were many other reasons posited for this phenomenon. First, evolutionary theories suggest that men who act this way do so out of status, competence and pride. A brooding, unhappy and closed man also presents a challenge to a woman. A smiling man would be easy to attract. But someone who is distant, serious and disinterested is difficult for her to get attention from. It’s a huge ego boost if she can win his heart. This is the basic tendency of people not valuing what is easy to acquire, but valuing what is hard to get. Psychologist Nranjan Reddy says that it’s the secret he’s holding that gives a sense of intrigue, magnetically drawing women in.
Although we know that women are attracted to these type of men, is it good for them? That is another matter. Oftentimes these type of men have serious psychological problems, are going through a hard time in life, or are just lone wolves who do not always make the best partners. It isn’t that a woman who is attracted to this type of man can’t find love. But she should be careful to look underneath the surface, take her time and see why exactly he acts this way. Jumping into a full on relationship with a mate who acts like this may be wonderful. A woman can help him with whatever is bothering him and the two can grow close and form a tight bond. It could also be toxic as whatever underlying issues he has starts to affect her. Instead, take your time to get to know him. Guys, having this knowledge can be good for you too. Instead of acting very happy and content, why not try a serious pose when attracting the woman of your dreams. Don’t always act this way, but find your inner serious guy and show her this side of you first. You may get better results than you realize.