Attractive young man wearing volunteer t-shirt

What do women find more attractive than good looks?

By Sarah Moses March 9, 06:00 am
What makes a guy attractive to women? There’s one trait that’s even hotter than good looks, a recent US study found.

The good news is the trait has nothing to do with appearance. And it’s not something a guy either has or doesn’t. Instead, it’s a quality that can be learned and developed. Curious what it is that women find so attractive in a potential partner?

Doing good for another person

So were a group of US researchers. Studies had already shown that women find a trait called altruism attractive in a man. Altruism basically means doing good for another person. A guy who is altruistic will go out of his way to help others, even if doing so is risky or has consequences for himself.

Even though the researchers knew that women found altruism attractive, there hadn’t been any studies comparing guys who were altruistic do-gooders to those who were just plain good looking.

Would women find selfless guys more attractive than hunks?

To find out, the researchers enrolled just over 200 heterosexual women in their study. Each woman was shown several pairs of pictures. The pairs consisted of two guys: one who was unarguably a hunk and another who was decidedly less attractive.


Next, the women read a short scenario. Then they learned that one of the guys behaved altruistically in the scenario, while the other guy decided not to help. Sometimes the hunk was the do-gooder, while other times it was the less-attractive man. Afterwards, the women were asked to rate how desirable each of the two guys was either as a long-term partner or for a short affair or one-night stand.

If you’re the kind guy who goes out of his way to help others, you’re in for good news: altruism is indeed sexy in a potential partner, the study confirmed.

Guys who make it a point to help others actually become more desirable in the eyes of women. This is true if they’re considered handsome to begin with. But it’s also very much the case if they’re not.

Selfishness: not attractive

What’s more, being helpful trumps looking good. In the study, less-attractive do-gooders were rated as more desirable than selfish hunks for long-term partners.

In fact, according to the researchers, if a guy can either be handsome or a do-gooder, the latter wins out when it comes to getting the girl, in a long-term relationship anyway.

Source: Farrelly, D., Clemson, P., & Gutherie, M. (2016). Are Women’s Mate Preferences for Altruism Also Influenced by Physical Attractiveness? Evolutionary Psychology, Jan-Mar 2016:1-6.

What's hotter in a guy, looking good or doing good? Share your thoughts on Facebook (Naija and Kenya) or let's talk on our discussion board!

Did you learn something new?

i agree that there are guys who love helping others but you find they want to please evrybody even their exes and this brings problems in their current relationships.we all know what happens when your always near your ex
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