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Happy Men Are Less Sexually Attractive, Study Found

by on Apr 19, 2013

Can a Smile Ruin Your Sex Appeal?

Image Source: Via Lovendar on Pinterest

Sexual attractiveness of men

According to a new University of British Columbia study, non-verbal expressions can help rank the sexual attractiveness of men. “While displaying a happy face in a social interaction is important, including sexual attraction, several studies have actually examined whether a smile is, in fact, attractive," says Prof. Jessica Tracy of UBC's Dept. of Psychology. “Men and women respond very differently to displays of emotion, including smiles."

This is the first study to examine the link between emotions and sexual attraction, finding quite a big gender difference in the attractiveness of smiles. In this study, over 1,000 men and women were asked to rate the sexual attractiveness of the opposite sex by showing images of faces displaying shame, pride, and happiness.

Turns out, out of hundreds of images of men, women preferred and were more sexually attracted to proud, arrogant, “bad boy”, ashamed over happy, smiling men. On the other hand, men considered happy women as more sexually attractive, while proud and confident as least sexually attractive.

This phenomenon can be explained with evolutionary psychology that smiling has been associated with lack of dominance in men, or as a sign of being "submissive and vulnerable" in women. "Previous research has also suggested that happiness is a particularly feminine-appearing expression," says Alec Beall, a UBC psychology graduate student and study co-author.

According to Tracy, shameful expression associated with appeasement behaviors and an awareness of social norms, which triggers trust in people. This helps us understand why faces displaying shame are considered more attractive to both genders, Tracy adds, given that both genders give preference to a partner they can trust.

Another evolutionary theory supports that women interpret the expression of pride as competence, ability to provide for an offspring. According to Beal, the pride expression, for example, emphasizes masculine physical features that boost men's mojo, such as muscularity and upper body size. "Previous research has shown that these features are among the most attractive male physical characteristics, as judged by women," he says.

"It is important to remember that this study explored first-impressions of sexual attraction to images of the opposite sex," says Beall.

Beall pointed out that earlier studies have shown that an outgoing personality and positive emotional traits were highly desirable in a relationship partners.

The moral of the story: keep your partner happy and smiling at all times.

According to the Telefraph, a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, where 96 men from the United States and Austria have been surveyed, found what makes the women most sexually attracted and respond positively to the men's advances... (see next page)