Prefer appearance or personality

psychology : Women want a good looking partner

For women, the “inner values” are particularly important when choosing a partner. At least in surveys, they emphasize characteristics such as nice, understanding, cooperative, humorous, family-friendly, interesting, intelligent and educated. The external attractiveness of the partner regularly ends up in the back seats and appears to be less important. But that's probably only part of the truth, as a new study from the USA shows. As soon as women can choose between the portraits of attractive and less attractive men, they opt for the better-looking ones, even if they have less positive traits. The "outer" triumph over the "inner values".

Eastern Connecticut State University's Madeleine Fugère and her team asked 80 women between the ages of 15 and 29 about their preferences for a male partner. In addition, 61 mothers were interviewed about the type of man they preferred for their daughters.

Who is eligible for a rendezvous?

Each woman was presented with three photos of different men, each of which was supplemented by a personality profile with three characteristics. The “friendly” profile, for example, was made up of “friendly, reliable, mature”, the “pleasing” one made up of “appealing and pleasant disposition, ambitious, intelligent”. The women had to decide how attractive they thought the respective man was, how they rated his personality and whether he was an option for a rendezvous.

The most important thing for women was physical attractiveness, as the study published in the journal "Evolutionary Psychological Science" revealed. Particularly good-looking men ended up in the front seats as well as average-looking men. Only when they had an extremely flattering personality was it possible for the average guy to be just as desired as extremely handsome men. The mothers were more willing to compromise, in their judgment the appearance was not so important.

Those who are not attractive have little chance

In any case, poor men were not so favored by nature. No matter how promising her character was, the external flaw prevented her from being considered as a possible partner. “A minimal level of male physical attractiveness is imperative for women as well as for their mothers”, is the conclusion of the author Fugère.

Sobering, but understandable from a psychological point of view. Because the pleasant appearance of a potential partner is not an end in itself. It is apparently unconsciously linked to other positive properties, such as an equally pleasant character, health and fertility. In contrast, a good personality profile that is only available on paper but is accompanied by an unappealing appearance is simply not convincing.

"External values" such as even and symmetrical facial features are definitely a sign of hidden "internal" qualities of a person. That may be one reason why beauty - male and female - can blind us and deprive us of critical judgment.

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