What Attracts Women to Men, According to Science

Whether you consider your tastes in men unique or not, science has some very definitive answers about what women really want. A lot of what we find attractive is the same regardless of time or place and has a lot to do with our biological mating urges. We might be ladylike, but we’re also just a bunch of animals.

  1. Deep Voices. Equating manliness with a deep voice is not just a social construct. Multiple studies have found that women subconsciously make the link and just love the crap out of those deep tones. One British study took it a step further and found that the mixture of deepness and breathiness comes off as the perfect mix between masculine and tender. Manly, but safe. Swoon.
  2. A sense of humor. It turns out that female brains are more perceptive than male brains when it comes to the feel good effects of laughing, and being in a fertile part of our cycle increases our response to funny stuff even more. But why? Science isn’t sure exactly, but presumes it has something to do with choosing a good guy. Laughing can of course break the ice in any situation, and it also releases the feel good endorphins that cause bonding. Being funny might be a way for men to compete outside of their given physical characteristics, which they don’t have much control over. One point for personality.
  3. Friendliness… but not TOO friendly. While studies consistently show that men are more attracted to smiling women than those stuck in resting bitch face, the opposite just isn’t true. Women actually prefer men who are a little more standoffish because we perceive too much smiling or too much friendly behavior as insincerity. If you’ve ever felt like that guy at the bar was coming off too strongly even though he was being totally nice, this could be the explanation. That damn grin… so creepy. A slight prideful smile on a guy however, is the key to getting us going. So that’s how we can spot a bad boy from across any room.
  4. Tallness. It’s not that we don’t like short guys, but across the world and throughout different cultures, studies have consistently concluded that women prefer tall men. The psychology behind this supposedly stems from the fact that us ladies want to feel protected by our boos, and that’s more likely to happen if our men are bigger than us. Tall guys basically give off the vibe of being cute bodyguards we can rely on, whether they would actually have our back or not. This might not be the most open minded of ideas, but science says so.
  5. Symmetrical faces. Some studies claim that facial symmetry is a sly way of letting the world know that you have good genes, but others conclude that humans just prefer symmetry in general since nature tends to make things that way. Either way, we tend to rate symmetrical faces as hotter than ones that aren’t.
  6. Lots of testosterone. Women tend to go for men with prominent jaws and brow bones because it shows off all that testosterone they have coursing through their body. Hot. Testosterone has been linked with healthy immune systems and less oxidative stress in the body. All that health increases their odds of being somebody’s baby daddy. Women like men who smell like testosterone, as well, which we’re subconsciously sniffing for all the time, whether we like it or not.
  7. Heavy stubble. Yes, people are actually out there doing research on how women feel about men’s facial hair. An Australian study found that the magic number of beard growth days is about ten, when growth goes from light to heavy. Heavy stubble was rated higher than the alternatives of being clean shaven or having a full beard. The guys with the full beards, however, were often seen as better fathers, so maybe it just depends on what stage you’re at in your life. Whatever level the facial hair is, women associate it with masculinity, dominance and sexual maturity. One would hope.
Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blog and magazine genres. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Look for article links, updates, (and the occasional joke) on Twitter @KateFerg or @WriterKateFerg, or check out her personal blog ThatsRandomKate.blogspot.com