Some women are attracted to married men, and a new study may have a psychology-based explanation for why this is. The research showed that when a man is desired by other women, his physical attractiveness is automatically boosted, suggesting the ultimate sign of a man’s allure may be a wedding band.
For the study, the team of international researchers from the UK and the USA recruited 49 female participants from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland to judge photographs of men both before and after they learned the man’s average rating from other women. The women were asked to rate 20 images of men’s faces and hands using a scale of 0-100 for “not at all attractive” to “very attractive.” Photographs were of male volunteers from St. Andrew’s staff and student population. The women also rated a piece of abstract art to serve as a control.
After their first round of ratings, the women were shown what they were told was the average rating of the men from either “some of” or “all of” the other female respondents and were then asked to re-rate the men.
Results showed that women’s rating of a man’s facial attractiveness rose by an average of 13 per cent after they learned about positive ratings from other women. Not only did the women rate the men higher after learning of their social rating, they also took less time to decide on a man’s attractiveness. It took participants an average of 6.92 seconds to issue the first rating but an average of 4.54 seconds to provide the second rating.
The researchers suggest this trend may be due to a psychological process known as “mate-copying.” However, lead study researcher Catherine Cross, a researcher in the school of psychology and neuroscience at St. Andrews University, told Newsweek that although the findings may show evidence of our tendency to follow a trend, this specific findings does not describe how the women would act, only how they might think. Read more