Study: Unattractive men not viewed as ‘dating material,’ no matter how great their personality

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. — Maybe nice guys really do finish last, after all. Women don’t view unattractive men as “dating material,” no matter how exceptional their other qualities are, a new study finds.

Researchers at Eastern Connecticut State University looked at the mate preferences of 80 young women, aged 15 to 29, while also having 61 of their mothers weigh in.

The participants were presented with photographs of men varying in both attractiveness and described as one of three dispositions: “friendly,” “pleasing,” or “respectful.”

Couple on date
A new study finds that women don’t view unattractive men as “dating material,” no matter how great their other qualities may be.

Additional trait profiles were explained for each of the three dispositions. Men labeled “respectful” included the traits ‘respectful, trustworthy, and honest;’ the ‘friendly’ men were labeled ‘friendly, dependable, and mature;’ and the ‘pleasing” profile meant that the man was ‘of a pleasing disposition, ambitious, and intelligent.’

The women were then asked to assess how attractive they found each man photographed, along with whether they found the man suitable to date, either themselves or for their daughters.

Simply put, men viewed as unattractive were not viewed as potential suitors, no matter the level of other redeeming qualities that accompanied their photos. Those with favorable personality traits that were ranked highly were at least moderately attractive.

“We conclude that a minimum level of physical attractiveness is a necessity for both women and their mothers,” says lead researcher Madeleine Fugère in a journal news release.

Mothers, however, didn’t shut the door on their offspring dating a relatively unattractive guy if he outperformed in other departments. But the younger participants wouldn’t budge.

“This may signal that unattractiveness is less acceptable to women than to their mothers,” says Fugère. “It might also mean that women and their mothers may have different notions of what constitutes a minimally acceptable level of physical attractiveness, with mothers employing a less stringent standard than their daughters.”

Although women will go on record to say that they prioritize personality characteristics over handsomeness in a partner, “they [still] assume that the potential mates at least meet a minimally acceptable standard of physical attractiveness,” Fugère adds.

The study was published in the journal Evolutionary Psychological Science.


  1. There are plenty of unattractive men who also happen to be rich, powerful, famous who marry pretty women. Now take away the money and fame, these same guys would not be with the women they are. Money and power, Hollywood or music fame gets unattractive men far.

      1. Men would never be seen with a unattractive women, its literally the only thing you all care about. Shallow attracts shallow.

  2. Now add wealth into the mix. Describe the level of it according to the inverse of the attractiveness of the men, the prettier ones as the poorest, and the homeliests as the wealthier ones, see how it affects how a new set of female participants judge the men in the pictures now.

    1. Already been done. They have to jack up the income of the unattractive guy to $150-200,000 before women choose him over an unemployed male model. Shocking? LOOKS MATTER TO WOMEN.

  3. Hahaha! What a joke this article is! So why are attractive women seen with unattractive men? MONEY. Isn’t it amazing how money can make unattractive men attractive, instantaneously?

      1. Try harder! C’mon, you can do better than weak sauce trolling like that! 😅😂🤣

  4. Being able to look past the merely physical to see the beauty within takes effort. It used to be that women weren’t so superficial as men when it came to choosing a mate. It’s sad to see that they have been reduced to the level of men in yet another way.

    1. The man I have had to work with as of 2 months ago is a annoying lazy, know it all type. He puts off this “I’m the bomb , I have been here a very long tIme and I’m somebody. One day, he had his very large hand gun laying on his desk, just before he was getting ready to leave for the day. I think it was to impress me. I had to hold back telling him that I know I could shoot that way better then him. My high school boyfriend taught me how to shoot a lot of different types of fire arms. Also, I was around guns growing up. But I didn’t want to engage. Since I’m new and have alot of questions for the entire staff 03 4 people, I have to ask him things, and he asks so inconvenienced and annoyed. All he is , is a bill collector and their collecting system is pretty simple in terms of how they do things, so I don’t know what he’s so proud of.
      He’s not attractive and he’s very thin with stick legs. I had an issue today and he talked down to me and got all bothered. I’m finding it very hard to keep the peace and not react . But I’m older than him and I want him to know that and don’t forget it.

  5. Attractiveness is just that, attraction. For both men and women looks are the initial draw. But then personality takes over. To base your relationship upon that first impression alone is to court disaster and shallowness. But getting to know someone over time can overcome any deficiency in looks and can form the basis of a long lasting relationship. After all, your looks will disappear.
    To not date someone based on looks alone may deprive you of meeting the one person who can fulfill you once you get to know them. The other thing to note is the adage that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. You may think someone is unattractive but another does not. In today’s selfish, hedonistic culture where “good looks” are defined by the media many are missing out.
    Check out couples whose marriages have lasted their whole life and see how they looked when they were young and you may be surprised at the results.

  6. Guys just go tbe Philippines. Tbe women there will will screw a car if it is foreign. They this we as all rich. The only thing is cover up because by 25 most have done over 100 guys without condoms

  7. Hahaha the only thing men care about in women is looks… they literally look for nothing else and then they get upset if women do the same. Men are such hypocritics. Honestly I dont know why any women bothers at all.

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