married-couple-1232510_1920

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.

About Daniel Steingold

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink

Editor-in-Chief

Chris Melore

Editor

Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor

31 Comments

  1. Lawnie says:

    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. Erwin says:

      Prostitutes will also take money and give pleasure. With powerful man you never know if he spends on wife and… on prostitutes additionally. When it comes to kids, surrogate is cheaper than a wife. Even surrogate for kids + prostitutes for sex. Love, attraction can not be bought, so no point in marriage if someone is ugly, and if he is attractive then…still no point to marry, unless it is one’s dream to have family.

  2. Luis Llorens says:

    Women like attractive men and dislike unattractive men? No matter what? Imagine my shock.

    1. Hirayama Kujuro says:

      It all depends on the size of the unattractive man’s wallet.

      1. Sinn says:

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

      2. Alvex says:

        Why are all of you forgetting one important point, about beauty being in the eye of the beholder? You are all talking about attractiveness being a rigidly set thing carved in stone. But believe it or not, there are men who some women find unattractive but others find attractive. And also, a confident face looks more attractive than an insecure face. Attractiveness is not just about purely physical characteristics, confident expressions DO make a face more attractive. Yes, some of it is definitely physical too, but you’re all saying that it’s 100% physical and that nothing else including confident expressions make ANY difference. I know that you all don’t believe it anymore but there are guys out there who are both unattractive physically and not wealthy but they actually are, gasp!, married.

  3. Bitterbear says:

    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. Robert Lindsay says:

      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.

      1. Alvex says:

        But you are yet someone else in this comment section who is thinking just like the writer of this webpage, and are not acknowledging that attractiveness is not a set thing carved in stone and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Believe it or not, there are guys out there who have some women who find them unattractive but others who do find them attractive. And also, there are guys who are BOTH ugly and not wealthy but still get married. Not all women write off all good qualities in a man just because he’s not good looking. I’ve known people who have fit these situations perfectly. You are all on here saying things which go against things I have seen and known as FACTS. My friend’s cousin is about as fat, has a huge forehead with a receding hairline a mile above his eyes, and is what you’d all call grossly unattractive, and he’s working class and lives paycheck to paycheck, but he is (GASP!) MARRIED. And you know what else, confident facial expressions DO make an unattractive face a notch better. That’s why my friends’ cousin has found women who are attracted to him. Yes, he dated other women before his wife too. Sure, guys who look like him may not ever become a model and may not likely have model women lined up for him, but this bs you are all saying about unattractive men not being able to attract ANY women no matter how great their other qualities, is just that, bs.

      2. Erwin says:

        Akces, but single examples are not falsifying the statement based on statistics. Also for marriage other factors are important beyond looks, but when it comes to sexual attraction it is about looks more.

  4. Steve Struthers says:

    And they say women don’t care about a man’s looks. Ha!

    1. Hirayama Kujuro says:

      Wallet > Looks

      1. SuperPatriot777 says:

        Amen brother !!!!

    2. betterthanu says:

      Those are the ones interested in his wallet

  5. Hirayama Kujuro says:

    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. betterthanu says:

      Guy you are saying all women prostitutes. Not cool

      1. Hirayama Kujuro says:

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

  6. Cybershaman says:

    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. Carletta Jones says:

      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.

      1. Alvex says:

        What about the fact that ugly men HAVE been with beautiful women? What about beauty being in the eye of the beholder? Both the writer of this webpage and some of you commenters have failed to acknowledge that. And you’re seemingly considering attractiveness a set thing carved in stone. You know, there are guys who some women find unattractive while others find attractive. You all aren’t recognizing that fact either. You’re talking like it’s hopeless for a very ugly guy to ever find anyone, and I know you won’t agree but there is someone somewhere for the very ugly. I have a friend with an older cousin who is 270 lbs, has a huge head with a receding hairline making his forehead look a mile high, has pugdog features, but he still, gasp!, is married! She’s not a model either but you’re all saying that a very ugly guy will never attract ANY woman just because of his looks, no matter how great his other qualities. Sure, he may not be a model or ever have model women lined up for him (and even that may not be a total impossibility if he’s got certain traits that are good enough), but you’re all saying that a guy like that won’t ever attract ANYONE due to his looks. It’s complete and total bull****.

  7. Michael K says:

    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.

  8. betterthanu says:

    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

  9. Sinn says:

    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.

  10. Nnis says:

    Hahaha the only thing women care about in men is looks… they literally look for nothing else and then they get upset if men do the same. Women are such HYPOCRITES. Honestly, I don’t know why any men even bother with women at all.

    1. Sam says:

      Well put. Go on any dating site or club. On dating sites, unattractive women still get messages from guys – unattractive men do not receive messages at all. At a nightclub, most times an unattractive women will still be hit on. Unattractive men in a club get laughed at or labelled “creepy”. Sinn is doing the usual “put men down and make women out as godlike”, which is probably why a lot of men don’t even bother with women at all. Imagine “dating” someone like Sinn.

  11. Beneti says:

    I know! It’s unreal. Just always super shallow and jump through a bunch of hoops to just get laid. I hate it, but I have a huge drive to do that and if I don’t I get pretty crabby after like 6 months maybe can hold out on being so pissed for like a year. Most women have no idea what it’s like to not get laid for weeks, let alone months or weeks. I would love to see them try to do that. We think about sex all the time because we are not able to get are needs met at a drop of a hat.

  12. MGTOW is the truth. Stay happy and free gentlemen says:

    The truth is that all women over 38 are ugly. That’s 100% of them. Skin sags, wrinkles, cellulite, crow’s feet, varicose veins. The young generation of women are grotesque as well. Fat, pink hair, angry looking. The skinny ones have the same boring straight long hair covering their ugly faces. No breasts, no curves, no ass, terrible entitled personality. What happened to women?

    If you want to know what happened to men? We are doing great without you. You don’t cook or clean anymore and that’s all you can do besides complain your way to having things done for you. You’re all addicted to social media and Hollywood gossip. We are significantly better off not carrying your weight around.

    You say you want a partner. Really you want someone to fix your shit, assemble your furniture, pay your bills, deal with your car maintenance, clean the dishes and look after the kids. What do we get from you? Think about it. You bring absolutely nothing but problems to the table.

    The life of a woman now is be bitchy until 22, be whore until 28, look for sucker beta until 35, become bitter Karen until 48, menopause and psych meds until 55, then hit on 20 something men and get the occasional lay and feel bad about it. Good job feminism.
    tldr; All women, even the attractive ones, are undatable.

    1. Erwin says:

      Thia is true. But it is not bad to make use of it and if you are object of interest then if you find girl attractive – go with her. But do not marry. If she gets pregnant then make dna test, but do not marry. Even searching for „beta sucker” is not always the case because some girls want to marry before having kid, and then they want with the kid with the husband. But becoming a husband reduces your chances for dating others (unless you can be happy with one).

  13. Terry says:

    Keep in mind that we will attract what we are. If one is attracting dysfunctional types, maybe it is time to take a long look at our own behavior. Look at some John Grey videos and his books to see what a healthy relationship looks like. They are gold.