7 Qualities In Women That Men Find Attractive, According To Science

guest author image

Rebecca Harrington

Guest Author


Unsurprisingly, (mostly male) scientists have done gobs of research trying to figure out what women want in men.

They have spent much less time uncovering the reverse: what makes women attractive to men. (Let's not even get started on the dearth of research on what men find attractive in other men, or women in other women.)


In any case, a lot of what they have done only focuses on looks. These studies often conclude that various aspects of women's bodies make them more appealing because men think they're more fertile (insert eyeroll here).

We tracked down scientific findings that did not zero in on physical appearances alone. Some of the studies are small, or only included Western college students, so they cannot be overgeneralized. But the results are still intriguing — and often educational.

Here are seven traits that scientists have found make women more attractive to men:

1. Men are more attracted to women who are ovulating, according to an entertaining study where guys smelled ladies T-shirts.


Want to smell my T-shirt?Shutterstock

Source: Psychological Science

2. While this probably won't come as a surprise to you, ladies, men like women who laugh at their jokes. Anything to stroke their egos, right?

"Hahaha, you're hilarious, Lincoln!" Matthew Peyton/Comedy Central/"Broad City"

Source: Evolution and Human Behavior


3. Multiple studies have found that men prefer honest women, particularly for long-term relationships.

She pinky swore, so you know she's trustworthy. msciba/Flickr

Sources: Journal of Research in Personality, Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality

4. Researchers have found men gravitate toward women wearing red. Interestingly, women like men wearing red, too.


Does red wine count?David Silverman/Getty Images

Source: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

5. Studies have shown men like it when women subtly mirror their actions. For example, if he touches his hair, wait a few moments and then casually touch your hair.

When I dip, you dip, we dip.Shutterstock


Sources: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, Cognition

6. Time to assemble the girl squad. Researchers have found women appear even more attractive in groups, calling this the "cheerleader effect."

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Sources: Research in Organizational Behavior, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin


7. Regardless of attractiveness or body size, in one study, men at a British university preferred women who had positive personality traits like openness, kindness, and assertiveness.

Look how assertive and open she is.Shutterstock

Source: The Journal of Social Psychology


  • tag
  • psychology,

  • relationships,

  • men,

  • women,

  • attractiveness