Study: Men with Muscles Attract Women But Invoke Suspicions About Fidelity, Intentions

Muscular young men are likely to have more sex partners than less muscular men, according to David Frederick, lead author of a study and researchers at the University of California Los Angeles.

Their study, published in the August issue of the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, suggests women prefer muscularity in men.

“Most research is focused on what men find physically attractive in women and the career traits women find attractive in men,” Frederick claims — and that prior studies concluded a man’s desirability was influenced more by his earning potential and commitment. His study found physical characteristics mattered more.

Women were more physically attracted to muscular men, especially for a fling or short-term relationship. But they tend to pick a regular man (especially a toned male) over a muscular male.

The findings show that women are more attracted to muscular men, but women are also more suspicious about their romantic intentions.

The study method included interviews of 99 male undergraduates about their sexual histories. Muscular men were twice as likely to have had more than three sex partners than less-built types.

Frederick and colleagues also asked 141 college women to look at six standardized silhouettes of men ranging from brawny to slender. Most preferred a toned man who was more likely to commit over a muscle-bound man they perceived as more volatile, aggressive and dominant.

Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin