It’s a universally accepted fact that women like “bad boys,” right? They’re all sexy and scruffy, they piss off our parents, they wear cool leather jackets, and we never know whether they’re going to call or not. (Inconsiderate people are so hot!) Well, now science has yet another reason why we like bad boys (as if we need one, amirite ladies?): they smile less than nice, normal, churchgoing people.
According to that bastion of scientific inquiry The Daily Mail, the University of British Columbia performed a study wherein subjects were shown many pictures of members of the opposite sex, and asked to rate them on their physical attractiveness only. The male test subjects liked women who were smiling and appeared to be happy, while women passed over the happy dudes for those displaying signs of pride, or even shame. Lead researcher professor Jessica Tracy explained the pride one by saying that evolutionarily speaking, women go for men who look able to defend their offspring, hence “pride” indicators like a puffed up chest tend to attract more women than, say, a guy lying in a field of daisies.
“Generally, the results appear to reflect some very traditional gender norms and cultural values that have emerged, developed and been reinforced through history, at least in Western cultures,” Professor Tracy told The Mail. “These include norms and values that many would consider old-fashioned and perhaps hoped that we’ve moved beyond.”
The good news is that when asked to select who they’d actually want to date (in other studies), women tend to rate personality and reliability much higher on the desirability scale than “borrows money and doesn’t pay it back” or “frowns all the time.” So even if this study is correct, we are able to override our stupid lady-loins with our big, smart brains much of the time. Biology is not destiny!
Also, if one more random dude on the street tells me to smile, I am going to fashion a crude shiv from my Starbucks drink stirrer and throw down with him.