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Why women can be just as shallow as men

By Hugh Wilson
Why women can be just as shallow as men
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It's often said that men are the shallow gender. We apparently rate looks above everything, and when given the choice seem more likely to pick the busty blonde over her smart, witty, but perhaps less attractive friend.

Women are not like that, of course. They choose partners on their ability to talk about feelings and write poetry, and would much prefer a tubby chap who could discuss the meaning of life to his buff but boring brother.

Don't you believe it!

If men are shallow, they're no more so than some women. Don't just take our word for it though. Join NZ Men as we discover what the experts have to say on the matter.

Power
Women don't like male strippers as much as men like female ones. That's self evident, but it's not a sign of greater emotional depth in the fairer sex. Stripping men are subservient, and women are attracted to power.

How do we know? Well, one symbol of power that crosses most cultures is the colour red. When 288 women were shown pictures of men, the men wearing red were rated higher for power and sexiness than their colleagues in other colours.

So looking powerful makes men more sexy. How shallow is that?

Looks
Women don't go for looks, they go for emotional intelligence! Surely?

We're afraid that myth has to be laid to rest, too. Women want to be with men they consider good looking, it's just that their definition of good looking is a bit broader than ours.

In one study, 4,000 people were asked to rate photographs of young men and women for attractiveness on a 10-point scale. Most of the men agreed on which of the women in the pictures were attractive. But there was a much larger variation in the pictures of men that women found attractive. In fact, some men who were considered very attractive by some women were also considered particularly unattractive by others.

That's why some women like the foppish vampire from Twilight, while others wouldn't give him the time of day. Women (as a group) lust more widely than us, but they want a hot man just as much as men want a hot woman.

Muscle
But women aren't as obsessed with physique as men, and that's a fact! Or is it?

Again, scientists would disagree. Studies suggest that women like a toned torso or (mildly) bulging bicep just as much as men like a flat stomach and a pert bottom.

But — again — women disguise their basic animal instincts under a veneer of sophistication. Research suggests that a few women like body builders, and a few like waifs, but the majority prefer something in-between. Most women like a bit of muscle on their men, but not too much.

The studies suggest they agree on something else, too. Most women don't like fat men. That's probably true the other way round too, of course, but women aren't accused of not valuing the person within.

Which all goes to show that, whatever their protestations, when it comes to looks, women are as shallow as we are. They may be subtler in their tastes, but their interest in physical beauty is as real as ours.

Money
This is where women really come into their own. It's fair to say that when men are checking out women in a bar, the size of their salary is not what's on most men's minds.

Things are different the other way round. It may be subconscious some or even most of the time, but while women are eyeing our looks and muscles, they're also trying to gather clues as to our wealth and status.

There are sound evolutionary reasons for this, of course. If they're thinking of reproducing with us, they want to know we have the means to look after them and their future offspring.

Studies have shown just how money-centric women can be. In one, women were shown a picture of a man in a Bentley, and a picture of the same man in a Ford Fiesta. Guess which man they found more attractive? Another study discovered that women tend to have more orgasms with wealthy men.

There are very good biological reasons for women to be attracted to money. But if men did the same they'd call us shallow.

Penis size
To be fair to the fairer sex, they're not really bothered about the length of our penises. Oh no, what they really care about is the girth. In a study from 2001, 45 out of 50 females reported that width made a positive difference to their level of sexual satisfaction. Quite simply, the vast majority of women prefer a bigger girth.

And if it improves their sex lives, why wouldn't they? But some men think big breasts make their sex lives better, and that preference is put down to the innate shallowness of blokes.

All in all, it seems men and women aren't so very different after all, so let's dive into the shallow end together.

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User comments
The great artists of yesteryear protrayed women with the fuller figure. Even now, the fuller figured curvy woman is absolutely yummy, sexy & delicious. Todays women, according to the latest media commentators, of whom many are women, are themselves sick & tired of skinny. Hooray for large breasts. Brains-every women has brains duh. Money-who does'nt need it duh-Wealth is the key-e.g., Oprah may be the richest celebrity in the universe, but she does'nt have wealth. The royals have it. Style makes the woman. Not many have it. Most are wannabes so avoid these cretins at all costs. As for the babes section-don't look duh. Superb article Hugh
Pip, the author refers 2 women disguising "their basic animal instincts under a veneer of sophistication" as u have precisely done. "Wealth represents security, plus the healthy work ethic of the man who possesses it", "Muscle- in moderation- represents health"...yeah right and these are the rationalizations that go through most woman's minds when checking out a man...I Don't think so Pip! Women are emotional creatures, not rational one's especially when dating...in other words they flock to their Fantasy bloke for superficial reasons, regardless of the evolutionary arguments you suggest which r highly subconcious. Its like a male saying that he is not shallow for being attracted to a physically attractive woman because it boosts his status in society, and it enables him to have attractive offspring which will be more successful because of it. Both these arguments are generally true...but don't excuse men from being shallow, as it's subconcious to men also. Both sexes r shallow!
Stacey, You cant understand that guys love boobs?? of course they make our sex lifes better.. I'm sorry but what straight man wants to have it off with a chick that looks like a guy Breasts make woman much more womanly and more attractive. Like it or not Breasts are sexualised. Im not refuting that their main purpose is to feed offspring. but they are fun for us too And this is nzmen. If u dont like the babes section dont look at it.
Oh come on, what a load this is. Seriously, the only shallow thing here is the bit about penis size. Wealth represents security, plus the healthy work ethic of the man who possesses it. Attraction according to looks is a combination of biology and social conditioning, and since when have people been able to choose who they are attracted to anyway? Same thing applies to power. Muscle- in moderation- represents health, and it is in no way shallow to choose a partner who knows how to look after their body, it's sensible. At least you said "some" women. And all the guys I know who are into poetry are immature, narcissistic losers who think they're superior to everyone else, no wonder women don't want them.
The quote "some men think big breasts make their sex lives better, and that preference is put down to the innate shallowness of blokes" is stupid because penis is meant for sex while breast were meant for feeding your baby - not to be sexualised. Lol PS WTF is up with your babes section - it's degrading!