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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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