Men who live in harsh environment may not prefer a woman with feminine looks, according to a new study which suggests that evolution may partly drive attraction between the sexes.
Researchers found that men are drawn to feminine looks – large eyes, pillow lips and a soft jaw – to a greater extent in countries that are the healthiest.
The reason for this difference is not clear, however scientists believe that evolution may drive these attractions, at least subconsciously, ‘Live Science’ reported.
According to Urszula Marcinkowska, a doctoral candidate at the University of Turku in Finland, men in harsh conditions may have a better chance of fathering children who survive if they mate with a woman who can hold on to resources.
“It might pay off for men in hard conditions to develop a preference for women who are not very highly feminine, because feminine women are perceived to be less socially dominant,” Marcinkowska said.
Feminine women are also perceived to have less potential at acquiring resources, Marcinkowska said.
Researchers recruited 1,972 heterosexual men online from 28 countries and showed them with photos of women which were altered to look more or less feminine.
They then compared the responses to various demographic and social characteristics of each country.
The researchers found that Nepalese men were least attracted to a very feminine face, followed by Nigerians and Colombians.
Japanese men were most interested in girly faces, followed by Australians at the second spot.
Men in the US also fell on the feminine-preferring end of the spectrum, the report said.
Feminine looks are an evolutionary signal of fecundity, said Dan Kruger, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan.