Love, Self

Prefer Masculine Men? The Surprising Reason Why

masculine man who women find attractive

It seems like there's a new study out every week that aims to explain why we like what we like when it comes to who we want in our beds. A couple of findings have stuck around, becoming somewhat common knowledge—for example, men drooling over curves because they signal fertility, and women being suckers for masculine features like strong jaws because they're linked to health and virility. Why Men Like Megan Fox

We'll continue waiting for science to explain just how those of us without the perfect hip-to-waist ratio still manage to get laid, but in the meantime, it seems we've been wrong about why we dig that perfect jawline. Researchers at the University of New South Wales recently found that we're not just looking for signs of virility—we're looking for a badass, according to The Economist. Is this why Denise Richards is dating Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx, another in a long slew of bad boys?

Okay, "badass" is my word, not The Economist's, but they did say this: Women living in countries with poor health statistics go for these guys more than woman living in healthy societies do. But it's not just about health—it has to do with things like the murder rate in your community. Fun! What a Woman's Chin Says About Her Sex Drive

The rougher the environment, the researchers found, the more women prefer masculine men, because they are better at providing for and protecting mothers and their offspring. But that conclusion doesn't stand alone—the Gini coefficient—a measure of income inequality—factors in, along with overall wealth in a particular area. All things considered, it seems women do go for men with masculine facial features—as long as they're living somewhere poor and unsafe. So, to the men reading this who don't happen to look like Brad Pitt: relax! We love you anyway… at least until the 2012 Apocalypse, at which point we'll have to ditch you for someone with cheekbones that can cut glass.

Tell us: Do you prefer masculine features, do you like softer facial features as well?