It’s a pretty common thought that a sense of humour followed by physical attractiveness are what make a man most attractive to women. But studies are showing that altruism is actually a top contender for what women want in a man.
A new study in the British Journal of Psychology suggests that altruistic men may have more sex, too. The researchers asked unmarried Canadian adults how often they did good deeds, like giving money to charity or helping someone get their car out of snow. Then they asked how often they had sex and how many partners they’ve had.
Men who did more altruistic acts had more sex, and had more partners. Interestingly, for those in relationships, similar good-hearted men were more likely to have had sex in the last 30 days too.
The second experiment of the study had researchers ask undergraduate students say whether they would like to donate the money they might receive for participating. Those who replied in the affirmative tended to have more casual sex, more sex in relationships and more lifetime sex partners.
Studies are consistently showing that altruism is actually a top quality of what women are drawn to.
Another study in January 2016 showed 202 women different men to choose from, with different combinations of attractiveness or not, and whether they did a good deed or not. The selfish, attractive man was most picked for a one night stand, while the altruistic man was more often picked regardless of attractiveness.
An older study from 2013 found that women valued altruism over other traits when asked to evaluate whether or not a potential partner would be a good parent. The women also said that altruism was important for short-term relationships, but a lot more said it mattered for the long term.
This isn’t to say all other traits don’t matter. Humour is still important, and it tends to make women assume a man is more intelligent. Attractiveness is also important, but more so for the short-term.