In a previous article entitled, “Universal Beauty Indicators”, some research-based physical attractors were reviewed of what both men and women are naturally attracted to with each other (see: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/universal-beauty-indicators-67/). For this article, an expanded list of traits women find attractive in men will be reviewed.
The goals of this article are to 1) help encourage men to accept that their own looks matter and to work on improving them accordingly (as reasonably possible), and 2) help women identify and validate what specific traits they find to be most attractive in men, and to embrace the reality that male looks matter and need to be factored in. Too often, women are told his looks theoretically don’t or shouldn’t really matter, but yet they do. Looks are the main thing that breaks a guy out of the “friend zone”, establishing chemistry, spark, and excitement in a relationship. So, be familiar with these attractors, and balance these traits in with other important factors, such as interpersonal skills, spirituality, and other practical factors when making relationship decisions. It all matters.
Research-based traits women find attractive in men:
*Overall body shape and size: Women, on average, tend to be more attracted to men who have a relatively narrow waist, a V-shaped torso, and broad shoulders. Women also tend to be more attracted to men who are taller than they are, and display a high degree of facial symmetry, as well as relatively masculine facial dimorphism.
*Hormonal Cycle Fluctuations: Women in the follicular (“fertile”) 72-hour phase of their menstrual cycle were more likely to choose a more masculine face and features than in the other 25 days. The hypothesis for why: it is evolutionarily advantageous for women to select potential fathers who are more genetically attractive, rather than the best caregivers. So in short, attraction can fluctuate at different times of the month. Just, be aware of this fluctuation.
*Masculine and Attractive Facial Features: The masculinity of male facial features is a reliable indication of good health, or, alternatively, that masculine-looking males are more likely to achieve high status. Facial masculinity significantly correlates with facial symmetry – it has been suggested that both are signals of developmental stability and genetic health.
*Waist-to-chest ratio and weight: This “V-shaped” body is also an indicator of health in males, specifically big shoulders, chest, and upper back, and a slim waist area. These traits often correlate with and indicate higher social status, such as dominance, resources, and protection. However, waist to hip ratio played a smaller role in body preference than body weight in regards to both sexes, such as a healthy Body Mass Index weight (see: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/your-ideal-weight-166/). In reality, both waist-to-chest ratio and weight traits matter, and often combine together well in healthy, attractive men.
*Flat abdomen: simply put, women find men with a flat stomach area to be much more physically attractive that those with a protruding belly. A flat stomach is indicative of male health, energy, fitness, vitality, and strength.
*Muscles: Women prefer more muscular men with greater definition over less muscular men with less definition. Preference for size of muscles varies, but in general, more defined, lean muscle mass is more attractive over flab or fat. As the ideal, an “attractive muscular man” typically has thick, broad shoulders, a square and muscular chest, a muscular back, strong sides that taper to a small waist, large hands and arms and legs with huge muscles. But this extreme ideal is usually not required for attraction, just moderate musculature, and being generally fit and in shape.
*Body hair: Studies based in the United States, New Zealand, and China have shown that women rate men with no trunk (chest, abdominal, and back) hair as most attractive, and that attractiveness ratings decline as hairiness increases. Other research in western Europe and the United States shows women prefer moderately hairy men. In any event, most research indicates women are less attracted to highly hairy men. So, bare to light body hair seems most attractive.
*Facial hair: Research shows that men with light facial hair was rated as the most attractive, followed by medium, heavy, and the least attractive was 'very light'. This study suggests that light facial hair is better than none because it shows masculine development, as beard growth requires the conversion of testosterone. A different study found women are more attracted to clean-shaven faces than bearded faces. In short, no facial hair to light facial hair seems to be the most attractive for most women. Still, preferences varied.
*Jawline: A strong and defined jawline is rated as more attractive for women than in undefined jawline. A strong jawline is apparently indicative of a more "youthful look", as well as health, strength, and fitness.
The point of this article is to clarify, validate, and explain why women find men attractive from a sheerly physical standpoint. Male looks matters for her feelings of chemistry, spark, and butterflies. It helps to break a guy out of the friendzone. It helps ignite and maintain passion and electricity. Ladies, please balance physical attraction with other important factors when choosing a man. The problems with this subject come when overly or underly emphasizing the degree women are physically attracted to a men. Please factor this in, just don’t ignore it or overly emphasize it. Health lies in the moderate balance on this issue. Avoid the extremes and you will do well in your relationship selection.
And men, please simply be aware that physical attraction does matter in women, especially regarding initial attraction and being given initial dating opportunities. Yet, this factor isn’t everything. Ignore or neglect working on this area to your own dating/relationship detriment. Regularly and moderately working to improve yourself in this area will increase your dating opportunities and your overall relational stock. Please do so.
And for everyone, please remember that physical attraction is given by the Lord, is powerful, and is the way it was meant to be to help bring couples together. Because “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).