August 13, 2009
Women Demand Higher Attractiveness For One Night Stands

We live in an era where science has to prove basic obvious truths about human nature. No, we aren't simply a product of our social environment. The sexes have innate differences that show up time and again. Here's the latest shocker: women demand much higher physical attraction before having a one night stand. Given that women must invest more in reproduction this result is explainable with evolutionary theory.

Men are far more interested in casual sex than women. While men need to be exceptionally at-tractive to tempt women to consider casual sex, men are far less choosy. These findings1 by Dr Achim Schützwohl, from the Department of Psychology at Brunel University in the UK, and his team are published online in Springer’s journal Human Nature.

The research shows that men are more likely than women to report having had casual sex and they express a greater desire for it than do women. It is also thought that women but not men raise their standards of attractiveness for a casual sex partner.

Dr Schützwohl and his colleagues looked at the influence of an imagined requestor’s physical attractiveness on men’s and women’s willingness to accept three distinct offers: go out, go to their apartment and go to bed with them. A total of 427 male and 433 female students from the US, Germany and Italy answered a questionnaire. They were asked to imagine being approached by a member of the opposite sex, described as either “slightly unattractive”, “moderately attractive” or “exceptionally attractive”. They then rated how likely they would be to accept each of the three offers.

The authors found that the requestor’s looks affected men and women differently. Across all three levels of requestor attractiveness, men were more likely to go out, go to their apartment and go to bed with them than were women. German men were less likely to go out with the requestor and go to their apartment than American and Italian men. Italian men were more likely to go to bed with the requestor than were American men. German men were even less likely than American men to go to bed with the requestor. These differences highlight cultural differences in sexual morals and preferences.

For each of the three offers, men were more likely to accept when the hypothetical woman was moderately or exceptionally attractive than when she was slightly unattractive, but whether she was moderately or exceptionally attractive made no difference. Women however placed more importance on the requestor’s good looks. They were more likely to accept the apartment and bed requests from an exceptionally attractive man than from either a moderately attractive or slightly unattractive man.

Women also go for more muscular men and prefer the most muscular men for one night stands and slightly less muscular men for longer term relationships.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 August 13 08:13 AM  Brain Sex Differences

kurt9 said at August 13, 2009 11:34 AM:


Being the pussy hound that I was before I got married, I was perfectly content to bed 5's and 6's as much as 8's or 9's, if I could get them. I think this is true for most guys. There is a threshold in physical attractiveness, below which we do not go for. However, as long as the woman is above that threashold, there is relatively small marginal value the increased beauty of 8 and above.

The female perspective makes sense as well. Women will go for good looking guys, especially muscular ones, for NSA sex. For marraige, however, financial providence takes the cake, along with a decent personality. This makes sense to me because this is how I would play it if I were a woman.

Nick G said at August 13, 2009 11:54 AM:

men are more likely than women to report having had casual sex and they express a greater desire for it than do women.

I'm not sure that interview studies like this are all that useful. All women, married, single, etc, report less sex than men. Who are men having all this sex with? One woman who's extremely busy?

The Undiscovered Jew said at August 13, 2009 1:32 PM:


Randall might be interested to see details about Pacific Biosciences' gene sequencing technology which is scheduled for release in mid 2010:

Pocketing $68M, PacBio Remains on Track for Commercial Launch — and Possible IPO — in 2010

Martin said that the company has 12 prototype SMRT systems in house running "around the clock," and reiterated previously disclosed plans to launch a beta version of the platform to early-access customers in the first half of 2010, and the full commercial system in the second half of the year.

"We're now to the point where we have invited in key potential customers to collaborate with us, and they're working on experiments that help us understand more about the technology or illustrate its uniqueness," Martin said. As part of this effort, the company earlier this year hired Eric Schadt as CSO to work with these potential customers and get a better feel for the platform's strengths (see In Sequence May 28, 2009).

"We are right now assembling and in the final development phase of the real system, which will have the commercial specifications that will be shipping in the back half of 2010," Martin said.

So far, he said the company is on track to meet all the specifications it has promised for the commercial system.

"We said we'd have a read length greater to or equal to Sanger," or in the range of 800 to 900 bases. "Internally now we are running significantly longer than that already, so I'm quite comfortable that we're going to be able to exceed our goal for read length," he said.

Martin added that the company's prototypes are "roughly" delivering sequence at the rate of three bases per second per well, as expected, and that the firm is also on track to meet its goal of a minimum cycle time of 15 minutes.

In addition, the company has integrated into the system the "strobe sequencing" method that it presented in a poster at this year's Biology of Genomes conference, which can generate gapped reads that are twice as long as uninterrupted reads — in the range of thousands of bases (see In Sequence May 12, 2009).

"There's already going to be tremendous amounts of parallelism so that you can batch jobs and it will take care of all of the intermediate steps up to sequencing, and then sequencing and delivering the data," he said. "And we've now integrated much more tightly this application of strobe sequencing so that we can also do that in a very pipelined way."

Martin said that the company is not yet disclosing the expected throughout or pricing for the commercial system.

Likewise, the firm is not providing a timeline for when the SMRT platform will be capable of sequencing a human genome, though Martin noted that the technology will allow researchers to perform both resequencing and de novo sequencing of human genomes.

"Both of those would be high priorities for us, but we haven't talked about when," he said.

David Govett said at August 13, 2009 10:06 PM:

That's why we men ply women with booze. It makes us more attractive to women. Problem solved.

Brett J said at August 15, 2009 1:37 PM:

I'm surprised no commenters have said "well, good thing i am an exceptionally attractive man."

Dentin said at August 24, 2009 8:23 AM:

The results of this study match my experience. But what women say they will do often differs from what women will actually do...

A very attractive male and a very unattractive male have different obstacle courses to run when seducing women. While it may seem an advantage to be considered desirable from the beginning, it can often be easier to seduce a woman who initially is not interested: if she finds you sexually attractive, she may consider you a threat and be on guard. Coming in under the radar like this, where she has initially 'disqualified you' as a suitor, is very effective.

Lilypad said at March 10, 2010 3:02 AM:

HAHA at the above. Sorry but no ugly guys I know get laid heaps. All women want to talk to hott guy's, we plaqy hard to get butr we talk to them. Are men on guard talking to hot women? No. They just are more nervous to approach. Same with women./ Ugly men have a hard ime gettin g casual sex. Lets just face it. Haha.

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