I pulled out the info and ratings that women gave men based on body type.
Sexual desirability generally correlates with overall attractiveness (if she thinks/wants to have sex) while physical dominance usually correlates well with arousal (turning on a woman). This explains the discrepancy where women say a certain man is “too muscular” when evaluating his attractiveness but then are extremely turned on when they are actually in bed with him.
In other words, although women are attracted the most to a man between toned, built, and brawny, when they are turned on and want to have sex it’s going to usually be with the most muscular man of them.
It’s also interesting to see that that more muscular men tend to be rated lower on the commitment and volatility level. I suspect commitment for several reasons:
- Women know more attractive men have more options
- Women know men who are less attractive will generally be more committed
- The two above are unconsciously/consciously know that men they are attracted to other women will be attracted to, and men who orbit them want to be with them in long(er) term relationships
I wonder if ‘volatility’ — unpredictability — which somewhat has the U-like shape like physical dominance (though not as pronounced as physical dominance) is due to the relationship between men and women’s stature. In other words, because men are generally bigger, there is a greater perceived capacity for lack of control, due to violence or otherwise, which for women heightens their arousal if they are attracted to him.
This plays into the pornography that women are most excited about: bodice ripper romance novels. Women want to be be possessed by a sexy, dominant man.
All in all, nothing super new or exciting, but it does confirm some of the common thoughts of about the thought processes of why muscular bodies are attractive.
It would be interesting to see researchers use ‘real bodies’ as opposed to computer generated ones. And then possibly intermix in the faces of some celebrities to see how ‘fame’ alters female perception of attractiveness and dominance.