Scientific proof that women love bad boys

Any woman who swoons at the name Chuck Bass or Johnny Depp doesn’t need science to tell them that ladies love bad boys. But since research has been carried out to get to the bottom of exactly why this is, let’s humour it and examine the results, shall we?

12:16PM, May 15

Hormones associated with ovulation influence a woman's perception of men as potential fathers, and "sexy cads" (let’s assume ‘cad’ is scientific speak for ‘bad boy’) are more likely to win out, according to Kristina Durante, assistant professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

"When asked about what kind of father the sexy bad boy would make if he were to have children with another woman, women were quick to point out the bad boy's shortcomings," Durante said. "But when it came to their own child, ovulating women believed that the charismatic and adventurous cad (there’s that word again!) would be a great father to their kids.

"Previous research has shown in the week near ovulation women become attracted to sexy, rebellious and handsome men like George Clooney or James Bond. But until now it was unclear why women would ever think it's wise to pursue long-term relationships with these kinds of men."

The study, "Ovulation Leads Women to Perceive Sexy Cads as Good Dads", published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, revealed, somewhat ironically, it is the ovaries that push women into the arms of unreliable men.

During periods of both high and low fertility, the study examined women's responses to online dating profiles of "sexy men" against "reliable" men.

While ovulating it was found that women felt a sexy man would contribute more as a father and partner.

"Under the hormonal influence of ovulation, women delude themselves into thinking that the sexy bad boys will become devoted partners and better dads," Durante said.

"When looking at the sexy cad through ovulation goggles, Mr Wrong looked exactly like Mr Right."

Another test used male actors to play the roles and once again found that ovulating women felt the "sexy cad" would contribute more to childcare and domestic duties, but only if he was playing the partner of the test subject.

"While this psychological distortion could be setting some women up to choose partners who are better suited to be short-term mates, missing a mating opportunity with a sexy cad might be too costly for some women to pass up," said Durante. "After all, you never know if he could be the 'one'."

At least we now have an excuse for that awkward moment when you find Hobo Shia LaBeouf attractive. It’s that (bad boy) time of the month!

By Pip Lees


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