They have spent much less time uncovering the reverse: what makes women attractive to men. (Let’s not even get started on the dearth of research on what men find attractive in other men, or women in other women.)
In any case, a lot of what they have done only focuses on looks. These studies often conclude that various aspects of women’s bodies make them more appealing because men think they’re more fertile (insert eyeroll here).
We tracked down scientific findings that did not zero in on physical appearances alone. Some of the studies are small, or only included Western college students, so they cannot be overgeneralized. But the results are still intriguing — and often educational.
Here are seven traits that scientists have found make women more attractive to men:
1. Men are more attracted to women who are ovulating, according to an entertaining study where guys smelled ladies T-shirts.
2. While this probably won’t come as a surprise to you, ladies, men like women who laugh at their jokes. Anything to stroke their egos, right?
3. Multiple studies have found that men prefer honest women, particularly for long-term relationships.
4. Researchers have found men gravitate toward women wearing red. Interestingly, women like men wearing red, too.
5. Studies have shown men like it when women subtly mirror their actions. For example, if he touches his hair, wait a few moments and then casually touch your hair.
6. Time to assemble the girl squad. Researchers have found women appear even more attractive in groups, calling this the “cheerleader effect.”
7. Regardless of attractiveness or body size, in one study, men at a British university preferred women who had positive personality traits like openness, kindness, and assertiveness.