A man walks into a bar, catches a girl’s eye, and immediately looks gloomy, moody and averts his eyes. The woman is overcome with sexual attraction. Not your usual love story but maybe a more realistic one. Turns out, a winning smile isn’t the way to a woman’s heart; men who swagger and look gloomy are more likely to set pulses raising.
That’s according to Jessica Tracy at the University of British Columbia, Canada, who asked more than 1,000 adults to rate the sexual attractiveness of hundreds of photos of the opposite sex.
The images showed men and women in various displays of happiness, with big smiles and puffed out chests or shameful glances, lowered heads and averted eyes.
In an interview with UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph, co-author Alec Beall, also at British Columbia said:
We did not ask participants if they thought these targets would make a good boyfriend or wife - we wanted their gut reactions on carnal, sexual attraction
The study found that women were not attracted to smiling, happy men, preferring those who looked proud and powerful or moody and ashamed.
In an interview with Reuters, Tracy said:
To the extent that men think that smiling is a good thing to do if they want to be found sexually attractive our findings suggest that’s not the case