Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Do Men Prefer Conformist Women?

It is seen as a truism that, while women are attracted to nonconformist men, men tend to prefer conformist women. That is, they see more conventional women as more feminine, safe, and predictable. The trope that women are attracted to edgy, seemingly dangerous bad boys has been around for a long time, as the Sandy character gravitated towards Danny in the movie Grease. 

But is the attraction of Greg for Dharma equally possible? (Dharma and Greg, an old television show.)

But is the preference for attraction really non-symmetric? Matthew J. Hornsey and his associates at the University of Queensland and Griffith University did a series of four experiments to test this proposition.

In general, they found that both men and women preferred nonconformist romantic partners. In fact, the less conforming a woman was, they greater the likelihood of dating success she was likely to have. However, women tended to see men as preferring more conventional, nonthreatening romantic partners. So what does this tell us? 

It tells us that there is a disconnect between perception and reality in this case. Women need not fear to fly their freak flag if they also want to get along with guys. Think of that: no need to present yourself as colorless, conformist, or uninteresting any longer. It may be that seeing a young woman acting confidently nonconforming boosts their courage to follow their heartfelt desires more and not be so conforming. After all, an obvious freak is less likely to disapproving of someone else's departures from the norm!


Cloudia said...

Another brilliant, brief, and well executed look at something really interesting!
Hedy Lamarr said "Any woman can be glamorous. Just stand still and look stupid." And I've always felt that instinct to make no sudden, big, or super non-conformist moves vis a vis guys. However, back in the day. Tattoos would make a girl seen like she was up for anything. i. e. I was all over the map on this question. Your citation was really interesting and liberating! Perhaps that is why those we do not wish to attract ARE attracted because we are being ourselves around them, not trying to conform and coming off colorless. Nice job. You stimulated a lot of thought in all of us I'm sure, Angel.

Mike said...

I've read where women prefer the steady male for the life long partner but will look for the bad boy to mate with.

Birgit said... it seems we both want the same thing but we interpret the others' needs in a different way which means...communication breakdown. I never liked to conform and would make it known that i am not that type of Stepford gal. My hubby was/is a bad boy but he has matured (somewhat-hahahaa) since his slutty youth

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I'm a rebel, an A-list non-conformist, and I have the tattoos and body piercings to prove it!!

~ D-FensDogG
'Loyal American Underground'

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Less conforming women are more noticed because they stand out.

Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer said...

This is a interesting, great disclosure of facts about interpersonal attraction. So it's more than breasts and butts in the mix.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

I'm just too tired to conform anymore. Raise the rebel flag!

Heather said...

I love her outfit!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Maybe conformist isn't the right word? Maybe it's conservative? Because I wanted a woman who was a geeky as I was but I didn't want a rebel out there doing wild things. (And I was lucky - I found one.)