Do women prefer “nice guys”? The effect of male dominance behavior on women’s ratings of sexual attractiveness

Gorkan Ahmetoglu1, Viren Swami2
1Department of Psychology, Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
2Department of Psychology, University of Westminster, United Kingdom
Cite this article:  Ahmetoglu, G., & Swami, V. (2012). Do women prefer “nice guys”? The effect of male dominance behavior on women’s ratings of sexual attractiveness. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 40(4), 667-672.

Volume 40 Issue 4 | e2609 | Published: May 2012 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2012.40.4.667

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We examined whether or not different behavioral expressions of dominance by a male affected how introverted and extraverted women rated his sexual attractiveness. We assessed 81 women on the extraversion scale of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised Short Scale (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1991), and they then watched a 1-minute silent video of a male confederate in 3 dominance conditions (closed body posture [low], open body posture [medium], and open body posture with gesticulation [high]) and rated the male for sexual attractiveness. Results showed that higher dominance behavior significantly increased the confederate’s attractiveness, accounting for 10% of the variance in attractiveness ratings. However, the women’s personalities appeared to have no significant effect on these ratings. These results are discussed in relation to extant literature on the phenomenon that women do not select “nice guys” in preference to other men.

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