A new study has pinpointed the specific body attribute that women find most attractive in the opposite sex.
You hear it time and time again, but now science is backing it up — women really do prefer men with big muscles.
Strong-looking men with burly shoulders, to be precise.
A study, published in the Royal Society journal Proceedings B, asked 150 women to look at pictures of men’s bodies and rate them for attractiveness.
Researchers covered up the men’s faces so women could only rate them based on their physique.
They found that all of the women found men sexy based on how physically strong they looked as well as how tall and lean they were.
In fact, strength accounted for 70 per cent of what women found most attractive.
And it’s upper-body strength that women are looking for, including having wider shoulders, being physically fit and having a decent handgrip strength.
“The rated strength of a male body accounts for a full 70 per cent of the variance in attractiveness,” said Dr Aaron Sell, of Griffith University in Queensland.
So why do women prefer stronger-looking men?
You’d be forgiven for thinking it is down to aesthetics and vanity but actually it could have more to do with how our ancestors chose a partner.
Men who are perceived as physically fit are also perceived to be more likely to win in a fight — they are more of a protester.
“The effect of height and weight on attractiveness may indicate that women are responding to cues of health or to the benefits that height and lean bodies have in protracted aggression, hunting and other aspects of fighting ability,” Dr Sell said.
“Evolutionary psychologists have shown that women’s mate choices use many cues of men’s genetic quality and ability to invest resources in the woman and her offspring.
“Among our ancestors, one variable that predicted both a man’s genetic quality and his ability to invest was the man’s formidability,” he said.
“Therefore, modern women should still have mate choice mechanisms that respond to cues of a man’s fighting ability.
“One crucial component of a man’s ability to fight was his upper body strength.”