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Science reveals why women like bad boys


Close-up of a young man giving a young woman a piggyback
Close-up of a young man giving a young woman a piggyback


THERE’S a reason why women are attracted to bad boys, and it’s not (just) their sweet leather jackets. It’s science.

People with pathological personality traits may have more success in securing long-term relationships.

This is according to a recent study of nearly 1 000 heterosexual men and women who showed pathological tendencies such as neurotic behaviour and impulsiveness.

The study found that certain extremes were tied to success in romantic relationships.
The group included men and women with a wide range of pathological personality traits ranging from diagnosable disorders to none at all, according to Scientific American.

Fernando Gutiérrez at the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona looked into many factors in the participants’ lives, from the number of romantic partners and children each person had in his or her lifetime, to job level and income.

People with certain pathological personality traits were found to have more partners and more children over their lifetimes.

The results, however, were not the same among the sexes.

Instead, the study found that obsessive compulsive males, but not females, were successful in finding a long-term romantic partner.

But female participants that showed neurotic behaviours were 34 percent more likely to secure a long-term partner than males of the same disposition.

“These strategies are supposed to be ancestral,” leader of the research Fernando Gutiérrez told Scientific American.

“Some of them, such as impulsivity-boldness, probably predate humanity itself,” he says.

The results of the study suggest that these personality traits may be an evolutionary advantage.

Men and women considered to be pathologically reckless were found to attract a higher number of short-term partners than people with average personalities. In its most simple definition, a bad boy is someone who works outside the norms of society.

“While they are selfish, rule-breaking, imprudent and rebellious, they are also brace, temerarious, independent and self-reliant—they live frantic, galvanizing lives,” says Gutiérrez .

“This captivates many people. This desirability could also have an evolutionary basis.”
The study also linked obsessive compulsive traits to higher incomes.

Of the sample group, people with obsessive-compulsive personalities made nearly twice as much as people who didn’t have these traits.

Gutiérrez says that this group’s relationship success may be strongly tied to its higher income.

“From a Darwinian viewpoint, money means survival, safeness and resources for the children. They are also serious, reliable and cautious,” he says.

Due to the small size of the study group, the findings of the research are still speculative.

Though limited, the study suggests that deviant personality traits may be variations that help humans to survive.

In one study, University of Texas researchers had women view online dating profiles of either a sexy man or a reliable guy when they were at fertile and less fertile times in their cycle. Women who were about to ovulate said that they would expect that the sexy guy would contribute more to helping with chores (cooking, shopping for food, taking care of a baby) even though the other man was clearly more reliable.

In another study, women interacted with male actors who played a bad boy and a reliable type — again, women who were ovulating said the bad boy would make a better father. – Yahoo




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