It’s not just Wonder Womanwhohasan eye on the bad guys
IT MAY sound like a cliché, but apparently it’s true — women prefer their men mean. How do we know? Israeli scientists say so. While men see niceness in women as an attractive quality, women see that as creepy, or even weak, according to a study published by the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya.
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“Sexual desire thrives on rising intimacy and being responsive is one of the best ways to instill this elusive sensation over time,” said Professor Gurit Birnbaum, the study’s lead researcher.
“Our findings show that this does not necessarily hold true in an initial encounter because a responsive potential partner may convey opposite meanings to different people.”
He explained that this was not the first such project to discover that old gender stereotypes — in which men are expected to dominate and women to be compassionate and attentive — prevail, at least as far as first impressions go.
The study paired 112 single, undergraduate volunteers with opposite-sex partners. They were told to have a conversation about a difficult experience from their recent past, first in a laborato- ry, and then in a controlled, online chat.
The students reported back on their partners’ level of attention and sympathy — called “receptiveness” by the researchers — as well as their corresponding levels of attractiveness and femininity or masculinity.
In the study, women found receptivness to be neither masculine nor particularly attractive.
Carolyn Maurer, a 25-year-old Israeli NGO worker, partially vindicated this result with the admission that confidence in a man is a turn-on more often than not. She added that this was a common trait among men in Israel, where men “aren’t as afraid of rejection” as they are in her native New York.
“We still do not know why women are less sexually attracted to responsive strangers. Women may perceive a responsive stranger as less desirable for different reasons,” said Prof Birnbaum.
Israeli actress Gal Gadot recently unveiled as the new Wonder Woman