Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

The one important thing men look for in a long-term partner - according to an evolutionary biologist

relationship.jpg

Men look for brains rather than beauty and physical attributes when choosing a mother for their children, according to a leading evolutionary biologist.

Professor David Bainbridge, of the University of Cambridge, says intelligence is the most attractive quality for men looking for a long term partner because it demonstrates that his chosen partner is likely to be a responsible parent.

It also suggests she was brought up by intelligent parents and so was likely to be well looked after in childhood - and so healthier.

It may explain why George Clooney ended up marrying human rights barrister Amal Alamuddin – although we’re sure her beauty may have played a small part in attracting him initially. 

Amal and George

Amal's superior intelligence may have played a part in attracting George Clooney

"The main thing that men are looking for is intelligence," Prof Bainbridge told the Hay Festival.

"It shows that she will be able to look after his children and that her parents were probably intelligent as well, suggesting that she was raised well."

Professor Bainbridge’s book Curvology: The Origins and Power of Female Body Shape goes on to say that - from an evolutionary point of view - men do not actually care about breast size or leg length. 

"Breast size doesn’t matter," Bainbridge says.

"Men are not looking for long legs. Straight legs are a sign of genetic health so that is something that is more attractive, but surveys have shown most men prefer regular length."

 

Beyonce

Body shape is not as important as brains, according to Prof Bainbridge

Studies have found that women's mate preferences shift according to their menstrual cycle. During peak levels of fertility research suggests they prefer more masculine and socially dominant men while during less fertile phases they're drawn to more feminine and compassionate men. These men are referred to as 'dads' and tend to be more reliable, warm, and faithful than their more masculine counterparts. They also offer greater prospects for a long-term relationship according to Parental Investment Theory. When it comes to age, most women prefer older guys who are intelligent and have high social status according to research

Typically evolutionary biologists have concentrated on the physical appeal of women to men when studying mate selection concluding that males tend to seek relatively young women with full lips, breasts, and hips, and a smaller waist - so Prof Bainbridge's research is unique in concluding that intelligence could play such a crucial role. 

Related

make-up.jpg

'Can I be a feminist and still love make-up?'

rexfeatures_4743883qz.jpg

The skincare trends you should try in 2015

skin hero.jpg

New study reveals shocking impact of getting 6 hours sleep

mombod.jpg

Mums celebrate post pregnancy bodies with stretchmark and stomach pics

denim hero.jpg

20 beautiful denim pieces you will want to wear all summer

Comments

More

Messy people everywhere, scientists have very good news for you

Show this article to the next person who dares to complain about your messy desk

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Apr 2017

Science says this is how to get over a break up

Because how many Celine Dion power ballads can we really perfect?

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

Cheese addicts, science says that brie could help you live longer

We can’t brie-lieve it…

by Kayleigh Dray
28 Apr 2017

Netflix's GLOW celebrates the might of women in all forms

The new show might be the best thing to hit Netflix this year

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

Calling all Harry Potter superfans: we've found your dream job

Fancy running the new Harry Potter exhibition?

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

The innovative beer advert trying to bring people together

It has already clocked up millions of views on YouTube

by Amy Swales
28 Apr 2017

Viral photo series captures what it truly means to be black and Muslim

The photo series captures “the most resilient people in the world"

by Jasmine Andersson
28 Apr 2017

First Dates’ Raymond taught us an important lesson about loneliness

‘Just to hear somebody else breathing… that’s all I want’

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Apr 2017

These cheesy, cheesy recipes will give you life

Get a load of this fromagerie

by Jasmine Andersson
27 Apr 2017

This Commuter Barbie video is the most relatable thing we’ve ever seen

“Commuter Barbie has a seat at the table – and on the train!”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
27 Apr 2017