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

22 Christmas cocktail recipes to jingle your bells

Boozy mince pie freakshake, anyone?

by Amy Swales
09 Dec 2016

Revealed: the gender pay gap for every industry in the UK

How much less do you earn than your male colleagues?

by Sarah Biddlecombe
09 Dec 2016

Experts have revealed the ultimate hangover cure

There’s just one catch…

by Kayleigh Dray
09 Dec 2016

Gigi Hadid opens up about ‘empowering’ decision to quit social media

“The world feels so entitled to other peoples’ lives”

by Kayleigh Dray
09 Dec 2016

This is how Bake Off will change when it moves to Channel 4

From the horse (aka Paul Hollywood)’s mouth itself…

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Dec 2016

Are you the youngest in your family? We have good news for you…

Experts have revealed the surprising trait that all little brothers and sisters share

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Dec 2016

Meet the all-female anti-poaching team saving rhinos in South Africa

Jessica Chastain is set to produce a film about their story.

by Moya Crockett
08 Dec 2016

New-look Baywatch is all about chests, not breasts

But is it really any better... ?

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Dec 2016

Cheers! You can now grow your own Prosecco at home

This could be dangerous...

by Moya Crockett
08 Dec 2016

Is Kim Cattrall already filming a Samantha SATC spin-off?

“Channelling Ms Samantha Jones once again…”

by Kayleigh Dray
08 Dec 2016