Why Women Choose Bad Boys

George Clooney, James Bond, Don Draper – all fantastically sexy, rebellious men. With countless women willing to flock to their every need, a seemingly endless supply of money, and an “it’s-my-way-or-the-highway” attitude, it’s no wonder they may not be considered the most reliable person, especially when it comes to deciding whether they would be a good parent. However, a recent research has shown that when women are ovulating, their judgment on who would be a good choice for a father was drastically different from the times they weren’t ovulating.

In the first study, when presented with online dating profiles of either a sexy man or a reliable man, participants were asked to estimate the expected paternal contribution for each (paternal contribution was defined as how well the man would take care of the baby, shop for food, help with chores, cook, etc.) When ovulation was about to occur, women depicted the sexy man as someone who would be better at parental contribution over the reliable-looking man.

In another study, women interacted with male actors who played the roles of either sexy cad or reliable dad. This interaction occurred once during ovulation and once when not ovulating. Again, women depicted the sexy suitor as someone who would contribute more when compared with the reliable guy. Interestingly, women only assumed the sexy man would be a reliable suitor to them, but not to other women (in fact, they were quick to point out inadequacies when the question was posited to be about the sexy man and another woman).

So the next time you find yourself oddly drawn to a bad boy, remember that your Auntie Flo may be tricking you into thinking Mr. Wrong is actually Mr. Right.


Like what you read here? You might also be interested in:

Why broken promises aren’t always a bad sign – If he loved me he would stop smoking; if she loved me she wouldn’t talk to other guys. When people make and break promises in relationships, most take this as a bad sign. But researchers disagree. Find out why.

But the guys I date are always jerks! – Dr. Gonzaga explains this common phenomenon.

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