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Better Lovers Or Better Husbands?
« on: May 08, 2008, 09:09:58 AM »
Attractive Men = Bad Husbands

By Caroline Howard

Here's why hot women go for less attractive men

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who makes the best husband of them all? New research suggests it may be the toad, not the prince, after all.

Scientists and matchmakers have long known that physical attraction cannot be underestimated in early romance. But now researchers are trying to figure out the role looks play in long-term relationships. A new study, published in the Journal of Family Psychology, reveals that how hot-or-not you are, particularly as compared to your mate, matters well beyond initial attraction into married life, although what that means changes over time.

Research of newly married couples led by James McNulty, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee, hypothesizes that couples in which the man is more attractive than the woman are generally less happy than pairs where the wife is better looking -- or the two have matching good looks. "The relative attractiveness in a couple matters more than the absolute attractiveness of each partner," according to one researcher in the study, UCLA's Benjamin Karney, PhD.

Attraction is, of course, subjective, but the published study used universal standards such as large eyes, facial symmetry and waist-hip ratios.

Confused? Think Brad and Jennifer. Now, look at Brad and Angelina. See?

Satoshi Kanazawa, PhD, an evolutionary psychologist at the London School of Economics and coauthor of 'Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters', offers his own explanation as to why this may be true: Handsome men make bad husbands.

"Men can maximize their reproductive success by pursuing one of two different strategies: Seek a long-term mate, stay with her, and invest in their joint offspring (the “dad” strategy); or seek a large number of short-term mates without investing in any of the resulting offspring (the “cad” strategy)," writes Kanazawa.

Money and power can blind even the most beautiful women to a man's craggy physical attractiveness -- how else to explain the candy on the arms of Howard Stern and Donald Trump? But generally, it's the Jude Laws of the world who have more opportunities to pursue the "cad" strategy. Less attractive guys become, well, the "dads."

And the better husbands. McNulty’s study confirms that men who were less physically attractive than their wives men were more "supportive" of their partners than their hotter counterparts. The less good-looking guys also invest more in their exclusive relationships, not to mention less chance of infidelity. "He's getting something better than he's providing on that level," said McNulty in an interview with LiveScience. "So he's going to work hard to maintain that relationship."

Princes may be better lovers, but toads make better husbands.



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