Are Men More Visual Than Women?

men-visual
It’s one of those things that everybody knows — men are more visual than women. The proof is all around us. Pornography caters to men as their most loyal consumers, some studies show physical attractiveness of their partner is more important to men’s happiness than women’s. The physical just matters to men.

Meanwhile women are more attracted to a man’s personality, such as his sense of humor, and his ability to provide and be a good father to their potential children. Evidence for this is seen in women’s willingness to happily engage in relationships with men who aren’t generally considered the most physically appealing.

But what if the conventional wisdom is wrong, as it has been in the past? What if the idea of men being more visual has little basis in reality, or what if the gender inequalities in visual arousal have their origins in culture and society, not in biology? When looked at critically, there are several reasons why the commonly accepted idea that men are innately more visual should be questioned:

1. There is greater social acceptance and encouragement for men to value physical appearance

Historically women needed to value more than a man’s appearance. Since they couldn’t have jobs that would sustain themselves and any family they would have, women had to look to a man’s financial ability and ability as a father when choosing a mate. Men who were more financially stable could focus on other qualities in a potential mate, such as their physical appearance.

Nowadays women have more career opportunities. But differences in society’s appraisal of the genders remain — men are still expected to be able to provide financially for their wives and family. And women are still expected to be pretty enough to secure a marriage with the most financially able man.

2. Some studies challenge the idea that men are more visual

Most studies that gain popularity reinforce conventional wisdom. Thus there are easily found studies which support the idea that men are more visually stimulated than women are. Much rarely discussed are the studies which conflict with this notion.

One of the more recent studies on gender and visual stimulation found that women are as visually responsive as men are. In the study, the brains of female participants showed as much activity as the male participants when shown sexually erotic images. Researchers responded that although men might personally rate sexual images higher than women do, there was no difference in their brain activity when viewing them.

3. Sexual objectification of men has increased

woman-staring-shirtless-manSince the Women’s Movement, objectification of men has steadily increased. Men are more and more being shown as sexual objects in media such as TV, magazines, and movies. Women’s viewing of (male) pornography has increased. Men are also focusing more on their physical appearance, paying more attention to grooming and spending more time at the gym.

One writer claimed that the world may now be “entering a Golden Age of Male Objectification“, where male bodies are presented for female consumption.

4. Women may be just as visual, in different ways

The concept that men are more visual focuses on response to physical attractiveness and sexually suggestive images. But what about other physical stimuli? Do men still score higher?

It is known that women pay more attention to their physical appearance than men do. Women spend more on clothing, cosmetics, and accessories and spend a greater amount of time physically preparing themselves for the day. Is it possible that women are more visual than men when it comes to non-sexual stimuli?

To add, some studies suggest that it’s not that men are more visual than women, but that men and women focus on different aspects of the body when evaluating the opposite sex. In one study, men tended to focus more on the face of women, while women spend more time looking at a man’s body and physique, including his genitals.

…Perhaps the shirtless, muscle-bound hunk isn’t just a made-up attraction.

What is your view — are men more visual than women? And why?

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85 thoughts on “Are Men More Visual Than Women?

  1. I cosign with the idea the the difference between how both men and women value attractive is negligible. Women WANT an attractive (to them) partner as much as men do. But it still is a patriarchal world, and only the foolish woman puts too much weight on attractiveness, particularly if she wants children. I would say the same for men, but I think men can bounce back a lot faster from a relationship with an attractive woman turned bad. I can’t speak for the children (if any) of this doomed relationship, however.

    I don’t care how many equal opportunities women have, it is too risky to have kids with an attractive buster. When you ‘re a divorced single mother (or even if you’re a married mother), you *MAY* have to sacrifice when/how far you go in your career, even if modern women don’t want to admit that. (You know how they say “you can have it all, but probably not at the same time”?) For that reason, women have to consider the bigger picture.

  2. In the book “A billion wicked thoughts” the authors say that women want, are stimulated by a much wider set of features than men. A guy may not be great looking but his personality could make up for it, or his bank account. Assemble enough positive stimulators and the woman’s desire is triggered. But a man’s desire can be stimulated by physical traits alone. Personality and income are less important. Sometimes even just one physical feature is enough: breast men, leg men, etc.

    I was wondering how popular male strippers are these days and I came across this article. What is interesting to me about this article is the way the author thinks. Why did she expect these guys to have memorable personalities? A guy wouldn’t expect that from a female stripper.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1189342/Egos-big-pecs-After-20-years-Chippendales-muscles-arent-things-grossly-inflated-says-Tanya-Gold.html

  3. Valerie, great response.

    “Women WANT an attractive (to them) partner”

    I sure do. Which is why this question has always been interesting to me. If most women think like me, the answer is a resounding NO.

    “When you ‘re a divorced single mother (or even if you’re a married mother), you *MAY* have to sacrifice when/how far you go in your career, even if modern women don’t want to admit that…For that reason, women have to consider the bigger picture.”

    This is true. You still have to consider that you may need time off, you might want to cut back your hours to spend more time with children, etc. So evaluating a man’s career prospects and potential fathering ability is pretty important, still.

  4. Tony,

    I looked that book up on Amazon because those results seemed rather… interesting. And the negative reviews give me a pretty good idea of what kind of book it is:

    “All you really need to know about this book is that it compares male porn consumers with female romance consumers, and points out that these two groups are different.

    This should come as a surprise to very few people.”

    “…Even if the negative criticism of the book were warranted, I thought the research itself might still be interesting. I was wrong. A Billion Wicked Thoughts has few redeeming qualities and is not valuable to a real academic project in any way – except perhaps as a telling example of blatant sexual essentialism passed off as science.”

    ‘The bottom line is this: if you’re into the “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” garbage, you’ll love this book. But if you have more than two brain-cells to rub together, this book will insult your intelligence to no end.’

    “I’ll keep this short.

    -Preconceptions and cliches…”

    How did this even get published?”

    Hmmm.

    But the worst part are the actual excerpts from the book posted by a reviewer:

    “Women strive for consensus and equality… Most women do not feel the burning ambition to outcompete other women”

    You have to be kidding me. Female competition is legendary.

    ‘ “Men’s brains are designed to objectify females.”…their cited source? Hugh Hefner’

    Uh, what?

    “There is a profound difference in the brain software of men and women…”

    *rubs temples*

    Dichotomous statements like that cause me severe mental stress. Literally. I feel pressure build up in my brain as soon as I read something like that.

    And apparently they also quoted a PUA blogger from the “manosphere” as a source to back up their idea of the way women’s brains work? Good God, say it ain’t so…

    That’s like quoting me as a source for proof that Adam Brody is the Sexiest Male Celebrity Alive. One person’s (inherently and deeply skewed) opinion.

    So, that book seems like an exercise in fail.

    “But a man’s desire can be stimulated by physical traits alone. Personality and income are less important.”

    So you’re (or the book is) saying men are not interested in anything else in a woman besides her appearance?

    Well, that’s disappointing. I’d hope many men would disagreed with that. For their own sake. Being more visually oriented is one thing, not caring about anything besides the physical is something else entirely.

    Btw, none of the men in that article about male strippers is in the least bit physically appealing to me. Actually, they are sort of unappealing due to all the tan, muscle, and other fakeness.

  5. I think you should take a look at the book instead of relying on other people’s opinions. You might like it.

    And if the book was so wrong why is playgirl magazine such a fail? Even with all the gay readers it still is only a quarterly magazine.

  6. I dont believe men are more visual and it also seems like to me men are more forgiving of women who have a few physical flaws than the other way around. Most men are not gonna exclude women for having small breasts for instance even if he prefers larger ones whereas I know several women that say a guy under 6ft is a deal breaker even if they are short themselves and an average height guy is still gonna be taller than them. I objectify men all the time and always have. I remember in college me and two of my friends would sit around campus and every guy that walked by we’d rate him and discuss pretty much every feature and pick him apart.

    I think women and men want the same things these days. Someone well rounded with personality AND looks not one or the other but if someone has more of one than the other, we’ll give a little leeway if the chemistry is there. Ive known lots of average looking girls that attract alot of hot men simply cause they just have that it quality or something about them that draws men so with men too a personality can make up for alot.

    For me personally a fat bank account will NEVER make me give a chance to a guy thats too overweight, too short, or just an ugly face. If I have to kiss this guy and go to bed with this guy, he has to look like something. When Brad Pitt was in his prime, I wouldve taken him without a pot to piss in over a Bill Gates or Donald Trump any day even if thats stupid to most. Thinking back to his love scene in Thelma and Louise, Ill take a temporary thing with a guy like that over a lifetime of being a kept woman by an ugly man. At least Ill have the memories.

    Ive seen alot of men argue women to death about this topic when we say we are just as visual as they are. I think men dont want to believe they are judged for their looks or that with some women no amount of money or personality can get them in the door if the woman doesnt find them attractive.

  7. Tony,

    “I think you should take a look at the book instead of relying on other people’s opinions. You might like it.”

    I guessed you’d say that, but I don’t think I will like the book. I’ve read various reviews and it doesn’t seem like the type of thing I’d appreciate. The positive reviews are even more convincing in that regard than the negative reviews.

    “And if the book was so wrong why is playgirl magazine such a fail? Even with all the gay readers it still is only a quarterly magazine.”

    Oh, I see. You’re in the camp of men are more visual/men are from mars, women are from venus.

    Okay… I did ask for thoughts. Good to know. ;)

  8. Jessica,

    “I dont believe men are more visual and it also seems like to me men are more forgiving of women who have a few physical flaws than the other way around. “

    Interesting. I (strongly) prefer men in the 6’2″+ range in height, but shorter than that isn’t a dealbreaker to me and I’ve dated several guys who were shorter than that. However, noticeably shorter than me might be a dealbreaker… Luckily the vast majority of guys I’ve seen are at least 5’7″ish so they don’t look noticeably shorter than the 5’8″ me in flats.

    “I objectify men all the time and always have.”

    Lol…Say it loud and proud! :D

    “I think women and men want the same things these days. Someone well rounded with personality AND looks not one or the other but if someone has more of one than the other, we’ll give a little leeway if the chemistry is there.”

    That’s what I want. I wouldn’t date a hot guy whose personality wasn’t interesting to me (Okay, that’s a lie… I have. :P), but I also wouldn’t date a guy whose personality I liked but wasn’t physically attracted to (at all). I’ve run into the latter situation many times.

    “For me personally a fat bank account will NEVER make me give a chance to a guy thats too overweight, too short, or just an ugly face.”

    Same.

    “I think men dont want to believe they are judged for their looks or that with some women no amount of money or personality can get them in the door if the woman doesnt find them attractive.”

    Very interesting.

    I wonder how true that is. I’ve certainly seen battles to death on this topic, and men tend to be on the side of “Women don’t care about looks”. Meanwhile women are all, “Yes, we do.”

    Well, there’s always plastic surgery… Hill Harper looks a lot better than he did in his “He Got Game” days. :)

  9. As a highly visual woman, I must say I have a hard time believing women aren’t visual beings. I’d say there are some stronger explanations on why most of the porn is targeted to men or why women aren’t turned on by the traditional porn. Hint: it has nothing to do with women not being visual.

  10. @Alee, I’m not saying that men are more visual. I am agreeing with the books findings that men need only one or two things (usually visual but sometimes something like confidence can substitue) while women need a whole bunch of things, including visual.

    A individual’s preferences may be different from the average, but it doesn’t change what the average want.

    @Jessica, good point that some average looking women can get hot men. Probably due to confidence.

    @Mira , so what is it then?

  11. Mira,

    “I’d say there are some stronger explanations on why most of the porn is targeted to men or why women aren’t turned on by the traditional porn.”

    Care to share? :)

    Tony,

    “I’m not saying that men are more visual. I am agreeing with the books findings that men need only one or two things (usually visual but sometimes something like confidence can substitute) while women need a whole bunch of things, including visual.”

    So you’re saying men are more visual? Oh.

    Lol… if you’re saying men need one thing to be stimulated, which is usually visual, while women need many things, which might include visual aspects, then you’re saying men are more visual. Because they rely more/solely on visual data.

  12. For me it’s very nice to have a pleasant man to look at. But it’s not the most important thing. There are lots of handsome men out there. Handsome don’t pay the bills and take care of the children.

  13. Nkosazana,

    “For me it’s very nice to have a pleasant man to look at. But it’s not the most important thing.”

    How high up would you rate it? In relation to other factors such as financials, personality, intelligence, etc.

    “Handsome don’t pay the bills…”

    It could if the guy was a top model like Noah Mills (he makes well into six figures, dollar-wise) or Lasse Larsen.

    “and take care of the children.”

    It could if the guy was a stay-at-home dad. ;)

  14. mmm Noah. Just give me one weekend with him to do whatever I want. Sorry off topic but I cant see a pic of him without thinking filthy thoughts and thinking back to his scenes in sex and the city 2. I would devour that man. He’s one I love to objectify.

  15. Jess,

    You should have been around for Underrated Celebrity Men of the Year. Noah Mills was number one; it would have been the perfect time to ogle and think filthy thoughts. :)

    …thinking back to his scenes in sex and the city 2.”

    I missed this! May have to watch it if he’s there…

  16. I didnt even know who he was til that movie. I remember seeing that at the movies and me and my friend going wild when he came on the screen. He wooed Samantha and then they had sex of course. Beautiful Beautiful scene. The movie is kinda too long and drags but luckily his part is in the first 30 min.

  17. Well I’ll have to sleep next to the guy forever so It’s kinda important but other things are more important, like how stable the guy is and how good of a family guy he is, I’m a picky girl but I go by a lot more than looks.

    Yes but honestly, would you want to marry a model?

    I wouldn’t.

  18. Jessica,

    “The movie is kinda too long and drags but luckily his part is in the first 30 min.”

    Good to know. I’ll tune in for just those minutes.

    Nkosazana,

    “…honestly, would you want to marry a model?”

    If he looked like Noah Mills or Lasse Larsen, yes, yes, and oh yeah… yes. I plan to marry a near model. ;)

    It’s not as if, years down the line when he’s no longer a model, he’ll be broke. If he’s invested wisely he’ll probably have a good chunk in the bank. Plus, he’ll just get a regular job like everyone else.

    Or are you worried about every woman wanting him?

  19. then you’re saying men are more visual. Because they rely more/solely on visual data

    If Harvard requires a 4.0 GPA plus a GMAT score over 98 percentile to get into its biz school but Stanford only requires a 4.0 GPA then you can say Stanford is more GPA focused than Harvard. However you are still not getting into Harvard with a GPA of 3.0

    you want a model and the model’s money. You don’t even seem to be considering a house husband model who is broke. The broke guy isn’t “getting in”.

  20. Tony: you want a model and the model’s money. You don’t even seem to be considering a house husband model who is broke. The broke guy isn’t “getting in”.

    If a man is exceptionally gorgeous he can get in anywhere broke or not. Id be HONORED to have Noah Mills as my house husband.

  21. The reason men use porn more than women is because of the double sexual standards that still dictate socially acceptable ways women are allowed to express their sexuality.

    Another reason is that… Well, have you seen some mainstream porn lately? The way females and their sexual needs are treated in those movies? Not to mention the way mainstream porn actors look (well, most of them) – quite unattractive. If I may to say, the fact women aren’t turned on by that proves women are visual beings. I mean, would men watch porn that much if the actors looked like Brad Pitt and Blair Underwood and actresses like Madeleine Albright?

  22. Maybe if playgirl actually used men that women find attractive it would be a bigger hit with us but since they use gay looking male strippers (who most women dont even find attractive but gay men DO), its not gonna draw female interest.

  23. Urgh Strippers is so nasty. Something very nasty about them.

    Well Mira. What are men suppose to use? lol.. I mean we got dildos and all kinds of toys… He got Lena Handén (sorry It’s a swedish pun, Lena is a name and Handén a last name and Lena means smooth and handén hand. Brother-in-law taught me that one lol)

  24. @Jessica
    How often have you gone online to look for nude photos of men?
    btw, that question is rhetorical. I won’t answer the converse.

  25. I want a gent who is attractive to ME, and I imagine most women do too. I’ve always felt like men want only the best of the best.

  26. Tony,

    “If Harvard requires a 4.0 GPA plus a GMAT score over 98 percentile to get into its biz school but Stanford only requires a 4.0 GPA then you can say Stanford is more GPA focused than Harvard. However you are still not getting into Harvard with a GPA of 3.0″

    Okay, let’s break it down. :)

    …The argument isn’t that women are not visual — clearly they have eyes, just like men. The argument is that men are more visual than women are. The keyword here being “more”.

    Your example also doesn’t fit your stance. According to you the book’s position (which you agreed with) was:

    “…the authors say that women want, are stimulated by a much wider set of features than men. A guy may not be great looking but his personality could make up for it, or his bank account…”

    In other words, a man does not need the looks to attract women, if he has other qualities. This is not the same as saying he should have other qualities in addition to the looks. So your GPA example makes no sense in relation to this because you can’t switch out scores for GPA. Unless you’re now changing your position and disagreeing with the book.

    Tony says:

    ‘you want a model and the model’s money. You don’t even seem to be considering a house husband model who is broke. The broke guy isn’t “getting in”.’

    Jessica says:

    “If a man is exceptionally gorgeous he can get in anywhere broke or not. Id be HONORED to have Noah Mills as my house husband.”

    Lol, seriously.

    I often wonder if some men actually interact with women, or just assume things about them. Because the way they believe women think is so completely off-base.

    Tony, yes, many women would be glad –ecstatic– to have a Noah Mills as their house husband. They would happily take care of him, as long as they could claim him. I know a few guys like this — their good looks “encourage” women to pay their bills, mortgage, etc. Good-looking guys get a lot of leeway from women. They can get away with things an average-looking or unattractive guy would be ostracized for.

    Besides, you’re presenting a false dichotomy. A model is not going to be broke, unless they’re an “aspiring” model. Because modeling is a job and as such it makes money. Models have a decent amount of money even if they’re not a top model; they don’t have any less money than your average Joe. My ex is a model and he has enough money to support himself.

  27. Jessica,

    “Maybe if playgirl actually used men that women find attractive it would be a bigger hit with us but since they use gay looking male strippers (who most women dont even find attractive but gay men DO), its not gonna draw female interest.”

    Bingo.

    Why is the same sort of “attractive” guy used in everything that is supposed to be targeted towards women? It’s the same guy — super-buff, tanned, waxed (including eyebrows…), perfectly coifed hair. The kind of guy that causes everyone’s gaydar to go off like ambulance sirens.

    That is not what women want. At least not many women that I know… Mess up that hair a little, spend less time pumping iron and inside a tanning booth. And do not touch your eyebrows! Men should not wax or pluck their eyebrows, unless they’re getting rid of a unibrow or a few stray hairs. While women like groomed men, too much grooming is just not good.

    I’ll always go back to Noah Mills because he’s a great example of a well-groomed guy who doesn’t overdo it, and is thus very attractive to women:

    Doesn’t wax the hair off his stomach, toned but not overly buff, keeps a well-groomed beard…. That’s what many women want, not this.

    A lot of women like Johnny Depp. For years he’s been one of the top guys in the media. Notice that he isn’t buff, waxed, and tan… I just don’t understand why companies like Playgirl don’t incorporate what is actually popular with women.

    Sherry,

    “I want a gent who is attractive to ME, and I imagine most women do too.”

    Yes, although sometimes who is attractive to one woman is also attractive to other women. Like I stan for Adam Brody… Jessica also likes him, and so do many other women.

    “I’ve always felt like men want only the best of the best.”

    So you’re saying that men allow society to dictate what they find attractive? Hmmm. :)

  28. Mira,

    Lol. It sure seems that way right, with the photos and the men they use? But no, Playgirl is actually targeted towards straight women. However, something like half of their readership is gay men.

    A good amount of their photographers are also (gay) men, and I’m betting the make-up artists are too.

  29. No, I didn’t mean it’s officially that way. It’s just how it turns out to be. I guess having gay men on board doesn’t help.

    All in all, I do think the reason women buy/watch less porn than men is not about them being less visual. First of all, it’s because straight women don’t find mainstream porn particularly arousing because there’s nothing for them: male actors are unattractive, the way women are treated in mainstream porn is not how average woman wants to be treated in bed, etc.

    But of course it’s deeper than that. The reason there’s more male oriented than female oriented porn is because of the double sexual standards. It has nothing to do with women being less visual or less sexual. (Like I love to repeat, Ancient Greeks believed women were more sexual than men).

    Also, so many folk tales admit female’s sexuality. Some of the well known stories, such as the Red Riding Hood, is a about female sexuality (it’s actually a very feminist story, originally- if nothing else, the girl saved her self from the trouble and she didn’t need a man (the hunter) to save her).

  30. Mira,

    “No, I didn’t mean it’s officially that way. It’s just how it turns out to be.”

    Oh, well, in that case yes. Playgirl is Playboy for gay men.

    I agree that most porn isn’t really catered towards women. Probably because it’s made by men. If it’s true that women are as visual as men, just not in the same manner, then providing the same sort of material for women as you would for men would obviously not work.

  31. I often wonder if some men actually interact with women, or just assume things about them. Because the way they believe women think is so completely off-base.

    Tony,…….

    uh huh. Well I’m just a techie but one day I hope to meet a real girl.
    LOL

  32. Miss Alee,
    I had not thought of it as “society dictating what men find attractive”. More like all the men want the local beauty queen, and turn up their nose at all the other girls.

  33. Both sexes are visual creatures. The lense in which we look out of is just different. Additionally, I think women are more attentive to material things (i.e. car, house, etc. = stability), and men are more attentive to biological features (i.e. breasts, butt, etc. = ability to be a “spinner” or do other sexually pleasing things).

  34. Sherry,

    More like all the men want the local beauty queen, and turn up their nose at all the other girls.

    Yes, but society tells them who’s the beauty queens and who are the other girls.

    Integrated Memoirs,

    I don’t think that’s true. Material things such as cars or sense of stability aren’t visual, so they don’t have anything to do with this whole “are women visual” argument. The reason women might pay more attention to this stuff than partner’s physical appearance are cultural/historical and not biological.

  35. They’re very visible, and once again, that’s why I said they view things via different lenses (i.e. cultural/historical (in your words) vs. biological). They’re tangible, visuals that (for many women) represent a level of stability and wealth for a man. Personality Theories not only speaks about the different personalities of humans, but it also speaks about how different of sex can alter different mentalities and thought processes in men and women. Women are visual biologically, but they’re more concerned with financial stability, hence the reason why women place more value on material possessions than looks. On the other hand, you can also say that men a visual in a different way due to cultural/historical reasons, exemplified by society’s view of the man being the main financial support. Hence, his reason for wanting to maintain financial stability in order to attract a woman, and in return, he will accept the woman who is more biologically attractive to him. If that wasn’t the case, you would have a lot more house husbands and women making more than men, and women not being concerned with cosmetic surgery, makeup, entering beauty contests, and ultimately trying to fit into a male dominate world. Besides, I don’t know of what culture where these things are not vaild; even in third world countries, a woman is going to be more attracted to the not so good looking man with more material things than a beautiful man who has nothing…the same goes for men when it comes to wanting a woman who is beautiful.

  36. Tony,

    “Well I’m just a techie”

    Apparently. ;)

    Sherry says:

    “More like all the men want the local beauty queen, and turn up their nose at all the other girls.”

    Mira says:

    “Yes, but society tells them who’s the beauty queens and who are the other girls.”

    Yes. Beauty queens especially, tend to fit a certain mold of society-approved conventional beauty.

  37. Mira,

    “Material things such as cars…aren’t visual”

    Why?

    Eliss,

    “Besides, I don’t know of what culture where these things are not vaild; even in third world countries, a woman is going to be more attracted to the not so good looking man with more material things than a beautiful man who has nothing…”

    But this dynamic has decreased dramatically over time and decreases with the level of equality in a certain society suggesting it has more to do with culture than biology.

  38. I’m not saying its not culture. As stated before, both are visual, just through different lenses. Men and women view things from a different perspectives. Women have come a long way when it comes the advancement of employment and other financial freedoms, but let’s be real here…we have a long way to go as a whole before we catch up to men.

  39. Eliss,

    “I’m not saying its not culture.”

    Okay, I thought you were saying that phenomenon has its roots in biology…

    “we have a long way to go as a whole before we catch up to men.”

    How do you mean?

  40. Ok, maybe I’m missing something here. I assumed when people say “men are more visual”, the “visual” part is about physical appearance, as well as being more sexually stimulated by visual signs (as the opposite of sounds, scent, thoughts, etc.)

    Of course you can see a car and it can be a visual sign of someone’s wealth, but I didn’t mean on that. I do think women are as visual as men when it comes to physical appearance and sexual stimulation via visual signs.

  41. Eliss,

    Oh, okay. Yes, there is a lot of work still to be done in the workforce.

    Mira,

    ‘I assumed when people say “men are more visual”, the “visual” part is about physical appearance, as well as being more sexually stimulated by visual signs’

    Right, they are. Okay, I just wanted to clarify what you were referring to above because it could have been read as saying material things aren’t visible.

    “Of course you can see a car and it can be a visual sign of someone’s wealth, but I didn’t mean on that.”

    Yes, and that’s another tip-off that it’s mostly/purely cultural in origin. Cars, money, etc don’t have any real meaning biologically like say, breasts, do. They only have meaning via society and culture and women respond to them in the context of that societal meaning.

  42. I know. That’s why I was never turned on by a guy’s car.

    But now that I think about it, I never dated a guy who had a car or a driver’s license.

    They all had great hair, so I’m cool. :P

  43. Mira,

    “But now that I think about it, I never dated a guy who had a car or a driver’s license.”

    Seriously? How did you manage that? Are you including your husband in this?

    “They all had great hair, so I’m cool. :P”

    LOL.

  44. Seriously? How did you manage that? Are you including your husband in this?

    Of course. But I can’t drive either and we don’t have a car. I thought I mentioned this earlier… Guess not.

    Nope, I can’t drive. It sucks, but I don’t think it sucks as much as it would suck in America. Many people use public transportation here. It sucks a big time, but cars are expensive.

    Most of the households do have a car – but generally only one. So at least somebody in the household uses public transportation on a regular basis.

    Also, it’s very rare for a teen or a person in his 20s to have a car. First of all, you can’t get a license until you’re 18, and then you have to pay for the driver’s ed (there are special schools you have to attend), etc. It’s all down to the fact cars are expensive, though and I’ve never dated a wealthy guy.

  45. Mira,

    “I thought I mentioned this earlier… Guess not.”

    No, you hadn’t. At least, I don’t remember it.

    “Nope, I can’t drive. It sucks, but I don’t think it sucks as much as it would suck in America.”

    It depends on where you are. Major cities have reliable public transportation but once you move away from the really big cities, having a car is a near-must.

    Anyway, fun fact. I learn something new here every day. :)

  46. I believe men are more visual. I’ve seen it over and over again, a man will like a woman just because she looks good while a woman is more likely to be attracted to someone because of an emotional connection they feel.

    I have also read that a man should instantly be attracted to a woman and never force themselves to see if the attraction will grow over time, because it won’t. But a woman can develop an attraction for man she wasn’t initially attracted to over time. It was basically saying that men and women are just wired differently. I hope that made sense…I’m tired :).

  47. I don’t know, Nikisha… I still think it’s largely cultural way to behave like that. Women were historically (and still today) encouraged to look past man’s physical appearance and to let the attraction build over time. Men were encouraged to act upon first attraction.

    I could never be with someone I’m not attracted to. And this attraction can’t be built (unless the guy alters his appearance significantly). What can happen is that a hot guy has a personality of a jerk so the initial attraction will quickly fade away. But to me, there has to be an initial attraction or I’ll see this person as a friend.

  48. Mira,
    “I could never be with someone I’m not attracted to”

    I agree, I couldn’t either, but then again who we find attractive is all relative. But I see attractive women act cookoo off of men that aren’t attractive all the time. Example, when pickup artists end up with beautiful women because they used peacocking as part of the game to get them. Alee wrote a post about pickup artists. I think this proves women can be attracted to a guy outside of physical appearance.

  49. Oh, by all means, who I find attractive doesn’t have to be seen as attractive by other people. I don’t care if he’s seen as “hot” by others or not.

    As for attractive woman/unattractive men couples, they do exist and they are more common than the attractive man/unattractive woman couples. But I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily because women aren’t visual. Women are taught they shouldn’t focus on a guy’s appearance but on his other qualities. Men are taught to focus on a woman’s appearance.

  50. Mira,
    “Women are taught they shouldn’t focus on a guy’s appearance but on his other qualities.”

    I don’t know about this one, because I am guilty of liking a guy in the past that wasn’t deemed too attractive to most of the people who saw him. I even have to admit that there wasn’t one thing on his face that I liked, but he just had *swag* and was super smart, and it turned me on. This was in the past though. But, you know what, you might be right, because I was still visually attracted to him for some odd reason (shrugs).

    *Swagger- Walk or behave in a very confident and typically arrogant or aggressive way: “he swaggered along the corridor”.

  51. Mira,
    I should have elaborated more on when I said this, “But, you know what, you might be right, because I was still visually attracted to him for some odd reason (shrugs).”

    I do think women are visual as well Mira, I know I am! ;) But if a man is a jerk, I won’t be attracted to him no matter how visually stunning a he is.

  52. Nikisha, Ive also seen men act cookoo over women that are barely average! I know everyone has different taste but there are some people that most can agree are good looking and some most can agree are bad looking regardless of taste. Me and my ex best friend in our more immature days (if you can believe I was ever more immature than I am now) use to count how many ugly girls we saw with guys we thought were hot. Like Tony said, if a girl has alot of confidence, she can convince alot of people she’s hot and guys will be attracted to her. Same thing with average looking men having swag and pulling women because of that.

  53. Nikisha,

    I think swag could be taken as part of a physical attraction. You look at him, and you like him, but you’re unsure why, but you just do!

    And as long as you find the guy attractive it doesn’t matter what others think about him.

    But if a man is a jerk, I won’t be attracted to him no matter how visually stunning a he is.

    Oh yes, I agree with you here.

  54. The only form of “average looking woman that men are crazy about” I’ve seen is for women who are not pretty, but have a hot body. For my culture it means they’re tall and skinny (no ass), but preferably with some boobs. A girl like this can have an ugly face and the guys will be crazy about her.

    Another form is an average looking woman who dresses up, wears makeup, etc. Men pay attention to this sort of women, regardless of their facial features. I’ve seen men ignore pretty, but “plain” girls all the time, only to chase a less pretty woman who is dressed up. But yes, I think confidence is the key here.

  55. Mira, Yeah its the same here too. A woman can be average if she’s dressed up/makeup and guys will still be all over her. I guess those are the kinda couples I see alot. Truly hot guys with girls that arent cute no matter what way you look at them but do make the effort in their appearance regardless but the girls still seem to be really confident. Women that arent cute plus “plain” are usually more quiet not that quiet means not confident but I do think the bubbly social butterfly chicks do attract more men cause they appear more confident. I use to be kinda envious of women like that. Now im happy to be an introvert. A little mystery is sexy.

  56. @Jessica, for me the bubbly social butterfly thing is meaningless but I do fall for the quiet confident woman. Walks with her head up, shoulders back, looks you direct in the eye, works out so whatever type of body she has (big ass? no problem) she makes the most of, also dresses well/ wears makeup well. It hooks you and eventually you realize she isn’t perfect but at that point, (to quote Mira):

    “You look at her, and you like her, but you’re unsure why, but you just do!

    And as long as you find the girl attractive it doesn’t matter what others think about her.”

    Unfortunately this type is also usually a player which is why she has learned all these techniques.

  57. Tony: Jessica, for me the bubbly social butterfly thing is meaningless but I do fall for the quiet confident woman. Walks with her head up, shoulders back, looks you direct in the eye, works out so whatever type of body she has (big ass? no problem) she makes the most of, also dresses well/ wears makeup well.

    Thats me or at least thats how I try to come across. Im not all that confident to be honest but you’d never know it by how I carry myself.

  58. People can tell that I’m shy and that I lack confidence by the way I walk and talk. I had no idea you can appear confident even if you’re not.

    But the good thing about being like this is that people ignore you most of the time. (You don’t get catcals and other crap).

  59. Tony, I always failed at every attempt in trying to be a player but thats okay. Im usually perceived as being a player and I kinda like that people’s perceptions of me is totally opposite than what I am. I like suprising people.

    Mira, You can definitely appear confident even if you arent. I got it down to a science but your right it is good to be ignored (sometimes) so you can be left the hell alone. I dont like people in general so I usually prefer to be left alone except by people who also dont like people cause those are usually the kinda folks I connect best with.

  60. @Mira
    not only can you appear confident when you aren’t but also eventually you will be confident just because you faked it. I did a couple of years in sales to develop this technique in myself.

    @Jessica
    I’ve never really tried being a player (some people may have a diff point of view) because I hate break ups. A player has too many breakups to manage.

  61. I worked in sales and I was good, but that was just acting. I’m good in acting but I can’t fake it and be myself at the same time.

  62. You know, I find that every time this topic comes up (anywhere), people can kind of lean towards extremes. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that a woman be with a man she doesn’t find attractive just because he has other good qualities. I certainly wouldn’t want that — after all, I have to wake up to him everyday, so I better find him attractive! :)

    So yes, women are certainly visual, but as others have said, I think women (in general… there are exceptions of course) are more able to consider other qualities outside of looks in a man’s total package, so to speak.

    In my own case, I have crushed on some dudes I found super hot, only to think they were really ugly after things didn’t work out with some of them. They didn’t actually change their looks, obviously, but my perception of their attractiveness changed because of their behavior and attitude. And on the other side, I’ve met guys that didn’t wow me with their looks immediately, but who grew more physically attractive to me the more I got to see their other good qualities. And then, there were the ones who didn’t wow me with their looks and even though they were nice, I still didn’t find them attractive after giving them a chance!

    All that being said, I’ve never needed a model (nor wanted one) or had the need to find a super hot guy. Even if he looked like, say, Rick Fox, that didn’t mean he would be a better partner for me than someone else who was maybe more of a conventionally average/cute type. If I’m thinking of the very long term for relationships (I want a 50-year anniversary, dang it!) I’m not necessarily all that concerned about temporary looks that he has. He’s not gonna look the same at 70, so I better like more than his current model looks at age 25-30!

  63. Hi Nikisha. :D

    “I’ve seen it over and over again, a man will like a woman just because she looks good while a woman is more likely to be attracted to someone because of an emotional connection they feel.”

    Although I’m definitely not the type to be attracted to someone due to an emotional connection (…What’s that? Do you mean he’s just so hot you can’t help but love him? Does. not. compute. :P ), I can see how that would apply to some other women.

    However, I can think of a simpler reason why that would be case, which doesn’t have to do with innate differences in sex:

    People value women for their appearance, and value men for their personality.

    Think about it: if what we are all taught to value in a woman is her looks, first and foremost (and we are — note the first thing people criticize about a woman is usually her looks), then that’s what men will value and what will become a determining factor in their attraction. And if we’re taught to value a man’s personality/confidence and/or financials (and we are, otherwise things like PUA wouldn’t exist or be profitable), then that’s what women will value and what will become a determining factor in their attraction.

    Now we can say that people value women for their looks and men for their more intangible factors due to biological reasons. However, the evidence against that theory is mounting every day, and the evidence for it being a cultural phenomenon is growing.

  64. Jessica,

    “A woman can be average if she’s dressed up/makeup and guys will still be all over her.”

    I’d say the overwhelming majority of women (and men) are average-looking. And that dress and make-up is what separates the “pretties” from the “averages” from the “uglies”. I truly believe that and I think celebrities are a perfect example of average people made into beauties.

    To continue, I think there are very few truly ugly people, just many people who aren’t, as my brother would say, “geared up”. Beauty is mostly an illusion (especially in the case of women; men adorn themselves less): if you have the hair, make-up, clothing, etc., you can appear at least mildly attractive.

  65. Bunny,

    “In my own case, I have crushed on some dudes I found super hot, only to think they were really ugly after things didn’t work out with some of them… And on the other side, I’ve met guys that didn’t wow me with their looks immediately, but who grew more physically attractive to me the more I got to see their other good qualities. “

    But doesn’t this go for men as well? A woman can become more attractive (not necessarily physically, but just in general) the more they get to know them?

    I may just be crazy, but I don’t think it’s as clear-cut as “looks, the end” for them either. At least, that hasn’t been my experience.

    And I would think men would be insulted at being portrayed as these base, unsophisticated creatures who can’t think past the surface.

    “All that being said, I’ve never needed a model (nor wanted one) or had the need to find a super hot guy.”

    As always, you’re a better woman than me. :P

    I do need a very attractive (to me) guy if I’m going to settle down with him for life. I could go along for a little while with a guy I didn’t think was very physically attractive but I’d have to end it eventually. I just need that physical attraction. Otherwise I’d feel like I was selling myself short and missing out on all the hotter men… I’m so shallow, I know.

    “If I’m thinking of the very long term for relationships…I’m not necessarily all that concerned about temporary looks that he has. He’s not gonna look the same at 70″

    Yeah, he might look better. :)

    Some men look better with age. Like Barack Obama.

    He’d better be a sexy 70 year old! Lol.

  66. I may just be crazy, but I don’t think it’s as clear-cut as “looks, the end” for them either. At least, that hasn’t been my experience.

    I agree to an extent. I do think men are more complicated than “looks, the end.” One of my good friends has always been overweight, and yet has always had a quality boyfriend (and now husband). But when you get to know her, you see why… you just enjoy being around her (and not in the stereotypical funny fat girl way) and I see how she’s able to butter up men with charm. And she is cute… but you know, some people wouldn’t see a fat woman as cute.

    Still, I’ve seen too many men get caught up with the really attractive chick, marry her, have a kid or two and then later realize she’s dull or completely off her rocker… then it’s too late to move on! (Or much more costly to do so!)

    Otherwise I’d feel like I was selling myself short and missing out on all the hotter men…
    Well, that’s all well and good, but who says the hotter men would be better husbands for you? I dunno… and I say this as someone who loved some hot men… hotness alone is overrated in the long term. Hotness alone never changed a diaper, cooked dinner, painted my house, fed me soup when I got some mysterious illness, did laundry, stood up to a harasser, told me how beautiful/wonderful/amazing I was, etc., etc… which were all the things that let me know that I had a keeper for a long-term partner… and I think he’s pretty cute too. But I don’t care if anyone else does or not. ;)

    Now, if you can find a hot man who does all that and more, then GREAT!

    Yeah, he might look better. :)
    Some certainly do… then again, my mom had a crush on Joe Namath when she was younger, as did a lot of women in the 70s. Anyone see him today? Ick! Hopefully no one married him for his looks!

    And then I’ve seen some high school yearbook photos and the men today in their 50s… the nerdy/chubby guy became TOTALLY hot, but it didn’t happen until he was in his 30s and sometimes, even 40s!

    So I’m not banking on looks at a certain age as being permanent…

  67. Alee: I do need a very attractive (to me) guy if I’m going to settle down with him for life. I could go along for a little while with a guy I didn’t think was very physically attractive but I’d have to end it eventually. I just need that physical attraction. Otherwise I’d feel like I was selling myself short and missing out on all the hotter men… I’m so shallow, I know.

    Thats definitely me too especially when you said you’d feel like you are missing out on all the hotter men and im older than you Alee and my shallowness doesnt seem to be going anywhere.

    If I meet a 25 year old man for instance and he’s not attractive and already has a gut and letting himself go, I run the other direction cause I am thinking of the long term. If he’s like that at 25, how is he gonna be at 35 and up? Yes some guys are hotter as they get older but I can tell the ones that have potential to be so and its not ones that already gave up on their looks in their twenties. I cant stand a man that doesnt even try. And its not their fault but if a guy is already balding early on, I cant do it either. See Ill expect his hair to go once were up in our 40’s and hopefully been married for a while but I at least need the years where I could run my fingers through his hair. I think most men that are gonna lose it start to in their thirties but I hope my guy is one that never does or does much later. SG has a full head of hair. Well he recently got a haircut but when it was full, I could see he wont lose his hair for a long while.

  68. Bunny,

    “Well, that’s all well and good, but who says the hotter men would be better husbands for you?”

    They’ll be better husbands because they look better; a man’s worth to me is dependent on his looks.

    …Kidding!

    I just think most people don’t really have extraordinary personalities and are not extraordinary in any way. I don’t see many of the average-looking boyfriends and husbands of my friends cooking, cleaning or tending to them either. So if I had the choice I’d take a hot guy with an average personality over an average-looking guy with an average personality.

    It really is a hard choice, though: I wouldn’t like to miss out on an average-looking guy with an extraordinary personality either. But at least for the time being (and hopefully forever), I don’t have to choose between looks and character.

    “…Now, if you can find a hot man who does all that and more, then GREAT!”

    That’s what I was looking for. And hopefully I’ve found him. :)



    Jessica,

    “Thats definitely me too… im older than you Alee and my shallowness doesnt seem to be going anywhere.”

    Lol. I think I actually might have been less looks-oriented when I was younger (maybe…). Nowadays, because I’m beginning to seriously thinking about marriage, I look at appearance closely.

    And that reminds me, I meant to say:

    “Me and my ex best friend in our more immature days (if you can believe I was ever more immature than I am now)”

    I really can’t imagine that. You have a very youthful spirit. :)

    “its not their fault but if a guy is already balding early on, I cant do it either.”

    Balding is a no. My father still has a full head of (mostly) black hair, and my family is known for thick hair. Balding does not run in my family. And I’m not going to add it by procreating with a guy who is balding in his 20s or early 30s. Sorry, just can’t do it. If KG starts balding in a few years, I’m going to suggest aggressive treatment…

    “See Ill expect his hair to go once were up in our 40′s and hopefully been married for a while but I at least need the years where I could run my fingers through his hair.”

    40s? What, 40 is too early to start balding… right?

  69. Alee, I read that on average guys start losing their hair in their 30’s which is so sad. I saw a really tall guy at the library that was very handsome when he was facing me. He noticed I was looking and smiled but when he turned his back, the back of his head was just shocking. He had that head where he was losing it in the middle only. No idea why he wouldnt just shave it but then again he would look just as odd tottally bald as with a half bald head.

    I do have a youthful spirit. I remember Mariah said her and Nick are both eternally 12 years old and thats why they click. I feel like im eternally 15.

  70. So if I had the choice I’d take a hot guy with an average personality over an average-looking guy with an average personality.

    Well, certainly! What woman wouldn’t? :)

    But like you said as well, you wouldn’t necessarily want to miss out on an average-looking guy with an extraordinary personality either. I think the general rule of thumb is looking at the entire package and going from there… too much emphasis on looks probably won’t end well, but not enough emphasis on looks could make one feel less-than-satisfied. But that’s my point too… there’s a good range of guys in the “decent” category… guys who may not be the hottest thing going, but you wouldn’t exactly kick them out of bed or anything. ;)

    As for balding… yes, I want a guy to keep his hair as long as possible (no worries about that yet), but I did actually date a dude briefly who was balding at 33. He had the Bruce Willis going on and I surprisingly found him rather sexy… but he was one of those recently divorced guys, so you know the rest of the story!

    But the point is, I was surprised at how much I was attracted to him. Probably though because of his 6’2″ stature, those Scandinavian looks and his confidence! I’m short, so I could barely see the top of his head anyway, HA!

  71. Excuse the typo in my last message. Im in a rush and seriously addicted to this site so I never wait to respond. Im off work the rest of the week but im still getting ready to go eat lunch downtown to see if I can run into SG cause I think he is working today and friday.

    Bunny, Well if he was anything like Bruce Willis than its understandable.

  72. Z’s older brother is losing his hair, while Z says he got the “good” genes from his mom’s side of the family. His brother’s still attractive though, IMO, and his gf of 7 years doesn’t seem to mind.

  73. Jasmin, which brother is that? And how old is he?

    Mira, we know… We know. Lol!

    Jessica, just kidding: I know several factors go into when/if a man goes bald. Some guys start as early as their 20s (Think Prince William — that hair will be near gone by the time he’s in his late 30s) while some don’t start until their 50s and beyond.

    “I saw a really tall guy at the library that was very handsome when he was facing me. He noticed I was looking and smiled but when he turned his back, the back of his head was just shocking. He had that head where he was losing it in the middle only.”

    Yikes. Those are the worse. Not even tallness and a nice body can overcome that donut-hole look.

    “Excuse the typo in my last message.”

    What typo?

  74. Bunny,

    “Well, certainly! What woman wouldn’t?”

    Yup, and since most people have an average personality, I’ll hedge my bets by giving the advantage to the better-looking guy. :)

    “I think the general rule of thumb is looking at the entire package and going from there… too much emphasis on looks probably won’t end well”

    I know. I do look at personality too, and it’s very important. But looks… If there were a way I could stop myself from putting so much emphasis on looks, I would. But I’ve tried and no. I just get so magnetized by a good-looking guy. Remember I have that Hot Guy Achilles Heel (HGAH) — it will be my downfall.

    Lol, a great-looking guy just walked in to my workplace and asked me a question (about where interviews were — I’ll convince them to hire him, lol!). Here I go again. *sigh*

    Needless to say none of the guys I’ve dated have found my HGAH to be amusing in the least; I’ve tried to hide it but they’ve always found out and felt like they were in competition with other men. But it calms down (a bit) when I’m happily in a relationship… And really, if I’m with them then they’ve beaten out the majority of guys anyway. I know KG has.

    “But that’s my point too… there’s a good range of guys in the “decent” category… guys who may not be the hottest thing going, but you wouldn’t exactly kick them out of bed or anything.”

    Sadly, I don’t want those guys. Decent just doesn’t cut it. Not for long.

  75. Alee,

    LOL, it’s his 29-year-old brother. He and Z look similar, though Z takes after their mom more, while his brother takes after their dad. He’s also tall, maybe 6’2”(?), like their dad. Very smart, with 2 Master’s degrees, and right now he’s making (relative) bank working at some fancy high school north of SF. Why do you ask? ;-)

  76. I read all your comments and I have to say few things.
    Americans are the nicest people I met in my life,but culturally you are the weird of all I crossed in my life.
    It is all about the body,look,money,attractivenss…etc.I am not saying other cultures don’t have that,but you exagerate way too much.
    Can’t you just look at other people like human beings and try to focus on more people who are family oriented or the family goes first like other cultures?

  77. Masen,

    1. I don’t know what you’re talking about…

    2. Almost half of the blog’s regular readers and commenters are not American.

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