An extensive investigation into James Bond's love life suggests that he prefers brunettes to blondes.
Researchers behind the study say that apart from having long dark hair, an ideal Bond girl is likely to have an American accent and carry a weapon.
They came to this conclusion after assessing the physical traits of all 195 female characters in the first 20 Bond movies, and then differentiating the characteristics of the 98 who had "sexual contact" with Bond with those of the 97 who did not.
Reporting their observations in the journal Sex Roles, the researchers have said that their study sheds light on how Bond girls have changed over the years and what kind of women end up in the spy's arms.
According to them, the suave agent’s sexual partners tend to be younger, slimmer and more attractive than the women he does not bed.
Such women are also less likely to wear glasses, say the researchers.
They have even said that Lois Chiles as Dr Holly Goodhead in Moonraker (1979) and Lana Wood as Plenty O'Toole in Diamonds Are Forever (1971) fit the ideal type.
For their research, the team studied all women who had speaking roles or who appeared in two or more scenes in each film from Dr No in 1962, starring Sean Connery, to Die Another Day in 2002, starring Pierce Brosnan.
However, Never Say Never Again (1983) was not assessed because it was a remake of Thunderball.
"A majority of female characters engaged in some sexual activity, particularly those in major roles. And the great majority of sexual behaviours involved Bond himself," the Telegraph quoted the research team, led by Kimberly Neuendorf, professor of communication at Cleveland State University, Ohio, as saying.
"Every Bond film has multiple female characters who variously tempt, distract, and assist James in his latest mission. At least one 'Bond girl' is particularly striking – a woman with an adventurous nature, cunning attributes, strong potential for romantic entanglement with Bond, and a sense of self-assurance, whose name – Pussy Galore, Honey Ryder, or Holly Goodhead, for example – is as provocative as the character she portrays," the researchers added.
The study has also shown that Bond girls' hair has got shorter, and that they have become more promiscuous in the more recent films.
The researchers still conclude that females appearing in the films continue to be locked into "stereotyped" roles.
Their report says: "The women of Bond are eternally attractive. Their typically slender body type ... is unchanged over time. The women of Bond continue to be portrayed in a rather limited and sex-stereotyped manner. The ultimate penalty for a woman in a Bond film – death – seems to accrue from promiscuity and daring to threaten the ultimate iconic masculine hero, James Bond.”
They add: "This study provides further evidence of the continued sexualisation, marginalisation, and disposability of women within Bond films. The Bond films glorify the sometimes chauvinistic persona of Bond. Bond single-handedly takes on any 'bad guy', saves the world and always gets the girl. Bond accomplishes these feats by the power of his wit and more importantly through violence."