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Women 'find bad boys sexier'

Many women may simply disagree with it, but a new study says that the fairer sex finds moody bad guys more attractive than cheerful men sporting a smile. Here's why.

sex and relationships Updated: May 25, 2011 14:05 IST

Many women may simply disagree with it, but a new study says that the fair sex finds moody bad guys more attractive than cheerful men sporting a smile.

Researchers, led by University of British Columbia, have carried out the study and found brooding or swaggering males are far more alluring to women than happy men who smile a lot, the British media reported.

In fact, women are least attracted to smiling men, instead preferring those who looked proud and powerful, or moody and ashamed. In contrast, men are more attracted to smiling women as straight-faced women are said to be haughty.

In the study, More than 1,000 adult participants rated the sexual attractiveness of hundreds of images of the opposite sex projecting different emotions.

The researchers said evolutionary theories suggest a confident, proud posture in a male exaggerates masculine features, implies status and an ability to provide for a partner and offspring.

Smiling was associated with a lack of dominance in men and "submissiveness and vulnerability" in women, they say. Lead researcher Jessica Tracy said: "While showing a happy face is considered essential to friendly social interactions, including those involving sexual attraction --few studies have actually examined whether a smile is, in fact, attractive.

"This study finds that men and women respond very differently to displays of emotion, including smiles." She claimed that the results reflected traditional gender norms. "These include norms and values that many would consider old-fashioned and perhaps hoped we'd moved beyond," she added.