Reuters writes “women find happy men less sexually attractive than those with expressions that show pride”. Women also find men radiating a sense of naughty guilt to be attractive according to researchers of University of British Columbia.
They conducted a study by showing pictures of the opposite sex to both men and women. Participants were then asked for their initial reactions on sexual attractiveness based on the expressions they saw.
Women saw smiling men as too feminine or as desperate for sex. Jessica Tracy, the professor who directed the study, interpreted the study as supporting the view that women are attracted to bad boys.
A different explanation that Tracy didn’t mention is that smile functions as a status symbol. Members of hierarchies can be required to smile politely to their superiors, but bosses are not required to smile to their subordinates. The purpose of a polite smile is to please others.
As we also know that a woman’s social status does not affect much how attractive do men find her, we can propose a following test: If smiling men are less sexy because smile is a status symbol, smiling women are not less sexy.
And what do you know, the study found that a smile was “by far the most attractive expression women showed”.
However, the researchers stress that the study was only about first impressions. They are not recommending men adopt a no-smile policy for a long-term relationship.
Pickup artists, like Neil Strauss, recommend to smile when approaching new people. After analysing the study, Strauss’ recommendation could be refined further: smile when approaching new people, but not like you’re seeking their acceptance. However, when you go to talk to new people, they listen best when your appearance is disarming, whether you are male or female.
The topic goes under the category “nice to know, need more information”.