In this post, we discussed a study which showed that women with longer legs appear more attractive to men. (and men with relatively shorter legs and longer torsos are more attractive to women).
A reader speculates about what that sex difference could mean for men seeking to efficiently scour the mating market for effortless bangs.
Just as a strong jaw is masculine, short legs in a woman is also masculine (http://www.femininebeauty.info/leg-body-ratio).
You can easily see in those pictures short legs are masculine and long legs are feminine, and this true for both sexes. This is probably comparable to facial width and finger digit ratio as a “nurture neutral” indication of masculinity.
Women with longer legs prefer alpha males too, but apparently have greater beta male tolerance. If you look at supermodels, and other women with extremely long legs, you’ll see most don’t automatically swoon for bad boys, although they have access to them. A lot of them have photographer, artist and otherwise effeminate boyfriends. However, you rarely see a short stripper type with anything less than a standard bad boy.
I guess I’m saying a heterosexual masculine woman will have a stronger preference for masculine men, or that she has masculine men in her ancestry. The question then becomes, do her masculine genetics increase her attraction to alpha males?
Cameron Russell (supermodel) with her boyfriend Andrew Elliott (photographer)
Bibi Jones (porn star, stripper, etc) with Rob Gronkowski
As you can see from the full-length photos, Cameron is 50% legs to body whereas Bibi is 40% or less.
This reader is touching on something real. While studies are sparse (nonexistent?), it does appear to be the case that, anecdotally and observationally, masculine women tend to go for very masculine men. (Recall that “masculine” does not necessarily mean “alpha“, as we can see by the fact that many effeminate artist types do quite well with cute women.)
So the rule generally expressed is as follows:
Given the axiom that most women prefer men more phenotypically and behaviorally masculine than themselves:
a. Masculine women will prefer very masculine men and avoid feminine men, and
b. Feminine women will prefer men of average to slightly higher than average masculinity and tolerate feminine men.
As a rule, this makes some sense. Sexual polarity is the cosmic force that breathes life into all other psychodynamic human motivations. When the sexual polarity is weak, or reversed (i.e., wimpy, soft men with hard-charging, hard-edged women), any nascent attraction is incapable of being sustained, and any relationship that results from such unions will have more obstacles to overcome and higher risk of infidelities than relationships that are sufficiently polarized by conventional male and female attributes.
Therefore, women will want to choose masculine men to retain that all-important polarity, but the degree of male masculinity required to reach a suitable level of polarity will vary based upon the woman’s own inherent masculinity.
This rule of what I will call “Shifted Female Masculinity Preference” — that is, the idea that the preference of women for masculine men is shifted to greater masculinity in men relative to the women’s own masculine attributes and psychological traits — has plenty of exceptions, and so I would not set my watch to it, nor should you, the efficient pursuer of women, rely on it exclusively to streamline your seduction operations. It’s a loose rule you can use to winnow a lot of prospects to a manageable number.
For instance, if you are a brooding emo WHO DOES NOT EVEN LIFT, you should focus your attention on long-legged women, but never dismiss short-legged women outright. Mesomorphs and “act first, think later” types should tune their radars for short-legged chicks with a twinkle of mischief in their eyes.
Another potential flaw in the rule (besides its lack of robust predictive power) rests in its premise: Are shorter legs and longer torsos really indicative of greater masculinity in women? Manjaws certainly are, but lots of short-legged women have very feminine faces. One way to resolve this issue is to determine if manjaws and short legs correlate in women.
If the rule is accurate and indicative of broad sexual market mating outcomes, we can expect to see greater masculinity in the children of short-legged women, and greater femininity in the children of long-legged women. And, inferring from Satoshi Kanazawa’s (unproven) theory that feminine couples produce more daughters, the former will bear more sons (and perhaps shorter sons) and the latter more (and perhaps taller) daughters.
One other thing we can infer is that less masculine men who date feminine women will compensate for their lower aggression and muscularity by being more psychologically dominant. And in fact one does find that the artist lovers of model chicks tend to be masters in the art of emotional manipulation. The more physically masculine men rely on their presence to assert dominance, but are often weak in the arena of subtle mental persuasion, and have a habit of ostentatiously mate guarding their women, leaving them susceptible to female machinations. This is why more masculine men get used as cat’s-paws by their girlfriends while more feminine — in both body and mind — men are tougher to manipulate. This imperviousness in some men to female manipulation is attractive to many women, and helps create an impression of dominance that fuels the necessary sexual polarity.