- New research has found what heterosexual men and women look for in a casual partner.
- The study from the menstrual cycle tracking app Clue, in collaboration with MyONE Condoms and researchers from the University of Göttingen, showed that both men and women put looks first.
- Nearly 90% of women wanted a casual partner to be taller than them, while 70% of men put “attractive body” as their top feature.
- Intelligence, confidence, and kindness rated much lower on the scale. But women do still look for kindness when they’re seeking a long-term partner.
- Lead researcher Virginia J. Vitzthum told Insider short-term partners and long-term partners satisfy different personal goals. Trust and kindness are important for building a family, but not so high on the list when you want to fulfil sexual desires.
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New research has determined what men and women look for in a casual partner. A survey of 68,000 people, conducted by the menstrual cycle tracking app Clue and MyONE Condoms, found that for both heterosexual men and women, looks and body type were incredibly important. Intelligence and kindness, not so much.
Respondents came from 180 countries and answered questions written by researchers from the University of Göttingen and Clue’s research team, led by Virginia J. Vitzthum.
Women are looking for a tall partner most of all
Results showed that nearly 90% of women wanted a casual partner to be taller than them, with 11% saying it was important for the man to be significantly taller. Just over half of women thought body type was very important, with 50.3% preferring a “fit and athletic” physique, and 29.1% wanting an average body. Just 7.8% wanted a partner with a “very muscular physique.”
Women also preferred their casual partner to have facial hair and a hairless chest. Attractive eyes and an attractive smile were the two most popular physical features in almost all countries, expect Mexico and Japan where women instead wanted a man with large hands most of all.
When it comes to sexual history, 51% and 52% of American and British women respectively considered experience very important. Although this was the lowest of all countries – the average was 59%.
Just 46.7% and 33.1% of American and British women respectively thought intelligence was very important.
“Women’s tendency to prefer taller partners has been found in several cultures, perhaps because height may signal wealth,” Vitzthum told Insider. “Within a population, wealthier people tend to be taller – this connection between height and wealth has been studied and verified by economists and human biologists in many populations.”
But when looking for a long-term partner, the results showed women rate “kindness” as the most important attribute they are looking for, she added.
Men rate physical features very highly
For men, looks came out on top. Men most commonly selected an attractive body (70%) and attractive face (68.6%) as the most important features of a casual partner. Nice eyes and an attractive smile were most highly rated, closely followed by large buttocks and average or large breasts.
The importance of kindness, confidence, and intelligence were much lower in the ranks, with 41.8%, 38.7%, and 36.9% of men deeming them very important.
Vitzthum said short-term partners and long-term partners satisfy different personal goals. Trust and kindness are important for building a family, but not so high on the list when you want to fulfil sexual desires.
Having a physically attractive partner also elevates one’s social standing, she said, even if it’s only temporary.
“Dating more physically attractive people may also elevate one’s own sense of self-worth and attractiveness,” she said. “Such concerns tend to be more important among younger persons but can still be important to older persons.”
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