New research shows that while women are drawn to male faces that look familiar, men are more likely to rate someone they have never seen before as more attractive.
It is thought the reason may be that men have evolved to maximise their reproductive success by mating with as many partners as possible.
Researchers at the University of Stirling and the University of Glasgow came up with the findings after showing men and women pictures of dozens of different faces. The more women in the study saw pictures of the same man’s face, the more attracted they were to him.
But the study, published in Archives of Sexual Behaviour, found that the men who took part rated the women as less attractive when they saw them for a second time.
Researchers say the results may be partly explained by the so-called Coolidge effect – where men are aroused by the novelty of a new sexual partner more than women.
It’s named after an anecdote attributed to 30th US President Calvin Coolidge.
During a farm visit, when his wife was told there was only one cockerel and many hens because the cockerel would mate several times a day, she reportedly said: ‘Tell that to Mr Coolidge’.
When the president asked if it was with the same hen each time and told no he allegedly said: ‘Tell that to Mrs Coolidge.’
Anthony Little from Stirling University’s School of Natural Sciences, said: “Men found female faces they had already seen as less attractive and less sexy, especially for short-term relationships.
“There is a tendency for males to pursue a large number of partners as they can dramatically increase their reproductive success by mating with multiple females.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.