Women find men more attractive once they find out he is desired by others, a new study suggests.
Published in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers from the Universities of St Andrews, Durham and Exeter believe that a man is given an “attractiveness boost” when he is desired by other women.
This is because he is perceived to be more kind, faithful and a better father.
The study tested the idea of mate copying – where a person is preferred as a future romantic partner simply because they have relationship experience – by showing 49 female participants images of men’s faces, hands and a piece of art.
The women were asked to rate how attractive they found each image before being shown the average rating given by the rest of the group.
Interestingly, when the women were asked to re-rate each image shortly after, their answer changed in favour of the social information.
On average, a participant changed their initial rating by around 13 per cent when rating the attractiveness of men’s faces depending on what other women had said.
“Women appear to copy the mate preferences of other women but this might simply be because humans have a general tendency to be influenced by the opinions of others,” said research leader Dr Kate Cross.
A trait which is often seen in female birds and fish, the idea behind mate copying or The Wedding Ring Effect, is that by already being in a relationship or desired by other women, a man has already proven that they have some desirable characteristics.
The findings are also supported by an earlier study from Oklahoma State University which found that 90 per cent of single women were interested in a man they believed was taken, while a mere 59 per cent wanted him when told he was single.