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4 Qualities Women Want in a Man

When it comes to finding the perfect husband, attractive women really are pickier.

They want it all--from a handsome, good-looking man to someone who will be fiercely loyal and devoted to them. David Buss from The University of Texas at Austin and Todd Shackelford from Florida Atlantic University have answered that age-old question: What DO women want? Guys, you might not like the answer.

These are the four qualities attractive women want in a man:

  • Good genes, reflected in desirable physical traits
  • Economic resources
  • The desire to have children and good parenting skills
  • Loyalty and devotion
It's long been thought that what women want in a man depends on the type of relationship they are seeking. For example, if they want a short-term fling, they look for men who are attractive and physically strong--even if they may be a bit of a cad. But when women are looking for a long-term partner, they primarily seek someone who will be a good provider for them and their children.

Now Buss and Shackelford have turned that conventional wisdom on its head. They say all women want it all when it comes to a long-term partner, but will calibrate their standards based on their own desirability and attractiveness. A very attractive woman will be the most demanding in wanting a man who is handsome, rich, a good father and loyal.

"When reviewing the qualities they desire in romantic partners, women gauge what they can get based on what they (have) got," Buss said. "And women who are considered physically attractive maintain high standards for prospective partners across a variety of characteristics."

So what happens when a woman can't find a man with all the qualities she desires? She compromises and may trade some characteristics to get others.

The study findings were published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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