What makes adult human males attractive (to adult human females) ? Of the many possible factors, at least three have been scientifically investigated, measured, and described by ‘Honest Signals’ researcher Dr. Nick Neave, of the School of Life Sciences, Department of Psychology, at Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.
Factor one: Facial hair (of the right length)
“A within-subjects design employed one condition (facial hair) incorporating five levels (clean-shaven, light stubble, heavy stubble, light beard and full beard).”
“Males with light stubble were considered to be the most attractive, light stubble was also preferred for both short- and long-term relationships.”
See: The effects of facial hair manipulation on female perceptions of attractiveness, masculinity, and dominance in male faces, Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 45, Issue 5, October 2008, Pages 373-377
Factor two : Dance moves (of the right style)
“…three movement measures were key predictors of dance quality; these were variability and amplitude of movements of the neck and trunk, and speed of movements of the right knee.”
“We now know which area of the body females are looking at when they are making a judgement about male dance attractiveness.”
(via Northumbria University press office)
See: Male dance moves that catch a woman’s eye Biology Letters, 7: 221-224.
Factor three : Underarm odour (of the right type)
“The present study investigated the effects of exposure to male axillary secretions on female ratings of the sexual attractiveness of male stimuli.”
“The results of this study suggest that exposure to natural male axillary pheromones can significantly enhance female perceptions of various aspects of male attractiveness.”
See: Effects of putative male pheromones on female ratings of male attractiveness: influence of oral contraceptives and the menstrual cycle. Neuroendocrinology Letters, 23: 291-297.
Note: As far as Improbable has been able to discover, no (formal) studies have yet been performed to investigate the possible potency effects of combining all three factors at the same time.
BONUS videos from Northumbria University.