What attracts you to someone? Is it their style? Their looks? Their personality? Their willingness to watch every single rerun of Sex and the City with you without judgment (we NEED SJP’s shoe collection)? Or maybe it’s something else, like the length of time you’ve known them? The possibilities are endless, really.
According to new research conducted at the University of Stirling in Scotland, however, there is one surprising factor at play that can help make a man instantly more attractive to women. Turns out, all those cheesy Axe commercials were on to something: Deodorant plays a role in how other people perceive your masculinity or femininity, and in turn, your attractiveness.
That’s right: It doesn’t matter which dating apps you swear by, what your dating profile looks like or which city you live in because, apparently, we’re all just secretly looking to date the Old Spice Guy.
Polling 130 female and male participants who rated facial masculinity and femininity using photographs of the opposite sex and another 239 men and women who rated odor samples of 40 opposite sex individuals, the study’s findings suggest that men who are perceived low in masculinity can significantly increase this perception simply by slapping on a bit of deodorant. While females were also perceived as being more feminine when they wore deodorant, men were far less sensitive to smell cues than females appeared to be.
“Men are able to use deodorant to artificially raise their game, so to speak, leveling the playing field by making themselves more comparable, at least where odor is concerned, to more masculine men,” said Dr. Caroline Allen, the study’s lead psychology researcher.
Interestingly, this was not the case for men who already had high levels of masculinity, as their deodorant application did not appear to affect their rating — a fact Dr. Allen says is probably to their benefit. “Research findings show that we actually don’t like high levels of masculinity which are often associated with aggressiveness and hostility.”
Huh! Sounds like it’s time for the guys to clear out their cologne and stock up on some fresh deodorant instead — or at least the less macho among them.
In the meantime, we’ll just go ahead and leave this here:
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