London: If you believe being humble and gentle can win a woman`s heart, think again - as a new study claims the fair sex don`t like modesty in a man.
Instead, cocky types are more likely to impress them, according to research carried out at the Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Not only women, but also other men find male modesty an unattractive trait -- perhaps because they believe that bashful boys are letting the side down, said the researchers.
"Our findings demonstrate that men encounter prejudice when they behave modestly," said lead researcher Prof Laurie Rudman.
"They also raise the possibility that men may avoid behaving modestly because they risk backlash when they do," Rudman was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
"Changes in gender roles that have afforded women more financial independence have not yielded relaxed demands for men. Men are still required to uphold masculine ideals that require chronic exhibitions of strength while avoiding signs of weakness."
The study showed that more than 200 people videotapes of a man and a woman applying for a job as a computer lab manager.
For the study, volunteer were showed more than 200 people videotapes of a man and a woman applying for a job as a computer lab manager. The male and female actors both followed the same script in the mocked-up interview and were equally humble about their achievements.
The volunteers were asked to rate them for modesty, likeability and a range of other factors. Despite the actors being equally qualified for the job, the man was liked less than the woman.
Meekness makes men seem less confident and ambitious and more weak, uncertain and insecure, the researchers found.
"Modest men were not liked as much as modest women because they were viewed as `too weak` for a man and because they were viewed as insufficiently confident and ambitious," they wrote.
They said the results showed that while women had been able to change their roles to become more assertive, men still faced prejudice when they tried to change.
However, Professor Rudman said that pressure to be macho can be bad for men`s health.
She said: "Men are expected to be successful, powerful, and dominant, show no weaknesses or chinks in the armour, and avoid acting in ways that might be perceived as feminine.
"Men`s mental and physical health can suffer from adhering to masculine ideals."
The findings were published in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinity.