Why women find war heroes so sexy

 Ever wonder why women go gaga over war heroes? A new study has the answer for you.

Why women find war heroes so sexy

Washington: Ever wonder why women go gaga over war heroes? A new study has the answer for you.

University of Southampton researchers say that women are more attracted towards war heroes than regular soldiers or men who display heroic traits in other fields, such as in sports or natural disaster work, and partners in Europe.

In the study 92 women studying in the UK were presented with hypothetical profiles of the opposite sex, representing varying levels of heroism in different contexts such as warfare, sport and business. They were then asked a series of questions designed to determine how attracted they were to the different profiles.

If there was a medal for bravery in combat involved, women were more likely to find the soldier attractive, and date him. Interestingly, it did not matter whether or not a non-decorated soldier had seen combat in a warzone or remained in the UK.

Displays of heroism in other fields, such as in sports or in business, also had no effect on how likely women were to find them attractive.

In a subsequent experiment by the researchers, 159 women and 181 men studying in Holland took part in a similar exercise to determine their level of sexual attraction to the opposite sex. This time, the soldier profiles displayed various levels of bravery, either in combat or by helping in a natural disaster zone.

Again, heroism in combat increased women's levels of sexual attraction towards male soldiers, but heroism in a disaster zone had no impact. Female heroes, both in combat and in disaster zones, were deemed less attractive by men than their non-hero counterparts.

Co-author of the study Joost Leunissen, said that it provided evidence that gender differences in intergroup conflict can have an evolutionary origin, as only males seem to benefit from displaying heroism.

Heroism also seemed to be a context-specific signal, as it only had an effect on attractiveness in a setting of intergroup conflict. Indeed, soldiers who displayed heroism were only considered to be more attractive when this was displayed in a warfare context and not in another situation which is frequently associated with the army - helping during and after natural disasters.

The study is published online in the journal Evolution and Human Behaviour. 

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link