Surveyed women consistently specify preferences for egalitarian dates and/or mates. A common perception is that many of these same women often select consorts who are inscrutable, assertive, and controlling, ultimately bemoaning their choices. Dominance has been experimentally shown to provide initial attraction advantages. The Byronic Hero, a venerable literary model, embraces protagonists who possess extraordinary masculine traits that include dominance but also multiple personal flaws. Byronic Heroes, easily identified and plentiful in popular fiction, appear strongly to resonate with youthful audiences and provide alluring portrayals of heterosexual relations. In a classroom survey employing slide images of paired apparel models and a blind date scenario, collegiate women slightly but significantly preferred models independently judged to project Byronic traits over equally handsome men who appeared affable and conventional. Subject comments on Byronic models uniquely included allusions to sexual and mysterious/rebellious attributes. It was concluded that projections of Byronic masculinity provide initial advantages in the securing of heterosexual liaisons.
Source: “The Heterosexual Appeal of Socially Marginal Men” from Deviant Behavior, Volume 27, Issue 4 August 2006 , pages 457 – 477
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