In another study, a group of women again rated photographs of men for attractiveness. The photos were accompanied by short descriptions, and when the men were described as “married,” women’s ratings of them went up. In still another study, men in photographs with attractive female “girlfriends” were judged to be more attractive when the “girlfriend” was in the photo than when she was not. Having a plain “girlfriend,” however, did not enhance a man’s appeal as much. And, astoundingly, women’s preferences for men who are already attached may vary according to where the women are in their mestrual cycles. When they are in the fertile phase of the cycle, they have a relative preference for men who are already attached to other women.
Source is Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives — How Your Friends’ Friends’ Friends Affect Everything You Feel, Think, and Do by Nicholas Christakis and James Fowler.
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