and it appears I have been missing out. like being chosen last on the playground for a game, I never had a chance.
Science Explains Why Women Want Bad Boys
Researchers seek to explain why women sometimes prefer rebellious renegades over dependable dudes.
Ever since James Dean put on that red jacket and held a switchblade to Buzz's neck, women have had a thing for bad boys. No—even before that. In the cold confines of a lonely cave, some Homo erectus was probably kicking back in his motorcycle boots, brooding over the light of a warm fire, while a lovestruck cavewoman swooned from afar.
The point is, women love bad boys. And now, thanks to science, there's no denying it. Kristina Durante, a professor at The University of Texas at San Antonio, said in a statement:
"Previous research has shown in the week near ovulation women become attracted to sexy, rebellious and handsome men like George Clooney or James Bond. But until now it was unclear why women would ever think it's wise to pursue long-term relationships with these kinds of men."
Durante, along with a team of researchers, performed a study on a group of women during periods of both high and low fertility. The women were asked to view the online dating profiles of both nice guys and "sexy cads" (their words, not mine). From there, the ladies were to determine the parenting potential of the men in the photos.
And here's where the hormones come in. During the time of ovulation, women tended to perceive the bad boys as better future fathers and more dependable relationship partners. Their rating of the nice guys, however, stayed the same, whether they were ovulating or not.
"Under the hormonal influence of ovulation, women delude themselves into thinking that the sexy bad boys will become devoted partners and better dads," said Durante. "When looking at the sexy cad through ovulation goggles, Mr. Wrong looked exactly like Mr. Right,” said Durante.
Aside from sounding like a bawdy joke gift from Spencer's, "ovulation goggles" seem to have some significance. They completed another study, in which the women interacted directly with male actors who were either playing the role of reliable dad or sexy cad. The results were the same. The ovulating women believed the cad was the better dad.
So, great. Now there's scientific proof that we women like bad boys. What are we going to tell the nice guys now? But really, what is a bad boy? Depending on who you ask, the characteristics of a bad boy can range from dismissive to downright abusive.
When asked about her love of bad boys, actress Scarlett Johansson once attempted to dissect the expression:
"I’m attracted to the quality of being adventurous and perhaps a bit mischievous and also questioning authority and being proactive," she told Cosmopolitan. "If that makes up a quintessential bad boy, then whatever. I’m not at all attracted to meanness or bullying, but I do think conviction is attractive."
Adventure, conviction, the courage to question authority—who wouldn't like that? But I suppose the problem is that, in reality, those ingredients usually mingle to form your typical love-them-and-leave them rebel who, bottom line, may not be as dependable as a nice guy.
If you've got a thing for bad boys, go for it. Just don't expect them to change, because "but my period said you were different" won't get you through a heartbreak.
Photo: Hal Bergman/Getty Images