Creativity makes women less attractive - study

It's long been a cliché that given a guitar, even the ugliest guys can bed supermodels - and now we know why.

New research has proven physically unattractive men are able to significantly boost their appeal by showing off their creative side.

But the same doesn't apply to women, attractive or ugly, with men far more focused on a potential mate's looks than any flair they may have for the arts.

Gene Simmons (Getty)
Gene Simmons (Getty)

In the study, conducted at the University of Abertay in Scotland, participants were shown photographs of members of the opposite sex of varying physical attractiveness, as judged by different group.

Each photo came with a piece of creative writing, and the participants were asked to judge how attractive the person was based on the combination of their looks and story.

"Regardless of the sex of the judge, creativity and facial attractiveness had independent effects on men's overall attractiveness," author and psychology lecturer Christopher Watkins wrote.

The boost given by creativity appeared stronger in men "with less attractive faces than men with attractive faces".

"Creativity may compensate for putative cues to lower biological 'quality' and that the benefits of creativity to social groups more generally enhance attraction to creative men."

So that might explain how rock stars and legendary womanisers Gene Simmons and Mick Hucknall managed to bed thousands of women between them.

Mick Hucknall (Getty)
Mick Hucknall (Getty)

But if they were women, it probably wouldn't have been so easy for them to pick up male groupies, the study suggests.

"Creativity weakened the appeal of women with less attractive faces and did not benefit their attractiveness when displayed by women with attractive faces," writes Dr Watkins.

"This… unexpected finding may suggest evidence for subtle denigration of creative women based on low physical attractiveness."

The study's findings were published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.


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