How To Use Your Best Assets – Men Should Use Social Dominance, Women Should Use Physical Attractiveness
Christopher Philip

Despite, much recent dismay, especially by gender activists, we generally understand that women are served best by their physical attractiveness. In contrast, we know and generally understand that men use social dominance best. However, we also understand that there is much variation in human behaviour.

Toward developing a better understanding and empirical proof to support how salient the attractiveness versus social dominance ist to people, researchers Jon Maner, Florida State University, Nathan DeWall, University of Kentucky and Matthew T. Gailliot, University of Amsterdam designed a study.

In their study, participants were presented with an array of 12 targets. In the first study, the targets were both male and female varying in ‘social dominance.’ For the purpose of the study, this was varied with the help of specific attire. Dominant male and female targets were created using faces coupled with upper bodies dressed in professional attire including gender specific business suits. Non-dominant targets were dressed in casual attire including sweat suits. In each image array, there were 6 dominant and 6 non-dominant individuals. All targets were of equal attractiveness.

Results showed that in a timed event, participants attention lead them to notice more socially dominant male targets rather than female targets. This, the researchers presumed, was due to the fact that people are programmed to take note of male targets in terms of social dominance over female targets.

“These results,” say the researchers “therefore, are consistent with the hypothesis that
attention would be initially captured by socially dominant men but not by socially dominant women.”

In the second experiment, targets were prepared such that they varied in terms of dominance and attractiveness. In two arrays were 8 female and then 8 male faces in combination of two targets displaying each combination of highly dominant versus non-dominant and highly attractive versus average-looking.

The second study confirmed the results of the first. Male targets were noticed more often than female targets in terms of social dominance, but female targets were noticed more often than male targets in terms of physical attractiveness.

“These findings are consistent with previous evidence that whereas social dominance tends to weigh somewhat more strongly into mating related judgments of men than women, physical attractiveness tends to be relatively more influential in judgments of women than men,” say the researchers.

Additionally, those subjects who were more inclined to take part in short-term mating opportunities, paid more attention to physical attractiveness than those who were more restrictive. More to this, women, who were interested in extra-pair romantic partnerships, tended to seek out dominant men. The same was not true for men, whom did not tend to seek out socially dominant woman. Thus, men, it seems, seek out physical attractiveness by itself, whereas women will seek out dominant and attractive men simultaneously.

This study draws attention to factors that have, in recent time, been blurred by cultural and social factors. A strong feminist narrative has clouded perceptions of what is most adaptive by replacing facts that are with ideas, with which, feminists believe ought to be. For example, it is commonly believe that men should (and therefore do) find successful women attractive. However, this is not so. As demonstrated here, physically attractive women will nearly always outshine the most socially dominant women. While it might be a socially popular to seek upper level roles in society by women, it is not something that will help them ‘get noticed.’ As shallow as this sounds, it is a fact that is born out of the data, and an attitude for which evolution has selected for in both men and women.

While men can be noticed for physical attractiveness or social status, depending on women’s current sexual strategy, be it a long-term relationship, or short-term fling, men nearly universally seek physical attractiveness.

This data outlines the type of strategy men and women should seek when trying to be noticed. Women should work on their outer appearance, even if they are socially dominant. Men, on the other hand, should tailor their approach based on their end goals. To get access to more flings, men should focus on outer appearances including a fit physique, a nice suit, a well groomed appearance and so forth. To secure a long term relationship, men should seek out social dominance which can stem from many factors, but most of which is for a greater role in society at large.


Maner, Jon K.; C. Nathan DeWall; Matthew T. Gailliot. University of Amsterdam. Selective Attention to Signs of Success: Social Dominance and Early Stage. Interpersonal Perception. PSPB. 2008. 34(4): 488-501. DOI: 10.1177/0146167207311910