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Women for Women : What women want in a ‘perfect man’

A recent study by clothing company Austin Reed analysed the tastes and preferences of 2,000 British women and came up with a list of 30 traits that made up the ‘perfect man’.

It’s a pretty curious list. According to Austin Reed’s findings, the perfect man earns £48,000 a year and drives an Audi. He is six foot tall with short dark hair and loves shopping. He eats meat and watches football but rings his mum regularly.

Oh, and he can swim. Obviously.

What traits would you include? Martina Quinn

You can find the rest of the list here.

So given that this is a woman’s view of the perfect man, what traits might make up the opposite list? What is a man’s view of the perfect woman? We’ve trawled the evidence to take an educated guess at 20 traits men seek in a ‘perfect’ girlfriend.

Here’s why we’ve chosen the traits we have, and the full list is at the bottom of the page.

Physical traits

This, I’m afraid, is the politically incorrect bit. According to psychologists Alan Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa, authors of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters, the average bloke wants, well, Barbie.

Note we say the ‘average’ bloke. It doesn’t mean your bloke wants Barbie, or that many blokes aren’t quite happy to date women who aren’t of Barbie-like proportions. But evolutionary theory suggests that western men are, in general, hardwired to appreciate these traits. Think Jordan. Think Page 3. Think Wonderbras and hair dye.

Because Barbie basically means small waists, big boobs, long (preferably blond) hair and blue eyes.

Why are these traits appealing to men? Because they signify health and fertility. Shiny hair is an indicator of health (sick people’s hair quickly loses its lustre), and Miller and Kanazawa reckon that, because hair grows slowly, long hair is a living, growing health record for the past two or three years.

Also, blond hair tends to get darker with age, so a male preference for blond may simply mirror a preference for younger women.

Small waists are also an indicator of fertility, because it’s been shown that women with a low waist-to-hip ratio have an easier time conceiving. And the large breasts? This is a contentious one and is clearly not true of all men, but one psychologist thinks it’s because larger, heavier boobs sag more with age.

In other words, they more clearly show how old you are, and therefore how fertile you’re likely to be. Small boobs may mask your real age, and the uncomfortable truth is that men (subconsciously at least) want younger women with whom they have more chance of passing on their genes.

Remember, these preferences became hardwired at a time when life was much more precarious than it is now. A study of Finnish parish records from the 17th to 19th centuries by researcher at the University of Turku, found that men maximised their “evolutionary fitness” with women 14.6 years younger than themselves.

“Those men had the highest number of offspring surviving to adulthood,” said Dr Samuli Helle, who led the study

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