With it being the height of summer, it’s no wonder so many people are spending so much time at the beach.
For some, this presents a chance to regret the copious amounts of beer they drank during winter …
It turns out women prefer men with more stomach, as opposed to those who are well defined or muscly.
Sounds ridiculous, right? Well, researchers at Yale University have proven as much in a new study, according to British newspaper the Daily Telegraph.
A man’s attractiveness can also be enhanced if he’s a bit older and has children, as per the same study. The researchers say this has nothing to do with an underlying ‘daddy complex’ and more to do with evolution.
What women want
The findings suggest that men already having children indicates to women that they are fertile, which increases their natural appeal. In addition, other studies have shown that men with decreasing testosterone levels (and therefore potentially increased fat mass) are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and prostate cancer.
The very same study appears to point towards the fact that more body fat means a man will focus more on his family. As a direct result of this combination, the chances of him finding another woman and subsequently leaving is lowered.
Becoming fatter after fatherhood due to decreasing testosterone levels may not fit the “macho” ideal, but it actually prolongs lives and strengthens immune systems, according to Richard Bribiescas, professor of anthropology and deputy provost at Yale University.
There is evidence that these men are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and prostate cancer, while a study in 2008 found that men with high metabolisms were around 50 per cent more likely to die in a given year than those whose bodies burned up less energy at rest.
“Macho makes you sick,” said Prof Bribiescas. “The Hollywood image of the swaggering, dashing man dispatching bad guys and carrying the day conjures up a perception of indestructibility.
“While men are on average larger and physically stronger than women, men have a considerable weakness.
“We have a harder time fighting off infections and illness compared with women, and… men simply do not take care of themselves.
“This has a significant negative impact on the pace at which men age.”
Prof Bribiescas also argues that becoming more podgy makes dads more likely to invest their time in their children rather than looking for other women, while the increased levels of fat could make them more attractive to women.
“[One] effect of lower testosterone levels is loss of muscle mass and increases in fat mass,” Prof Bribiescas writes in his book How Men Age: What Evolution Reveals About Male Health and Mortality.
“This change in body composition not only causes men to shop for more comfortable trousers but also facilitates increased survivorship and, hypothetically, a hormonal milieu that would more effectively promote and support paternal investment.”
The research follows the “dad bod” trend, in which middle-aged men were praised for their doughy physiques.
However, a Cambridge University study last year found that women searching for a father for their children should choose long-distance runners, who traditionally have very low levels of fat, because they are more likely to have stronger sex drives and higher sperm counts.