What Body Types Do Women Find Most Attractive? New Study Has Surprising Insights


If you’re a man with a female partner, ask her what body type she finds most attractive in men.

If her answer isn’t “massive rippling abs”, “oiled bulging biceps”, or “pecs that can dance on command,” she might be sparing your feelings, according to new research from Griffith University in Queensland.

The Study

Researchers at Griffith University aimed to see how important physical strength is to men’s attractiveness.

They presented photographs of headless male torsos to groups of women, asking them to rate each torso’s attractiveness or perceived physical strength.

The participants included normal university students and men who worked out three to five times a week.

All the men had their actual strength measured to compare with the women’s perceptions.


How did the women rate these bodies?

If you thought the less muscular body might get some votes, you’re in the minority.

Out of 160 women surveyed, not one found the less muscular bodies more attractive.

Lead author Aaron Sell explained, “We weren’t surprised that women found physically strong men attractive… what did surprise us was just how powerful the effect was.”

Their data didn’t find a single woman who preferred weaker or more feminine male bodies.

Key Insights

  1. Strength Equals Attractiveness: The biggest predictor of attractiveness was perceived physical strength.

The men considered the strongest were also rated the most attractive by 70 percent of the women.

  1. Tall and Lean: In addition to muscular strength, women showed a preference for men who were tall and lean.

This combination seemed to enhance the perception of physical strength and attractiveness.

  1. Overly Muscular Myth: Contrary to some beliefs, there wasn’t a point where men became “too muscly” and less attractive.

Previous studies using line drawings suggested that extreme muscle might become a turn-off, but real photographs told a different story.

Women consistently rated the most muscular bodies as the most attractive.

The Silver Lining

If you’re not the ideal body shape, don’t worry.

There are several reasons why you shouldn’t be discouraged by these findings:

  1. Looks Aren’t Everything: Physical appearance is just one aspect of attraction.

People generally don’t choose partners based solely on torso photos, as personality, compatibility, and other factors play significant roles.

  1. Small Sample Size: This study involved only 160 participants, which isn’t a large sample.

More research is needed to confirm these findings and understand the complexities of attraction.

  1. Feminine Faces: Other studies have shown that women tend to prefer more feminine faces, which are not typically found on extremely muscular bodies.

This suggests that while muscular bodies are attractive, facial features also play a crucial role in overall attractiveness.

  1. Strong and Overweight: The researchers provided a comforting insight: “Even if you’re a bit overweight, looking strong can buffer that.

Basically, being a strong, fat guy is OK, which I think would bring comfort to many.”

This indicates that physical strength can enhance attractiveness regardless of body fat percentage.


While the study suggests that women find physically strong men most attractive, it’s essential to remember that attraction is multi-faceted.

Physical strength might have a significant impact, but it’s not the sole determinant of attractiveness.

Personality, compatibility, and other factors are equally important in forming lasting relationships.