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15 Scientific Reasons Why Nice Guys Do (Or Don’t) Finish Last

Tech & Science
15 Scientific Reasons Why Nice Guys Do (Or Don’t) Finish Last

It’s not the first time you hear it, nor is it the last one: nice guys finish last. According to this perception, women prefer bad boys and won’t date men considered to be too nice. As it is defined in the Urban Dictionary: “It basically means that you will never have any sex whatsoever in your life if you don’t treat women like sh*t.” No matter what good guys do, the woman of their dreams will end up with a bad man who doesn’t deserve her. But how can guys be so sure that this idea is true?

The problem with perceptions is that they are based on personal interpretations and experiences. Therefore, people cannot claim that something is true based on their own personal experiences. They need more stats to say that failing to seduce a beautiful lady is more than simple bad luck or unexplainable disinterest. Men can’t either claim that the problem was being nice, as women can have other reasons to explain why they are not interested in them. Then, how is it possible to say that nice guys finish last?

Fortunately, scientists also ask themselves the same questions, as men and women are both interested in finding the answer. Is it possible that women can’t love men that are being nice to them, even though this seems illogical? Researchers asked a lot of people about it and made sure no information was left behind in different experiments that gave them valid results. Here’s what they found out about the perception that nice guys finish last.

15. Nice Guys Put A Ring On It 

According to researchers Buss and Barnes in 1986, women want their husband to be kind, intelligent, easygoing, and adaptable. Nice guys finish first when it comes to marriage as females want someone who will stay with them for a long time and take care of the kids.

Members of married couples were interviewed separately and asked to fill a questionnaire to tell the researchers more about their preferences. Both men and women agreed that they wanted their marriage partner to be a good companion, honest, affectionate, understanding, interesting to talk to, and much more. Women also wanted their partner to be fond of children and ambitious, and men focused more of physical attractiveness.

Therefore, even though men and women expect different things from their partners, they are both interested in positive qualities associated with the nice guy stereotype. However, ladies might be looking for other qualities in partners they don’t want to marry.

14. Players Have a Lot of Partners But Few Good Qualities

Men who are willing to engage in a sexual relationship with no commitment often describe themselves as irresponsible, assertive, unproductive, and not warm according to Reise and Wright in 1996. They don’t seem to be willing to do anything for a woman unless it leads her in their bed.

Men had to fill out a questionnaire so the researcher could know more about their personality and their sexual behaviour. This is how they associated unrestricted sexuality with negative characteristics as those previously mentioned, but also a lack of moral values, hostility towards others, and low aspiration levels. Women open to sexual relationships with no commitment participated in this research too but were described as perseverating, not conservative, and aware of their own attractiveness.

Moreover, the research demonstrated associations between unrestricted sexuality in men, and narcissism and psychopathy. These players might have more ladies in their bed, but that doesn’t mean that women will appreciate them for more than one night.

13. Nice Men Have Longer Relationships

According to Regan and Joshi in 2003, women prefer nice, intelligent, and fun men as long-term partners but want sexy, passionate, and sexually responsive men as sexual partners. Bad boys win the sprint, but nice guys finish first in the marathon.

For the research, adolescent boys and girls were asked to indicate their preferences in an ideal short-term sexual partner and a long-term romantic partner. They both have a similar conception of a perfect partner, even though they preferred a sexual partner to be physically appealing, passionate, and sexually responsive and they expected their romantic partner to be more intelligent and fun.

Therefore, bad boys might have more chances to date the lady when she is just looking for sex and good men are chosen when women want to spend more than one night with them. Sometimes, it takes a lot of time to find the person that is looking for this serious relationship. Nice guys do finish last… because there is no one else after them as they’ll spend their life with the woman they love.

12. A Confident Posture is More Attractive

Women are more attracted to men with a dominant body posture according to Ahmetoglu and Swami in 2012. No matter what the woman’s personality, an open body posture with gesticulation seemed more desirable than a close body posture, associated with the stereotypical nice guy.

The participants watched three silent one-minute videos presenting a man in different positions. This is all it took for them to choose which one was more attractive and most of them agreed that they preferred the one who appeared to be more dominant.

Seduction starts before a man opens his mouth so he needs to make sure he looks confident before approaching a lady. Body language speaks much more than what someone can say. Even though this isn’t directly related to niceness, looking like a bad boy can give men more opportunities to have the chance to flirt with the woman they are interested in. However, they shouldn’t forget that what they say matters too after the first impression.

11. Manly Men Have More Sexual Partners

Bogaert and Fisher in 1995 found that sensation-seeking, testosterone, aggressiveness, interpersonal hostility, and hypermasculinity were all related to a higher number of sexual partners. As these characteristics are often associated with bad boys, it seems like the stereotypical nice guy will be less popular.

Male students had to fill different questionnaires, were rated on their level of attractiveness, gave a saliva sample and reported aspects of their sexual behaviour so some of their characteristics could be associated with what happens in bed. This is how researchers found out that men who portrayed characteristics associated with masculinity had had more sexual partners than those who were considered to be nice, emotional guys.

Surprisingly, closeness was negatively related to the number of sexual partners. However, this could be explained by another theory: a high level of intimacy makes it so a nice guy stays with the same female partner for a longer time and won’t date anyone else. After all, quality is more interesting than quantity.

10. Being Dominant Is Not Enough

Jensen-Campbell, Graziano and West (1995) showed that male dominance enhanced sexual attractiveness, in a previous study about body posture. However, it seems like dominance has different consequences depending on the social context, and that other qualities might have influence on a woman’s answer. They decided to find the answers by themselves.

Instead of simply showing a body picture, researchers presented videos with different men that were either dominant or not dominant, altruistic or not altruistic. This is how they found out that prosocial men were rated as more physically and sexually attractive as dates. If a man was more altruistic towards others, women thought that he was more desirable than the non-altruist man. Dominance alone did not increase any form of attraction, but when a man had both of these characteristics, it did.

According to their research, male domination alone had no effect on women’s sexual attraction. They weren’t more interested – neither less interested – in dominant men that are considered to be the “bad guys.” This means that if a dominant man wants to stay with a woman for more than one night, they better behave well.

9. Bad Boys Do It More

According to Urbaniak and Kilmann in 2006, men with lower levels of agreeableness had more casual, sexual relationships than those who considered themselves to be nice. This time, the research wasn’t based on questionnaires but on real life experiences.

Instead of asking the ladies about their preferences, the researchers asked men about their dating experiences. They also asked women to rate their photographs on a scale of 1 to 10 to know if they looked good. This is how the researchers found out that the lower the men’s agreeableness score, the more he was successful with casual dating, one night stands, and casual sex. Moreover, being physically attractive also gave him much more chances to get lucky.

Men also reported that being agreeable didn’t give them more chances to be in a romantic relationship and attractiveness didn’t have an important influence either. Results are much more different when men talk about their experience so women who say they like nice guys might end up with bad boys anyway.

8. Being Nice Is Better Than Being Hot

Whether they are looking for a long-term romantic or a short-term sexual partner, men and women prefer internal qualities like kindness than external qualities like physical attractiveness, according to a study led by Regan in 2008.

College students expressed their preferences on different characteristics in short-term and long-term partners. Even though inner beauty was always more important for men and women, some other preferences change depending on the type of relationship. Women wanted their sexual partners to be attractive and have a good sex drive but expect their long-term romantic partners to be intelligent, honest, and warm. Moreover, men cared more about sexual desirability than women did.

Therefore, nice men have more chance to get a date than those who are only handsome, but many other criteria are also important when it comes to finding a good sexual partner. Men shouldn’t stop being nice, they should simply learn to show that they are much more than that.

7. Women Expect More From Partners Than Friends

Sprecher and Regan in 2002 found out that men and women want their romantic and sexual partners to be physically attractive, warm, fun, and intelligent but expect less from their friends. If someone is in the friend zone, it might be because they aren’t nice enough.

Researchers asked participants to indicate their preferences for several attributes in a friend, a sex partner, a dating partner, and a marriage partner. Even though everyone mentioned things like kindness, expressivity, warmth, openness, and humour for any kind of relationship, they also thought that their date needed to have something more.

Moreover, women expected more physical attractiveness from their male friends than their females friends and tended to have lower standards if they were less confident about their own desirability. If a man is in the friend zone, he can be comforted by the idea that he is physically attractive and that the girl he likes is happy the way she is.

6. Nice Women Date Nice Men

Women want to date men who are similar to themselves as it makes them more satisfied with their marriage, according to Botwin, Buss and Shackelford in 1997. This means that if a man wants to date a nice woman, he better be nice too.

Undergraduates and newlywed couples were asked to fill a questionnaire to describe themselves and their partner before telling the researchers about their mate preferences for personality traits and their marital satisfaction. Researchers found out that personality played a critical role in mate selection. Women were interested in men with different socially desirable personality traits such as agreeableness, conscientiousness and intellect openness.

Moreover, the study proved that females cared more about personality than men did. This might be explained by Trivers’s (1972) theory: women are used to being pregnant for nine months and take care of the baby so they were looking for a good partner that would stay with them during this whole time as a long-term partner.

5. Altruistic Men Get The Date

According to a study by Barclay in 2010, altruist men and women are more desirable as long-term partners than neutral individuals. However, when it comes to a simple date, women do want to be with altruistic men, but men don’t care about it.

Men and women viewed simulated dating advertisements of different candidates that were either altruist or neutral, and that were looking for a short-term or long-term relationship. Then, they were asked to rate which candidate was the best for different types of relationships. This is how the researcher found out that women were also willing to have a platonic friendship with altruistic men, which might explain the “friend zone.”

The funniest thing is that men preferred non-altruistic women for one night stands. Researchers believed that this could be because men expect less success for a short-term relationship with good girls. This might mean that nice gals sometimes finish last too.

4. Sad Women Won’t Date Nice Men

According to Berheim and Stark in 1988, nice guys do indeed finish last in certain cases. Some might think that if a woman is sad, she will expect her partner to make her feel better and date a nice guy. However, they often care much more about their partner than they care about themselves and this leads to different results.

The researchers identified different circumstances in which members of a group would interact with each other and suspect what would happen. They found out that if an altruist woman is unhappy, she could be disturbed by the idea that a man will be negatively affected by this because he is altruistic. Therefore, the woman will prefer someone who cares less about her because seeing her sad won’t make him unhappy.

However, this doesn’t mean that women don’t like nice guys, they simply think that these men deserve better than a sad relationship. The best thing to do is simply for a happy woman to date a nice man, or for both of them to be selfish and think about their own pleasure, as the research suggests.

3. Women Are Less Interested In Players

Herold and Milhausen in 2008 found out that most women would rather date nice guys, even though they are described as sexually inexperienced, instead of someone who had had sex with a lot of women. This is a good news for nice guys as 56% of the women thought nice men were less likely to have as many sexual partners as bad boys.

The researchers asked women if sex was important and reported that it was “very important” for 17 % of them, “somewhat important” for 58% of them. However, this survey also gave them the chance to find out that sex isn’t always a good thing. Only 10% of them said that they were willing to accept a partner who had had intercourse with more than 10 partners, but 73% could accept a partner who had up to three previous partners.

Therefore, a man shouldn’t brag about being a player, as nice men with few sexual experiences are more popular. However, 56% of them also reported that they knew of other women who choose to date men who had a lot of sexual partners and were not so nice, so the bad guys still have a chance to win the race.

2. Handsome And Nice Men Finish First

Even though women say that they wish to date kind and sensitive men, Urbaniak and Kilmann in 2003 wanted to know if they really do as they say. Asking women if they desire a nice guy or a mean guy was too simple, so they let the candidates present themselves.

Instead of talking about the qualities they prefer, they read a script that depicted different men competing for a woman. The first bachelor defined himself as someone who is in touch with his feelings, the second one knew what he wanted and how to get it, and the third one said that he doesn’t go for all that touchy-feely stuff. Which one did the women choose?

The researchers found out that women desired and chose nice and physically attractive men. Not only was he nice, but women also said that they thought he was intelligent, kind, and considerate. Moreover, they were not rated as less exciting, easy going, or fun. However, women preferred nice men as long-term partners and handsome men for sexual relationship. In any situation, it still proves that men that are disrespectful won’t get anything from women.

1. Nice Guys Are Not Perfect

Women define the stereotype of the “nice guys” in many different ways, as it is possible to see in a research study by Herold and Milhausen in 1999. They can either perceive them as losers or good guys, which can have an influence on their choice to date them or not.

Researchers simply asked women about their definition of a nice guy and a bad boy. Even though nice men appear to have a good personality, high standards, and politeness, some women also saw them as needy, weak, boring, and unattractive. As one of them said: “Nice guys are generally not as attractive, and have a great personality to compensate for this shortcoming. Unfortunately, looks, not personality, tend to get a woman into bed.”

Women also explained that nice guys have fewer sexual partners because they were less forward in their interactions with them. The bad boys were described as either rebellious, macho, fun, or sexy, but also aggressive, manipulative, and willing to lie to have sex. Therefore, the problem is not being nice, it is how women define these male stereotypes.

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