While relationship baggage may not be up there with the most desirable of romantic traits, a new study suggests women are actually more attracted to men with a history of exes.
To reach the conclusion, scientific journal Human Nature showed pictures of men with varying relationship experience to 123 female university students, and then asked them to rate their attractiveness.
The men were described as currently in a romantic relationship; having previously been in one, two, or five relationships; or not having had a romantic relationship at all in the past four years.
The majority of participants found men with one or two previous partners more desirable than those who had no relationship experience, with author Ryan Anderson explaining that the focus of the study was to determine if females are influenced by "mate copying".
"A variety of non-human females do not select male partners independently," he explained. "Instead they favor males having previous associations with other females, a phenomenon known as mate copying. We investigated whether humans also exhibit mate copying and whether consistent positive information about a man's mate value, and a woman's age and self-perceived mate value influence her tendency to copy the mate choices of others."
In other words, females are more likely to choose a partner that has had a few romantic relationships because they're perceived to be more desirable to others.
"There appears to be a significant desirability advantage for men who have been previously selected as a romantic partner," stated Anderson.
On the flipside, men who had five relationships or more were deemed unattractive, probably because they were perceived as likely to stray.
The study also found that younger women were more likely to judge their partner on how many relationships they'd had.
"Older women have had more relationship experience, on average, and therefore will probably be more confident in their decisions," says Anderson.
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