Men are apparently pre-programmed to seek out women who act dumb as they make easier conquests, according to a study.
Researchers said that at their core, the male of the species had changed little since Neanderthal times, when reproduction was their prime objective.
The US scientists spoke to a sample of men and women to draw up a list of 88 factors that made women appear more “exploitable” – such as those who bite their lips or look sleepy – or suggested they were attention seekers.
They then showed photos of women illustrating this type of behavior or characteristic to 76 other men and asked them to rate how desirable they found them, the Daily Mail reported.
A physical vulnerability such as being short did not result in the men finding the women more sexually attractive.
But psychological vulnerability – such as when the women were immature or unintelligent – resulted in them being given a higher rating, according to the study by researchers at Texas-Austin University.
The men also ranked these women as more attractive than those who were portrayed as brainy, they found.
However, their interest fell off significantly when they were questioned about their interest in pursuing a longer-term relationship with the “dumb” women.
The study concluded: “The assessment of a woman’s immediate vulnerability may be central to the activation of psychological mechanisms related to sexual exploitation.”
Relationships expert Jean Hannah Edelstein said: “It’s not a recipe for a happy relationship to select a partner based on what you perceive to be their inferiority.”