Sometimes, the nice guys out there may have a disadvantage when it comes to the opposite sex. Why? Girls often initially flock to the guys who aren’t the most courteous or kind.
This may happen because girls are frequently told early in childhood that if a guy teases or berates, it’s because he actually feels quite the opposite — he’s acting mean because he’s interested. And with that, a spark is ignited.
Girls misread certain unfriendly vibes as interest, and therefore yearn to track down their attention.
A 2008 article, “Why Nice Guys Finish Last,” discusses the positive side of negative traits such as callousness, narcissism, impulsivity and other antisocial traits) and how it can affect a girl’s desire to flock to the guy who embodies this persona.
“We would traditionally consider these dark triad traits to be adverse personality traits, and we think that women would avoid these kinds of men,” Peter Jonason, researcher/study investigator, said in the article.
“But what we show is counterintuitive — that women are attracted to these bad boys and they do pretty well in terms of sheer numbers of sexual partners.”
Jonason categorizes the modern-day ‘bad boy’ as a male with little empathy, and one who’s a seeker of mainly short-term goals (goals that are usually achieved). Jonason believes that perhaps these traits have been evolutionary successes since they have persevered in so many individuals.
The three traits that may signify a ‘bad boy’ — what Jonason refers to as the “dark triad bad boy” traits — include:
- A man with little empathy for others
- A penchant for fast cars and even faster women
- A seeker of short-term rather than long-term goals — especially concerning the opposite sex
Some experts think that these narcissistic males may be embellishing stories of their sexual conquests, but regardless of the success they do have, there is a silver lining for the nice guys who don’t follow a similar agenda.
Everett Worthington, professor of psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, claims in the same article that while males with dark triad traits may be more advantageous in short-term sexual relationships, their fortune in long-term relationships is compromised.
“A strategy of building trust and intimacy and commitment is, by nature, going to take longer. Thus, the payoffs are likely to be greater in the short term.
“However, long-term relationship survival is likely to be strongly disadvantaged in people with dark triad traits,” Worthington said.
And ultimately, it’s really the long-term that matters, right?
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 31 Jan 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Suval, L. (2013). Why Girls Fall for Bad Boys. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/01/31/why-girls-fall-for-bad-boys/