What Women Really Want

Posted by  D&M Research Team

POSTED ON  June 22, 2011

CATEGORIES  Research

D&M Research’s managing director, Derek Jones, has won both the Best Presentation Award and People’s Choice Award at this year’s AMSRS conference for his paper titled “What Women Really Want – But Won’t Tell You”.

Derek’s research uncovered the attributes of men that women find attractive or unattractive, but it was clear that while women say one thing, they actually mean another.

“It is often argued that we cannot always introspect and articulate what motivates us to think and behave in certain ways,” Derek explains. “It follows, therefore, that we may not be able to accurately articulate what it is that attracts or turns us off in a potential life partner.”

In order to dig deeper and draw out a true list of attractive and unattractive qualities of men, Derek made use of the Polygraph method. This method of analysis was originally devised by Derek to distinguish what people say they want from brands, products or services from what they really want by comparing stated versus derived measures of importance.

In this case, it was applied to a list of attributes relating to men, such as:

  • Honest and trustworthy
  • Good personal hygiene
  • Sociable and outgoing
  • Inconsiderate and rude
  • Greedy
  • Obsessed with sport or cars

The study suggests that at the core of what women really do want and are attracted to are the loving, trusting and caring aspects of a man, preferably packaged with a dose of humour.

Although women would like their partners to be confident and have some “status” such as an education, a good job and a work ethic, they may be willing to compromise on these aspects if other attractors are met.

Crucially, despite what women say, you cannot underestimate the power of physical attraction including sexual attraction, good looks and masculinity.

Compatibility in terms of sharing values and interests are also more important than what women explicitly say they are.

Watch the presentation

The response

The study was picked up by national and international press, including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Courier-Mail, SBS and Dnews (Germany). Derek was also invited to talk about his research on local radio stations, and you can listen to his interview with Paul Murray on the 6PR morning show below!


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