A 2016 study in Evolutionary Psychology analyzed how altruism affects men’s attractiveness to women.
The study had 202 heterosexual women look at pairs of photos of physically attractive and unattractive men.
The women were also told about scenarios where the men exhibited altruistic or selfish behavior.
One scenario involved a man jumping into a river to save a child, while the other did not attempt to save the child.
Another scenario involved one man buying a meal for a homeless person, while the other ignored the homeless person.
Women rated each man’s desirability for long-term or short-term relationships.
Physically attractive and altruistic men received the highest ratings overall.
Unattractive men who exhibited altruistic behavior received higher ratings than selfish, handsome men for long-term relationships.
However, looks slightly outweighed character for short-term relationships.
The study supports the idea that altruism is an important trait in mate selection for long-term relationships.
Women strongly prefer men with good hearts over hot bodies for serious relationships.
The study sheds light on the importance of both physical and character traits in attraction.