Let's take a walk on the wild side as we discover how a preference for macho men might be related to where we like to take an evening stroll. We'll also find out why sisters agree—and disagree—over what constitutes an attractive partner.

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Fear of Crime and the Allure of Bad Boys
Sisters Choosing Him For Themselves

Women may prefer dominant men because they make good bodyguards. Warner Bros Entertainment

The articles covered in the show:

Ryder, H., Maltby, J., Rai, L., Jones, P., & Flowe, H. D. (in press). Women's fear of crime and preference for formidable mates: How specific are the underlying psychological mechanisms? Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Biegler, R., & Kennair, L. E. O. (2016). Sisterly love: Within-generation differences in ideal partner for sister and self. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 10(1), 29-42. Read summary

What women want: we investigate whether women's preference for taller men leads to a lifetime of happiness, and find out if it's more important for a man to be generous than handsome.

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Altruistic Vs Handsome: Which Makes a Man More Attractive?
Does a Taller Husband Make for a Happier Wife?


"Oh, FJ-2547, you really shouldn't have!" Is it more important for a man to be generous than handsome? Kristina Alexanderson / Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Farrelly, D., Clemson, P., & Guthrie, M. (2016). Are women’s mate preferences for altruism also influenced by physical attractiveness? Evolutionary Psychology, 14(1). Read summary

Sohn, K. (2016). Does a taller husband make his wife happier? Personality and Individual Differences, 91, 14-21. Read summary

I recently attended the Galton Institute's conference on mate choice, and was lucky to grab an interview with Prof. Melinda Mills, head of The University of Oxford's Department of Sociology. We spoke about Melinda's research on ethnicity and internet dating, why attitudes to migration shape who we are willing to date, and discussed some of the difficulties inherent in studying dating preferences on the web. I also talk about some new research on selfies and who takes them.

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Who Takes Selfies?


Men and women post a similar number of ‘relfies’ to social media. Roberto Trombetta/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Potârcă, G., & Mills, M. (2015). Racial preferences in online dating across European countries. European Sociological Review, 31(3), 326-341. Read summary

Sorakowska, A., Oleszkiewicz, A., Frackowiak, T., Pisanski, K., Chmiel, A., & Sorokowski, P. (2016). Selfies and personality: Who posts self-portrait photographs? Personality and Individual Differences, 90, 119-123. Read summary

Masculine masks: what a bushy beard says about a man's attitudes to women, and why a hit of the male hormone testosterone could have you reaching for your make up bag.

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NOTE (8th Feb 2016): The scientists behind the testosterone and make up research have voluntarily retracted their paper. For more information, visit Retraction Watch.

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Feeling Hormonal? Slap on the Makeup
Are Bearded Men More Sexist?


Eurovision winner, Conchita Wurst. Pretty much the perfect image for a podcast about beards and make up. Alexander Gotter/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Fisher, C. I., Hahn, A. C., DeBruine, L. M., & Jones, B. C. (in press). Women’s preference for attractive makeup tracks changes in their salivary testosterone. Psychological Science. Read summary

Oldmeadow, J. A., & Dixson, B. J. (in press). The association between men’s sexist attitudes and facial hair. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Checking in? I talk to Dasa Fabjan about how the attractiveness of hotel guests can influence the service they receive. We'll also find out why the size of your Christmas bonus might be linked to your appearance.

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Paid and Pretty


Hotel receptionists are often asked to project an attractive appearance, but do they also pay attention to the appearance of their customers? Linford Butler/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Fruhen, L. S., Watkins, C. D., & Jones, B. C. (in press). Perceptions of facial dominance, trustworthiness and attractiveness predict managerial pay awards in experimental tasks. The Leadership Quarterly. Read summary

Knežević, M., Tomka, D., Bizjak, B., Fabjan, D., & Kukulj, S. (2015). The physical appearance of hotel guests: The impact on service providers’ communication and quality of service. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 51, 8-14. Read summary

Diet and desire: Why you and your partner shouldn't turn your nose up at garlic, and how men get greedy when there's a woman in the room. Also, since it's #AntiBullyingWeek, we also find out why bullying may be a mating tactic.

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Another Slice of Pizza, Darling?
Eating Garlic Combats Body Odor!
Do Bullies Want Love, Not War?


Men eat more pizza when in the company of women. Louise Ma / WNYC

The articles covered in the show:

Fialová, J., Roberts, S. C., & Havlíček, J. (in press). Consumption of garlic positively affects hedonic perception of axillary body odour. Appetite. Read summary

Kniffin, K. M., Sigirci, O., & Wansink, B. (in press). Eating heavily: Men eat more in the company of women. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Volk, A. A., Dane, A. V., Marini, Z. A., & Vaillancourt, T. (in press). Adolescent bullying, dating, and mating: Testing an evolutionary hypothesis. Evolutionary Psychology. Read summary

Turn that frown upside down! We look at research on attraction and humor. Does a GSOH make you more desirable? And Matia Okubo reveals why a man who cracks a smile is good marriage material.

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Is a GSOH attractive?


Psychologists from Japan have found that men are more attractive when they smile, but only for long-term relationships. Luca [JP@G]/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Okubo, M., Ishikawa, K., Kobayashi, A., Laeng, B., & Tommasi, L. (2015). Cool guys and warm husbands: The effect of smiling on male facial attractiveness for short- and long-term relationships. Evolutionary Psychology, 13(3). Read paper

Tornquist, M., & Chiappe, D. (2015). Effects of humor production, humor receptivity, and physical attractiveness on partner desirability. Evolutionary Psychology, 13(4), 1474704915608744. Read paper

Head posture: Does tilting your noggin like a bobble-head doll make you more or less alluring? I talk to Danielle Sulikowski.

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Does tilting her head make this woman more attractive? Or does she just look like her bonce is about to snap off at the hinge?

The articles covered in the show:

Burke, D., & Sulikowski, D. (2010). A new viewpoint on the evolution of sexually dimorphic human faces. Evolutionary Psychology, 8(4), 147470491000800404. Read summary

Sulikowski, D., Burke, D., Havlíček, J., & Roberts, S. C. (in press). Head tilt and fertility contribute to different aspects of female facial attractiveness. Ethology. Read summary

How voices and faces win votes. I talk to Casey Klofstad about his new research into voice pitch and the effect it has on perceptions of a political candidate's age, strength, and competence. We'll also look at how other nonverbal cues, including facial appearance, influence election success.

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Would anyone vote for that face?

Are female political candidates more successful if they have deep voices? New research by Casey Klofstad shows that Margaret Thatcher may have been correct to lower her voice an octave or two.

The articles covered in the show:

Elmore, W., Vonnahame, E. M., Thompson, L., Filion, D., & Lundgren, J. D. (2015). Evaluating political candidates: Does weight matter? Translational Issues in Psychological Science, 1(3), 287-297. Read summary

Klofstad, C. A., Anderson, C., & Nowicki, S. (2015). Perceptions of competence, strength, and age influence voters to select leaders with lower-pitched voices. PLoS One, 10(8), e0133779. Read paper

Laustsen, L., & Petersen, M. B. (in press). Winning faces vary by ideology: How nonverbal source cues influence election and communication success in politics. Political Communication. Read summary

Can men detect if a woman is a cheater? I talk to Samantha Leivers of the University of Western Australia about her new research on appearance and faithfulness. More about Samantha on LinkedIn and ResearchGate.

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Maybe if Richard Gere had been able to detect Diane Lane's cheating ways in her face, he would have avoided a lot of grief...

The articles covered in the show:

Leivers, S., Simmons, L. W., & Rhodes, G. (2015). Men’s sexual faithfulness judgments may contain a kernel of truth. PLoS One, 10(8), e0134007. Read paper

Red or dead: In this episode we investigate the allure of violent video games, and how they relate to sex. Also, does the colour red increase a man's attractiveness?

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Are Men More Attractive in Red?
Why Do Women Play Violent Video Games?

Nice codpiece! Does dressing in red make a man sexier?

The articles covered in the show:

Elliot, A. J., Kayser, M., Greitemeyer, T., Lichtenfeld, S., Gramzow, R. H., Maier, M. A., et al. (2010). Red, rank, and romance in women viewing men. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 139(3), 399-417. Read summary

Hesslinger, V. M., Goldbach, L., & Carbon, C.-C. (in press). Men in red: A reexamination of the red-attractiveness effect. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review. Read summary

Kasumovic, M. M., Blake, K., Dixson, B. J., & Denson, T. F. (2015). Why do people play violent video games? Demographic, status-related, and mating-related correlates in men and women. Personality and Individual Differences, 86, 204-211. Read summary

Prokop, P., Pazda, A. D., & Elliot, A. J. (2015). Influence of conception risk and sociosexuality on female attraction to male red. Personality and Individual Differences, 87, 166-170. Read summary

Is more more, or is more less? We look at two very different experiments about quantity, quality, and sex. How does the type and amount of porn a man views influence how much semen he produces? And do women from around the world prefer a taller or a shorter man?

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Participate in my research!
The psychology of fail videos (women only)
How do you help others?

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Do Women Always Prefer Taller Men?
President Coolidge and Semen Quality

Shaq is over 2ft taller than his on-off girlfriend, reality TV star "Hoopz". This difference in height is larger than in most couples, but Western women do seem to prefer taller men. Do women from non-Western societies share their predilection?

The articles covered in the show:

Joseph, P. N., Sharma, R. K., Agarwal, A., & Sirot, L. K. (in press). Men ejaculate larger volumes of semen, more motile sperm, and more quickly when exposed to images of novel women. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Sorokowski, P., Sorokowska, A., Butovskaya, M., Stulp, G., Huanca, T., & Fink, B. (2015). Body height preferences and actual dimorphism in stature between partners in two non-Western societies (Hadza and Tsimane’). Evolutionary Psychology, 13(2), 455-469. Read summary