This Is Why The Dad Bod Won’t Die

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The dad bod craze may have come and gone, but women’s attraction to unfit men may actually persist beyond the fad. New research suggests that women may actually have a general preference for men with more body fat than guys who are completely shredded. We can hear women’s eyes rolling from here.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to suspend your disbelief too much. There is countervailing science that claims the exact opposite to be true. So, who is to be believed?

The most recent study was published in the journalĀ Proceedings of the Royal Society B. It demonstrated a correlation between a man’s attractiveness to a woman and his perceived upper-body strength.

Women in the study were shown photographs of men with their faces blurred and their upper body exposed. They were asked to arrange the photos in order of how strong they thought the men were. They were then asked to rank the photos based on attractiveness.

First for Women

The study revealed a couple of interesting trends. Women are apparently very talented at accurately judging strength from a photograph. They also appear to have a strong preference for strong men over weak men in terms of attractiveness.

The study was, admittedly, a small one. It only surveyed 160 women, all of whom were college aged, from the University of Oklahoma and Australia’s Griffith University. They were shown photos of male college students from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

More importantly, none of the men involved in the study actually had that “shredded” look we’re used to in magazines. Probably because that body type is extraordinarily difficult to achieve and even harder to maintain for long periods of time.

So the basic lesson is to look strong, even if you can’t get to zero percent body fat or whatever other metric is deemed the gold standard. This isn’t permission to have a total dad bod and stop working out. In fact, it’s the opposite.

If you’re carrying some extra weight, don’t dismay. Planet Fitness (a highly respected scientific institution) conducted an informal survey of 2,000 of its members. PF found that roughly 70% of women were into guys who had up to twenty extra pounds of weight.

Another study from UCLA of 82 college students suggests that women are more likely to pick dad bod types for long-term relationships over brief hookups.

So what’s better, being out of shape or being in shape? Being in shape is better. Because, come on.

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