Slaving away in the gym? Lifting heavy and often? Counting your macros? If you're doing it all for the sake of attracting women, you may be shooting yourself in the foot. At least according to a new study published by Yale.
According to the new research, women are more attracted to men who have "dad bods" - slightly fat guys. Richard Bribiescas, a Yale professor of anthropology, says that dad bodded guys in their middle years are healthier than men in their twenties and thirties. Apparently, middle-aged men who have a little bit of pudge tend to live longer and have healthier relationships with their kids. Bribiescas also says that there's reason to believe that slightly fat men are less at risk for prostate cancer and heart attacks.
And they also, according to his book How Men Age, have improved immune systems from lower testosterone levels.
"Macho makes you sick," says Bribiescas. "The Hollywood image of the swaggering, dashing man dispatching bad guys and carrying the day conjures up a perception of indestructibility."
“While men are on average larger and physically stronger than women, men have a considerable weakness.
“We have a harder time fighting off infections and illness compared with women, and… men simply do not take care of themselves.
“This has a significant negative impact on the pace at which men age.”
Bribiescas thinks that getting fat after you have kids is a good thing, since you'll be more focused on your children and less likely to chase other women. "This change in body composition not only causes men to shop for more comfortable trousers but also facilitates increased survivorship and, hypothetically, a hormonal milieu that would more effectively promote and support paternal investment."
It's all a little outlandish, especially given Bribiescas's Puritanesque assumption that men have to be physiologically duped into being committed fathers. And it also defies many decades of research showing that regular exercise and low body fat are linked to improved overall health and a decreased risk profile for a whole host of maladies, including diabetes and heart disease.
So if you're allergic to the gym, take heart. You have a champion in the form of this Yale professor. But for something as complicated as human attraction, it's borderline impossible to parse out objective truths about what is or is not effective. If you have a dad bod, wear it with confidence. It's probably the confidence that makes you attractive.