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Research reveals the 8 physical features that are most desirable to men

Ever since we were wee little cavemen, sex has always been on our minds. Reproduction was a necessity for our race's survival, and it all began when a caveman and a cavewoman felt some kind of attraction for one another. Fast-forward to the 21st century, and it's more or less the same.

Yes, we've got other priorities in our lives now, but this primal instinct of attraction is still there. So when you ask "what physical features do men find most attractive in women?", most people will just say "big boobs" and turn to their friends, sniggering. And while eye-tracking studies in the past have proved that men who look at images of women check out their breasts and waists first, there's actually a lot more to it.

It turns out there are a lot of other things that men find desirable in the opposite sex. Drawing on a range of studies, Business Insider compiled a list of the most fetching feminine traits together with Dr Midge Wilson, Professor of Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies at DePaul University. They called it a "reproductive fitness assessment", describing the process in which a man "checks out" a woman for mating potential. We've also added some findings from other studies, too. So let's get into it.

1. The right waist-to-hip ratio

If a woman has wide hips, a man's primal instincts are kicked into gear and he sees that she's fit for childbirth. Researchers found that a ratio of 7:10 is particularly favourable, meaning (as we already know) that men like a small waist with wide child-bearing hips (and probably a booty worthy of the peach emoji to top it off).

hips waist slim skinny jeans attractive traits men see in women Credit: Getty

2. A high-pitched voice

Having a high-pitched voice signals a smaller, feminine body, as well as youth. Women are most fertile when they're younger – the ages between 20 and 31 are said to be the sage of peak fertility. So don't hold back on those excitable squeals next time someone brings a dog into the office.

woman in car smiling attractive traits men see in women Credit: Pexels

3. Healthy hair

Another study found that long, full, shiny hair is extremely attractive. Women with wiry grey hair, for example, are less desirable because they don't look as youthful and therefore fertile as you do with your luscious locks (you don't have to reveal that it's all thanks to your leave-in conditioner and your girl Lisa at the salon who is a DREAM).

woman with long black hair attractive traits men see in women Credit: Pexels

4. Less makeup 

As much as contouring and a perfectly blended eyeshadow look can totally boost your selfie game, it turns out that a full face of makeup won't help you court a man. The report states that men prefer women who use up to 40 per cent fewer cosmetics.

makeup brushes attractive traits men see in women Credit: Pexels

5. A smile

Naturally, we all prefer to surround ourselves with more positive, happy people. Additionally, the research found that the whiter the teeth on a woman, the better.

woman smiling attractive traits men see in women Credit: Pixabay

6. Wearing red

There are many studies pointing out that wearing red stimulates the senses and enhances attraction. Not only that, but one study found that the colour red can act as a powerful aphrodisiac.

woman in red dress sitting casual attractive traits men see in women Credit: Pexels

7. Arm length

While – yes – a tall, leggy woman is going to attract admirers, people don't realise that long arms are also a feature that men subtly seek out. Researchers found that men prefer women with longer, more slender arms that had wide girth – probably for hugging and being able to reach the top of cupboards and what not.

woman spreading arms holiday sunset romantic Credit: Pexels

8. Overall grooming

A person wearing clean clothes, looking generally groomed and exhibiting good posture has been proved to be another important trait of attraction. It shows that you'll be a good reproductive partner because you're healthy, strong, and ultimately able to look after yourself.

haircut salon hair beauty Credit: Pixabay

Although we're no longer the grunting, club-swinging primates we once were, some things do tend to stick. Next time you've got a date coming up, why not bring out that red dress of yours and show off your arm length as innocuously as you can, of course.