Science & Tech

Men have distorted image of what women find attractive

1 min read

Male college students want more muscle, while women think they look fine the way they are

Asked by researchers to choose the bodies they would most like to have, male college students in a study picked computer images with 30 pounds more muscle than they actually had. Asked to select their most-wanted body from the same computer images, female college students chose men with 15 to 30 pounds less muscle than most males consider ideal. “In other words, the bodies that men already had were closer to what women actually want than what men think they want,” says Harrison Pope, a Harvard Medical School professor of psychiatry who headed the study. “The Leonardo DiCaprio-look out-muscles the Jean-Claude Van Damme-look.” Pope worries that men’s distorted view of muscularity may be a factor in a disturbing situation that has recently been observed — some males who use anabolic steroids to “bulk up” go on to abuse heroin, morphine, and other opiate drugs.