Thanks to a growing body of research, we're starting to understand some of our innate reproductive motivators, and it's good news for 'nice guys'.
Give some, get some?
Recent studies indicate that altruism in men is linked not only to increased desirability by females as a long-term partner, but also a key influencer in sexual attractiveness, according to this pair of studies published in the British Journal of Psychology.
The first used self-reported altruism scores and showed men were "more desirable to the opposite sex, as well as reported having more sex partners, more casual sex partners, and having sex more often within relationships". The second study revealed that males more likely to donate reported having
"more lifetime sex partners, more casual sex partners, and more sex partners over the past year. Men who were willing to donate also reported having more lifetime dating partners."
That's not all - a similar study found that less physically attractive yet altruistic men were deemed more suitable as a long term partner by women than those who were just attractive but not generous.
The benefits of kindness appear to be cross-cultural too; this Chinese paper reports that altruism was the top attractor for both long and short term mates. There's even a new acronym to describe such tendencies: MPAT - mate preference towards altruistic traits.
Research like this makes juicy clickable headlines, sure, but any research involving sexual preference says a lot about humanity as a whole - the survival of specific genetic traits has a direct impact on who we are and how we behave. This sheds light on an age old philosophical question:
"Why are humans generous?"
There are many answers to this. It may depend on one's personal history, education, or current circumstance; being a 'good person' because we're told to be, giving back because we've been helped by others, being generous for egotistical reasons or just because 'it feels good'. We all have our own reasons. As Dalai Lama said:
"Generosity is the most natural outward expression of an inner attitude of compassion and loving-kindness."
If we're genetically programmed to do good things for others via natural selection we have yet another reason to think about how we can give back to the world.
Being good has helped humanity get this far, here's hoping it can prolong our survival, and that of other species.
Do you know any single guys? If so, encourage them to create their own Benojo profile and contribute to a campaign.
The ladies love it. Science says so.