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Study

Men Twice as Likely to Rank Looks as the Most Important Quality in a Mate

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of DatingAdvice.com's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles and reports have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Advertiser Disclosure

This is an exclusive study conducted by DatingAdvice.com, which surveyed respondents over the course of three weeks to reflect an accurate representation of the U.S. population.


Like a moth to a flame, men have often been known to be more instinctively drawn to beauty, and new research has the numbers to prove it.

An exclusive DatingAdvice.com study found men are twice as likely as women to rank looks as the most important quality they look for in a partner.

The results show appearance is a number one trait for many demographics.

Straight respondents were among the most likely groups to choose physical attractiveness as the top quality, as they were 20 percent more likely to do so than their homosexual counterparts.

In regards to marital status, 14 percent of single men and women said looks is an important component when looking for a partner. However, just 10 percent of married men and women agreed.

DatingAdvice.com expert Gina Stewart said the study backs up a common societal convention that suggests young, single straight men are the ones who care the most about appearance.

“It probably has a lot to do with maturity levels,” she said. “It’s often been held that men fall in love with their eyes and women fall in love with their ears.”

“Men are twice as likely to rank

looks as the most important quality.”

Ethnicity played another big role in the findings, with nearly one in five Asian-Americans answering in the affirmative – almost double the rate of Caucasians.

Among the least likely groups to choose looks was high-wage earners and older Americans.

Six percent of those earning between $100,000 and $124,999 annually put appearance at the top versus 15 percent of those earning $50,000 to $74,999 a year.

At 9 percent, men and women aged 65 and older had some of the lowest responses. Conversely, men and women aged 18 to 24 had some of the highest responses at 18 percent.

The study surveyed 1,080 respondents over the course of three weeks, balancing responses by age, gender, income, race, sexuality and other factors in order to accurately represent the U.S. population. The study has a margin of error of +/- 2.8%.

The Breakdown: Americans Who Rank Looks First

By gender:

  • Male: 15%
  • Female: 8%

By sexuality:

  • Straight: 12%
  • Gay: 10%

By marital status:

  • Single, Never Married: 14%
  • Married: 10%
  • Divorced: 11%

By age:

  • 18 to 24: 18%
  • 25 to 34: 13%
  • 35 to 44: 11%
  • 45 to 54: 8%
  • 54 to 64: 12%
  • 65 and older: 9%

By race:

  • White: 10%
  • African-American: 14%
  • Hispanic: 17%
  • Asian: 18%

By income:

  • Under $25,000: 12%
  • $25,000 to $49,999: 12%
  • $50,000 to $74,999: 15%
  • $75,000 to $99,999: 11%
  • $100,000 to $124,999: 6%
  • $125,000 or higher: 9%

By region:

  • Northeast: 11%
  • Midwest: 13%
  • South: 11%
  • West: 11%

Visit DatingAdvice.com/Studies for more research on dating and relationship topics.

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