(PhysOrg.com) -- Women are attracted to men who look like a masculine version of them, according to a new study.
The research, carried out by the University of St Andrews, brings scientists closer to revealing the secrets of what women find attractive in men. The latest results show that women liked men who were both masculine looking and looked like themselves.
Psychologists believe that the resemblance might cancel out any issues of mistrust normally associated with strong masculine characteristics. The findings are published online this week by the scientific journal Behavioral Ecology.
The research used computer digital techniques to manipulate men's faces. Faces were made to look more or less masculine, and more or less like the women who rated them. Women rated each face for attractiveness.
The new study was carried out by lead researcher Tamsin Saxton, a postdoctoral research fellow funded by the Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC), based at the University's School of Psychology.
She commented, "Previous research has often found that women can be attracted to masculine men, but also a bit suspicious of them. However, women tend to trust men more if they look like them. So perhaps the resemblance cancelled out the women's suspicions. Or maybe the women felt they were better matched with men who looked like them, because if two people resemble each other, they might both be attracted to each other."
Celebrity lookalikes which could fit the mould include Vanessa Paradis and Johnny Depp, David and Victoria Beckham and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
The study was carried out in collaboration with the University of Liverpool. Researcher Craig Roberts commented, "When people rate what's attractive, they have to consider lots of different characteristics. What's really interesting is that masculinity was more important to women's judgments compared with whether the men looked like the women."
Provided by University of St Andrews