superstars, he said. Only a minority of men fall into that category, and being a dominant, highly successful and promiscuous man is hard to fake, he cautioned.
"Not every guy can be a successful cad," Kruger told Reuters Health. "You're not going to get a lot of matings by acting like a jerk."
During the study, reported in the journal Human Nature, Kruger and his colleagues asked 257 female undergraduate students to read passages from 17th and 18th century British literature describing characters that matched one of the two personality types. Around 70% of participants said they came from a non-Western European background.
In the passages, dad characters appeared domestic, peaceable, bookish, gentle and compassionate. In contrast, cads were portrayed as arrogant, moody, rebellious, strong and successful with beautiful women.
Women then answered a series of questions about which characters they would prefer in different situations, for instance, a sexual affair, a road trip, marriage, or a future son-in-law.
The researchers found that women tended to prefer accompanying dad characters on a three-week road trip, and more often chose dads to be spouses or son-in-laws. However, more women said they would want to have a sexual affair with a cad character than a dad.
In an interview, Kruger noted that women likely prefer to settle down with dad types because they will stick around and help them raise a family. "You can think of these guys as dads because they'll be around to be fathers and father figures," he said.
So why choose to have sex with a cad character, which could also produce a child? That trend may be explained by the "sexy son hypothesis," Kruger said, which proposes that, deep down, women may sometimes believe a son produced by the union with a cad will exhibit the same behaviors, eventually having sex with many women and producing many grandchildren.
The fact that 21st century women reacted this way to stereotypes established many years before suggests that the response to cads and dads has existed for a long time, Kruger noted.
"This shows us that this is something that is ingrained in us," he said.
Western bitches are panicking that men no longer want to support their fat nagging asses. (Jobless, single and male)
October 2, 2003
Increasing numbers of men in their prime have neither full-time jobs, wives nor children and pose a threat to society, a senior labour market economist says.
Professor Sue Richardson, of the National Institute of Labour Studies at Flinders University, said Australia was re-creating an underclass "of the excluded and the dangerous" not seen since the late 19th century.
"Back then, large numbers of men were excluded from secure jobs, never got to be fathers - at least officially - and were a menace to society."
Speaking at the Conference of Economists in Canberra yesterday, she said labour-market changes accounted for the rise of single or divorced men who were poor marriage prospects.
They were unemployed or reliant on part-time or casual work. Subsequently, many were forgoing fatherhood. She said 35 per cent of Australian men aged 35 to 44 in 2003 were not married and did not not have a full-time job. This compared with 20 per cent in 1978.
Half the men aged 25 to 34 had not done what men in that age group had traditionally done: found a full-time job, married and had children. In 1978, only 30 per cent were not on that path.