What is the appeal of "bad boys"? What even is a bad boy?

Before we confuse our definitions, I'm talking about this kind of thing:

What is the appeal of
Why is it that an average hundred-pound weakling suddenly becomes attractive when he dons a leather jacket, gels his hair, and gets a lame tattoo? I don't get the sudden appeal of someone otherwise bland when they start wearing a douchey persona all the time.

It's not as if I get laid any less because of them, but I have no idea why they're not all extinct. Guys who look like complete bottoms are high on the heterosexual food chain? How?


Most Helpful Guy

  • Women are attracted to power. This isn't to say they're gold diggers, a few are, but most are not. First and foremost, we're attracted to who evolution wants us to mate with. Powerful men are more likely to produce strong children. As a side benefit, powerful men who ALSO are committed to the woman can help those children thrive. This second reason is why many women are more inclined to be sexual when they are feeling committed too (they don't think of this, but that's why their feelings work the way they do).

    Power can take lots of forms. Overall in society, you might think the most successful, the wealthiest, politicians, celebrities, they all have the most power. And guess what they all have good access to women. Who else has power? Reasonably successful guys have a form of power. Artists etc. have a certain influence. Bodybuilders and fighters have a certain form of visceral power. Criminals and thugs have their own type of power. Different women respond mroe or less to different versions of those, but they all have some women interested.

    Lets consider the typical 16-20 year old woman, and men around her. Odds are none of them are really earning much money. None are famous. The studious are low level 'yes men' in the academic machine. Who has power? The popular kids, the star atheletes, and thugs who can intimidate people. So that's who gets the girls.

    10 years later? Most of those bad boys have gone nowhere and now seem 'weak' compared to guys driving BMWs. At this point many women 'grow out' of their badboy phase. But they haven't changed so much as the opportunity set around them has.

    I'll finally go back to where i started: the most successful women, in terms of passing on their genes, mated with strong men, and where possible, with strong men who also would be good fathers. There is some evidence that women without stable relationships with men tend to choose 'higher testosterone' facial features in partners. Put another way, women who haven't grown up around good fathers are more likely to pick the most violent/aggressive men. And that makes -sense- from an evolutionary standpoint. If fathers aren't around to help, there's no point choosing a 'good father'. Instead you need a violent badass, because he might produce a son who can survive in the apparently unstable world you're in.

    So badboys might appeal to all girls, but especially young ones, and those who grow up without many good father figures.

    • Great answer. I guess it does make a lot of sense from an evolutionary perspective. Even if these kinds of guys would easily get their asses beaten, they're somehow more exotic than the usual men in Bumblefuck, Middle America. Though it's not like they're that rare to begin with.

What Girls Said 1

  • Okay... basing this off of some of your opinion comments... I don't think all "bad boys" are fake and generic or that the majority would get beat up. As a teenager I loved those "bad boys"... with that being said my "bad boys" were adults who drank, and partied, and got into and won fights, who carried guns, who other people didn't cross, who went to jail often... Yes I was a stupid teenager... that's the appeal as a teenager. Dangerous. As an adult... a man with tattoos and a beard and your cliche motorcycle learher jacket will still turn my head and would be a "bad boy" at least in looks. Would I pursue that even if I were free? Maybe because that whole it's me against the world/if this gig doesn't work out I'll just grab a backpack and ride off into the sunset/freedom/gypsy lifestyle excites me and that is more of my adult version of a bad boy and why it is appealing.

    • Instability definitely seems like an attractive quality to younger women.

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    • Well I was always a life on the edge kinda chick. After all... Why tiptoe through life to arrive safely at death? Anyway I'm off to go cliff diving and parachuting and rock climbing... Tackle all my what if's and grab life by the horns ; ) be safe

    • *repetition

What Guys Said 2

  • Didn't the "young girls only like bad boys" stereotype stop somewhere around the 80's? I don't think most girls I know want a bad boy.

    • That's what I had thought, but I still hear it today for some reason.

  • I don't mind diversity. I can bitch about it all I want, ultimately it's not up to me to decide how someone walks, talk, dresses, takes their coffee or what ever.

    • Not really what I asked, but fair enough.

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    • I meant something more along the lines of how it's perceived as attractive when it's so fake and generic.

    • and I agree. Does everything have to make sense? Most things don't.