Glamour Magazine


A New Study Redefines What's Sexy-and Courage Really Matters

Leah Melby | Glamour Magazine

I just got my highlighter out and went at a new study that landed on my desk, college-student style (that's how fascinated I was). Conducted by Jeetendr Sehdev, a branding expert and professor at USC, it questioned 10,000 men and women from Asia to Australia on what makes someone sexy, and the results make me so hopeful about humanity.

Qualities like mystery and the ability to make a partner laugh, long thought of as core, accepted sexy factors, are out (7 in 10 women reported that they can make themselves laugh, thankyouverymuch). Instead, courage matters more than confidence to 75 percent of respondents as it shows someone's flaws in a positive light and makes them relatable. Honesty was found to be eight times sexier than intelligence, and 7 out of 10 people agreed that individuality, shown by going against the mainstream and taking risks, was "super sexy." Also fascinating: Men considered ambition in women sexier than the reverse, with 52 percent saying it's attractive for challenging traditional gender-based stereotypes.

The top 10 sexy characteristics:

  1. Vulnerability
  2. Courage
  3. Individuality
  4. Beauty
  5. Honesty
  6. Ambition
  7. Spontaneity 
  8. Spirituality
  9. Passion
  10. Experimentation

I'm not as naive to think physical traits aren't involved—they totally are. Sixty-eight percent of people agreed that an attractive body is as important as a beautiful face to being considered sexy, but there's some interesting reasoning behind that. People questioned said an in-shape physique correlated to discipline and hard work in the gym, both of which hinted at a good work ethic (something found sexy on its own).

The results broken done by area showed that North America found ambition to be its top sexy characteristic (Europe cared most about compassion, Asia spirituality, and Australia courage).

Jeetendr's study appeared as an exclusive in Glamour magazine. View the original article here