Scientists want to determine if "liberating men from the bonds of traditional masculinity would be beneficial."
"Modesty," as it was categorized in the study, may make men feel good about themselves, but it's a real turn-off to women as far as sexual attraction goes.
The research protocol called for groups of female and male volunteers to watch a 15 minute video of job interviews, with various male and female actors. Though their qualifications for the jobs were about the same, some of the actors were in command of the event, very self-assured; others were more modest about their capabilities.
The volunteers, 132 females and 100 males, rated the job candidates (actors) very differently. Women linked male modesty with weakness, unemployability, and un-sexy. Men job candidates that demonstrated assertiveness and competitiveness were perceived as having high status, more able, and more sexually appealing.
This is rather a surprising finding, I think, at a time when so many of societal gender rules seem to have changed, certainly during the past 40 or so years. Interesting too is that earning potential is so entwined with sexual drive in women.
Male volunteers did not associate either the confident females or the modest females as being more sexually desirable than the other.
The researchers were dutiful to point out that neither personality type - macho or modest - has been shown to have any effect on hiring potential, but what if you are being interviewed by a woman?