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J Sex Marital Ther. 1999 Oct-Dec;25(4):333-43.

Dating preferences of university women: an analysis of the nice guy stereotype.

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  • 1Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition, University of Guelph, ON, Canada.


Many researchers have attempted to discover what types of men women consider most desirable for relationship partners. This study investigated university women's (N = 165) perceptions of "nice guys," specifically whether women perceived nice guys to be more or less sexually successful than guys who are considered not nice. Both quantitative and qualitative analyses were used. The qualitative analysis was useful in understanding women's differing interpretations of the nice guy label. More than one half of the women agreed that nice guys have fewer sexual partners. However, more than one half also reported a preference for a nice guy over a bad boy as a date. As hypothesized, women who placed a lesser emphasis on the importance of sex, who had fewer sexual partners, and who were less accepting of men who had many sexual partners were more likely to choose the nice guy as a dating partner. The findings indicate that nice guys are likely to have fewer sexual partners but are more desired for committed relationships.

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