However, men still need to take care of their own appearance, because 21st century women are becoming ever more swayed by physical attractiveness and less concerned with finding a wealthy husband.
According to the researchers, the narrowing of the gender gap in western countries means that the traditional priorities of both sexes when looking for a partner have shifted.
While men have learned to value women for more than just their curves, women’s increasing financial independence means a man’s appeal is no longer directly linked to the size of his wallet.
For the study, psychologists from York University surveyed 12,000 people in more than 30 countries to find out what their priorities were in choosing a partner.
“We found that in societies like Britain, or especially Scandinavia, men place increasing value on other qualities, like intelligence, rather than curvy figures or skill at cooking,” the Telegraph quoted Dr Marcel Zentner, who led the study, as telling the Sunday Times.
Zentner also said that women traditionally look for wealthy men who can provide for their children, but those in more equal countries showed less interest in money and placed more importance on appearance.
“Men can relax about having to build up wealth but may benefit from looking after their looks a little more,” he added.
The study has been published in the Psychological Science journal.