The research showed that rich, alpha males who might once have caught a girl’s eye, pale into insignificance beside more sensitive sorts during a downturn.
And it claimed women think gentler men will be less likely to cheat on them and so are a better bet to ride out the economic storm, the Daily Mail reported.
The researchers at Southampton Solent University showed over 150 women a series of online dating profiles, before asking them which men they would like to date and which seemed marriage material.
The fictitious profiles comprised information about the men’s earning potential and how dominant they were. Half the women also looked at words related to financial hardship.
However, when asked to assess the men as husband material, money was all important.
As a rule of thumb, women typically favour macho men for a fling but prefer chaps who are better father material to actually settle down with.
In the context of this study, this means implies that they should have chosen flashy, high-earners for a date.
Instead, those primed to think of economic hardship said they’d rather be entertained by a more reliable sorts who shy away from taking command, don’t like to take risks and are usually happy to do what they are told.
Asked if these men might be described as boring, Researcher Dr Fay Julal said: “He wouldn’t necessarily be boring. He might be very interesting but just comply with what the woman says.”
“It is telling us that all men may be attractive at some time, given different economic settings.
“But the women rated the men who had high earning potential as having the best marriage appeal. We could understand it was once important to be financially supported but nowadays women are in the labour force,” Dr Julal added.