We asked an expert: Why are women so attracted to terrible frat boys?
Trust me, it’s not the dad bod
It was 2014, the evening before my first day of college classes. Instead of going to bed early (like I promised my mom I would) and being well rested for my freshmen-filled 8am class, I hopped on a drunk bus with my roommate and headed to what would be the first of many frat parties.
As we approached our destination I could see a slew of girls stumbling home, already throwing in the towel. Entering into the monstrosity of a house, we made our way to the backyard where I could smell stale beer, vomit, and a hint of lost dignity. Glancing to my right I saw a girl doing a keg stand, while on my left, an intoxicated pledge was urinating in the grass. Only five minutes in and I was about to cut my losses, when he caught my eye.
Smiling coolly, he was dressed in light blue khakis and a white Ralph Lauren polo. I turned his direction and sauntered over towards this rarity of a human. The slight stubble on his chin and cool demeanor would turn any girl’s head. As I was about to approach this magnificent creature, he turned towards my direction, and then proceeded to projectile vomit all over the ground.
This was my first experience of a frat boy in his natural habitat.
Of course this horrific experience did not turn me away from attending fraternity parties, going on dates with them or becoming friends with these guys that belong to a fraternity. However, it did make me wonder what is so appealing about these frat boys? Why do they easily charm so many girls?
Instead of reveling in the unknown darkness that is the allure of fraternity men. I asked school therapist Michael Dunaway for some answers to the recurring question: why are college girls attracted to terrible frat guys? Michael told me: “Women have a tendency to act on purely animal instinct, and in many cases are going to be drawn to an alpha male” – AKA-terrible frat boy.
Beyond the appeal of attraction, there’s actually a scientific reason as to why girls are so fascinated with this type of male species. Sex is the main appeal: the more striking and assertive male attracts a young college girl’s attention.
“Due to many years of genetics it is not uncommon to hear that women are most attracted to the stronger, more confident, and athletic guy,” Dunaway claims. “Ultimately the males who exhibit these characteristics are more likely to produce stronger sperm, therefore they are able to provide stronger offspring.”
Stronger guy equals strong kids.
Women who are looking for “passion, unpredictability, and excitement sexually” will most commonly be attracted to the male who exhibits “bad boy-like” behaviors. According to Dunaway: “College age women frequently exhibit nurturing behaviors but are often attracted to the idea of a challenge. Women tend to view these particular males as ‘broken’, but find them extremely attractive because these young girls believe that they can then take on this challenge and ‘fix them’.”
It’s the whole “he will change for me” excuse your brokenhearted friend uses to justify her shitty boyfriend who repeatedly cheats on her.‘I thought he’d changed’
This is not to say ALL guys are bad, but females, specifically in college, often view the quieter, soft-spoken guy to be reliable. These are the guys that are considered “good for friendship, conversation, and emotional support,” says Dunaway. You know them, they’re the ones stuck in that abysmal place we call the friend zone.
The idea of Frat Boys brings forward “a thrill.” As young and somewhat naïve college women, we tend to seek adventure and the opportunity to “break the rules,” but only slightly. Dunaway acknowledges that most often as college girls are “away from home, their parents, and the rules” for the first time. He explains this creates a sense of freedom producing adrenaline which fuels the idea even more that, “I want that [terrible Frat Boy]” because he will give me that feeling.
College is a time to have fun and be free, but remember you’re most likely not going to meet your husband at a frat party and ultimately the majority of these frat stars will most likely have a beer belly and receding hairline.
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