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Pathological personalities 'do better in love'

Pathological personalities 'do better in love'

Ever heard the saying that all women love a bad boy? Well it seems there could be some truth to it, as it's been found that those with pathological personality traits are more attractive to others.

Fernando Gutiérrez, of the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona, led the research, which involved 1,000 heterosexual men and women. Their pathological traits ranged from none to severe and they were each referred to Gutiérrez by someone in the medical profession. Each person was interviewed by the research team, where things like their children, partners and general lifestyles were discussed.

It was found that the people who exhibited pathological personalities, for example suffering neurosis, had more children and partners than the average, with the researchers suggesting they could be deemed desirable by members of the opposite sex. People whose personalities were deemed 'reckless' appeared to have more short-term partners, while men who were obsessive compulsive had an easier time maintaining a long-term romance - although this wasn't the case for women. Neurotic ladies fared well too, with those who exhibited symptoms the most having 34 per cent more long-term partners and more children.

Gutiérrez believes his research, published in Evolution & Human Behavior, shows some personality disorders are linked to how sexuality has evolved.

"These strategies are supposed to be ancestral,” he said, according to Scientific American. “Some of them, such as impulsivity-boldness, probably predate humanity itself."

Many will find it strange that people should seek out people with these characteristics, but Corinna E. Löckenhoff, a human developmental psychologist at Cornell University, pointed out that women tend to be more neurotic than men in general. This means some guys might view the trait as a feminine one, and so like it in abundance.

Löckenhoff also stated that while interesting, the findings need to be viewed within certain parameters - for example, people might have lied about the amount of partners they've had, or how successful they've been in love.

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