Are men, as many might assume, seen as more attractive if they’re good with babies? To answer this question, a male confederate in a recent study sat near college-aged women who were alone in public. His “sister” (a female confederate) and her baby then joined him. The male either interacted with the baby by talking, playing, smiling and giving kisses, or ignored the baby. After his sister left, the male struck up a conversation with the female participants, complimented them, and then asked for her digits.
When the male played with the baby, 40% of the women gave him their phone numbers compared to only 12% who gave him their phone numbers when he ignored the baby. Sometimes, little nuggets of cultural wisdom exist for a reason.
A version of this post originally appeared on Science of Relationships.