Why Men Are Drawn To Nonconformist Women

Why Men Are Drawn To Nonconformist WomenIt appears that many people assume men are attracted to obedient, conventional women who fall in line and play by the rules, but that assumption is quite untrue.

Matthew Hornsey, a University of Queensland psychologist, has conducted the research to prove it.

“Nonconformity is more attractive than conformity for women and men. People think that men prefer conformist women, but this impression is discrepant from reality.”

Published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Hornsey  and a team of researchers document an experiment of five separate studies on a group of undergraduate students to test how they respond to conformist and nonconformist members of the opposite sex.

One study tested 115 students who were asked to rate profiles of 20 people to measure their level of attraction to the opposite sex as well as how they presume the opposite sex would find them.

The profiles given to subjects to evaluate were fitted to imply either statements of conformity, “She is quite happy to go along with what others are doing,” or statements of nonconformity, “She often does her own thing rather than fit in with the group.”

The results of studies 1 and 2 show evidence that “both men and women preferred nonconformist romantic partners, but women overestimated the extent to which men prefer conformist partners.”

Hornsey and his colleagues believe this mindset may still be a hangover from when “women were expected to be submissive, modest, subdued, agreeable.”

What do we mean by nonconformity?

The failure or refusal to conform.

It is individualist behavior or thinking that deviates from an established rule or standard.

In other words, nonconformity implies independent thinking – a refusal to submit to a prevailing expectation.

Nonconformists are lone wolves. Originals. Rebels.

Considering this information, the question then becomes – why exactly are men more attracted to nonconformist women?

Do they love the maverick type of woman just for the fact that they refuse to go along to get alone, or is there more to the the idea?

Further research (published in Social Psychological and Personality Science) indicates that breaking rules gives the appearance of status and power, which may explain part of why nonconformity is appealing to so many people.

It makes sense, seeing as how humans are naturally drawn to personalities of unique ability and strength. It is these characteristics that make someone stand out.

To put it simply, nonconformist women are are viewed as striking, influential, a bit risky, and that makes them exciting.

What’s also interesting, in an additional study “people who displayed nonconformist personality traits also reported higher levels of romantic achievement and satisfaction.”

Most men don’t passionately desire the basic cookie-cutter type of woman. They want someone real who dares to be unapologetically different.

The underlying quality of someone who isn’t afraid to be different? Confidence. And we all know that confidence is the key ingredient to irresistible sex appeal.

To explore this topic further, I decided to raise the question on social media and a couple of other social platforms.

One follower on Twitter, Tia (@Typosaurus_rex) claims: “We all have this image of what the “perfect: person would be like for us, I think the truth is we usually end up with someone who stands out to us because of who they are as a person. The whole package. Often nonconformists express who they are more readily. Less guesswork.”

Another male forum user who wishes to be anonymous says that he like non-conformist girls because “they are willing to think for themselves and not let their committee of friends decide how they feel about everything (including how they should think about their men.”)


Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to be a little bit weird, have a mind of your own, break a few rules, and follow your own path.

It’s part of what makes you more distinctive, alluring, and happier.

Never let anyone tell you that you need to be a conforming, compliant, good girl in order to be attractive.

Being my sassy, unconventional, authentic self has always worked out pretty well for me.


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Until next time,

— Ash Pariseau

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Comments 14

  • Everything here rings true as far as my experience goes. The more offbeat I’ve allowed myself to be (by nature, not by design), the better men react to me.

    I’m a deep thinker and I get into all these heavy topics, but have suppressed a lot of my thoughts and lessons in life because it seemed to be unusual from the way other women my age spend their time. I’ve learned to let it go.

    It was counter-intuitive at first because you think these guys are going to think you’re a weirdo or a loser, but you’d be surprised by what they respond favorably to.

  • Men may be attracted to non-conformist women but they frequently don’t end up with them. Don’t be surprised if reality bites.

    The girl I dated in college was one of the most authentic people I’ve ever met. We could talk for hours on subjects from metaphysics to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks. She had a particular attraction to Southwestern Native American mysticism, right down to the peyote buttons.. That young woman crammed more living into her 21 years than anyone I’ve known.

    She was heavily into recreational drugs and alcohol. As a FWB, she was outstanding. As a LTR, she was unsuitable for me. I was in NROTC at the time. There were things I could overlook as a college student I couldn’t overlook as a Naval Officer.

    After I graduated, I found a roach in the front seat of my car. The Navy performs random vehicle inspections with drug sniffing dogs on cars coming on base. If a dog had found the roach, they’d likely have tossed me out of the Navy and, possibly, court-martialled me. I was very attracted to her but I wasn’t willing to risk my career or go to jail for her. As a Naval Officer, there were relatively prescribed expectations of behavior. Any woman I would be with didn’t have to endorse those expectations but she would have to be able to fake it enough to function within them.

    The thing is I wouldn’t have wanted her to change. Her appeal was in who she was, We just weren’t right for each other.

    • “She was heavily into recreational drugs and alcohol. As a FWB, she was outstanding. As a LTR, she was unsuitable for me. I was in NROTC at the time. There were things I could overlook as a college student I couldn’t overlook as a Naval Officer.”

      ^This is how I think Liz caught Mike and survived being an army wife. She wasn’t into drugs or anything that antisocial, but she’s not the obedient, submissive type as she’s pointed out before. She still submits though, ultimately, to Mike’s authority and decisions. AND she keeps her “rebelliousness” under wraps… like big-time to keep his career safe.

      There’s a balance. I’ve rarely met a submissive woman who is 100% nice and sweetness all the way… even for myself, my husband loves that other side of me that keeps it super passionate, fun, and flirty. Dangerous or reckless people may be more attractive, but they tend to make really really crappy spouses. On both male and female ends.

      And something really important to think about… being “traditional,” or “Christian,” or even “submissive,” those are all considered a rebellion to society now. We (meaning women like myself) are the rare unicorns who actually saved sex for marriage, who can actually keep a longterm partner and raise children (and lots of them!) and completely buck society and it’s horrible influence so that we reclaim it in the end through sheer numbers. And feminists tend to hate that 😀 but in the end we’ll have way more children and grandchildren than their deathcult ever will.

      • In some professional circles, SOs can play a big part.

        The woman I dated for most of the time I was in the Navy was a professional asset to me. She would help me host parties, attended social events, etc. My superior officers’ wives positively loved her and accepted her as one of the bunch. She was reluctant at first but I think she came to enjoy it. At one party, she came up to me and said, “These are very nice people.”

        After one party, my XO called me into his office and said, “My wife really likes your girlfriend (they were both nurses). I’ve been directed to do whatever I can to keep you two happy.”

  • On the “nonconformist,” thing, too, here’s just one example that has a pretty dramatic personal effect….

    We go to a water park all the time in the summer, and have for years. A few years ago, I started seeing that almost every single person was covered in tattoos who was adult-age. Not just one or two, but the majority of people seemed to have lots of visible tattoos.

    So being a lighter skinned, tall, slender blonde in a bathing suit with zero visible tattoos… it’s almost like a statement in itself just existing like that. Tattoos USED to be a sign of rebellion… now since everyone is doing it, not so much.

    I mean… when I’m surrounded by 100’s of people at this waterpark and LOTS and lots of tattoos, who is the “nonconformist” now?

  • Feminine, sweet, beautiful, chaste, radiant, “obedient” (as they are called with contempt in this article) women are the true rebels and nonconformists nowadays.

    The “badass women”, aka insufferable, insecure, obnoxious, grrrl power cyborgs are a dime a dozen, the basic bitches of today.

  • This is true for me. I like a woman who listens and answers to her own desires rather than what anyone wants her to do. Both men and women are always told how we should be. It’s best when we learn to be how we want to be.

  • What about men who crave supporting non-conformist women in every way they can? Men who actually do like their place in service of a woman that makes her own path? Men who know that females are in control of them sexually, and who strive to please her so he can truly feel pleased as well ? I think these men are non-conformist in today’s world, and they seek out the female who is also.

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