In the first experiment, 148 women were asked how attractive they found a man when paired with a sexual partner, friend, family member or ex-girlfriend.
In the second experiment, 97 women were shown photos of a man alone or with a romantic partner.
In other words, a man hanging around with an attractive female can show another woman that he is worthy of her romantic interest.
Researchers asked two groups of women their opinion on how attractive they found a man.
However, his level of attractiveness wasn’t affected when they saw photos of him paired with a woman who was described as their family members or exes.
“Women tend to find men more desirable when they appear to be romantically linked with an attractive woman, a phenomenon often referred to as female mate choice copying,” the report states.
The participants rated the man’s desirability as a romantic partner, on traits including intelligence, trustworthiness, sense of humour, wealth, adventurousness, generosity and how attentive they thought he was.
The man was rated higher when he was paired up with an attractive woman than when he was on his own.