London - Men who hold doors open for women can take heart – old-fashioned chivalry is still seen as an attractive trait.
Although acts of "benevolent sexism" are said to trap women in "traditional gender roles", researchers have found that even feminists find men more attractive when they perform them.
Researchers asked more than 100 women to imagine being in a relationship with two men called Robert and John, of whom one displayed "benevolent sexism". This man would do things such as offering his coat, opening doors, carrying heavy boxes and helping her to use a computer.
He was seen as warmer, more interested in relationships and more willing to commit, although some women found it patronising.
The University of Kent study was presented at the British Psychological Society’s annual conference. Co-author Dr Tom Kupfer said: "Benevolent sexism is very close to chivalry... one of the reasons women like this is that it signals to them a man is willing to invest."
Two other experiments involving more than 400 women also found that "benevolently sexist" men were seen as more attractive, even by the strongest feminists.
The researchers, writing in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, said: "Women find BS men attractive, not because they are ignorant of the harmful effects, but despite being aware of them."Daily Mail