The Sexiest Sport

Quirkology teamed up with fitness expert Sam Murphy to explore the relationship between sport and attraction. Are men more impressed by women who play football or climb mountains? Do women go for body builders or yoga fanatics?

The work involved over 6000 people indicating which sporting activities would make a member of the opposite sex more attractive. Results revealed that 57% of women found climbing attractive, making it the sexiest sport from a female perspective. This was closely followed by extreme sports (56%), football (52%), and hiking (51%). Bottom of their list came aerobics and golf, with just 9% and 13% of the vote respectively.

In contrast, men were most attracted to women into aerobics (70%), followed by yoga (65%), and going to the gym (64%). Bottom of their list came bodybuilding (5%), rugby (6%), and golf (18%).

Women’s choices appear to reflect the type of psychological qualities that they find attractive – such as bravery and a willingness to take on challenges - whilst men are more shallow, looking for a woman who is physically fit but not challenging their ego by being overly strong.

The findings also reveal that both men and women have little insight into what sports the opposite sex find attractive. 56% of men believe that women are attracted to male bodybuilders, whereas only 19% actually are. Likewise, 73% of women think that men find female runners attractive, whereas in reality 55% do.

'Our findings suggest that women who've been pounding the pavements in search of love would do better taking up aerobics, while men seeking women need to ditch the weights and get on the climbing wall,' said Murphy. 'That said, the best way to find happiness - not to mention a long-lasting fitness regime - is to do what you love. Unless, that is, it's golf!'

Full results
Everyone was asked to indicate whether they would find a member of the opposite sex more attractive if they engaged in one of 15 sporting/physical activities (response options ‘yes’, ‘uncertain’, and ‘no’). The percentage of men giving the ‘yes’ option to each option is as follows:

Men

Woman

Bodybuilding

5

Aerobics

9

Rugby

6

Golf

13

Golf

18

Bodybuilding

19

Rowing

20

Yoga/Pilates

20

Football (soccer)

30

Cycling

37

Extreme sports

32

Rowing

43

Martial arts

35

Martial arts

44

Cycling

39

Rugby

44

Climbing

41

Running

44

Hiking

41

Skiing

46

Skiing

53

Going to the gym

50

Running

55

Hiking

51

Going to the gym

64

Football (soccer)

52

Yoga/Pilates

65

Extreme sports

56

Aerobics

70

Climbing

57

 

 

 

 

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