No one will be surprised by the fact that women find strong men more attractive.
From an evolutionary perspective, it's not hard to understand why women find muscles attractive: back in stone age, our ancestors had to hunt and fight for food, so more muscle mass = more strength and faster speed = bring home more food to feed the family, hence muscles are desirable and attractive.
However, why is it still the case in 2023? When we no longer need to hunt for food?
According to Psychology Today, here are women’s average ratings for each male body type in terms of sexual attractiveness (on a scale of 1 to 9):
Most people reading this will agree that a toned, athletic body is attractive, but less people will find the super muscular, bodybuilder type attractive. A study done by University of Texas at Austin showed that men and women have different perspectives in the sense that men think the bigger the muscles, the better; while women didn't quite have the same preference.
This could be because in most cases, agility (the ability to move and react quickly to avoid danger, or to protect someone from danger) is compromised when muscles are getting too big.
In modern world, more women are starting to appreciate and accept other body types such as dad bods, or slender physique. However, in general. people still prefer someone that's strong and in good shape.
Social psychologists suggested a theory behind this: having a toned and athletic body is a sign of privilege: an indicator that people that have the time and financial resources to go to the gym and eat well.
After all, muscles are expensive to build and to maintain: supplements like whey protein, creatine, shakes, good quality protein source like lean meat, poultry and fish etc. could be costly.