Do women seek kind or dangerous men?
Comic by Bill Lemmond: "Why Do Jerks Get Chosen First?"

Reader Bill Lemmond submitted this comic, and offers this comment from the straight male perspective:

This cartoon came out of decades of being passed over, by girls and women, because subconsciously they can’t help looking for the three things that lead to surviving children and grandchildren:
– good access to resources;
– intelligence (with which to regain access to resources in changing times);
– kindness (so the guy isn’t actually a danger to the family).
And I’ve picked up enough from the media that some women will even fall in love with guys in prison, even on death row, apparently before they’ll consider a harmless nerd, like me. It’s just frustrating. And I don’t know what to do. 

There’s a contradiction of sorts here.  Bill notes that straight women are looking for kindness in men, to avoid danger.  Yet, Bill entitles his comic “Jerks get chosen first” and is frustrated that dangerous criminals attract mates.

Sheila Isenberg researched why women are drawn to men in prison. She found that these women had been abused (by their parents or previous partners), and they enjoyed romances with men who were locked up and thus unable to hurt them.  This and other motivations are explored in another article about hybristophilia, the psychological condition of attraction to outrageous criminals.

Conclusion:  Not all women seek the same things in a partner.  But most women are concerned about safety from violence.


Alana is the organizer of, the founder of the Love Not Anger project, and the creator of the original "involuntary celibacy" support website in 1997. This post expresses her own views; she is not a mental-health professional or dating expert.
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