MenHealth.com writes:

Simply put, confidence gets the girl.

In Learn How You Can Get A Great Girlfriend on the blog DatingPaladin the author writes:

Getting a girlfriend is something that all straight guys want. [...] Confidence is the most important thing for getting girls.

The belief that man have to be confident to get in sexual relationships seems to be very popular on the internet.

Is there psychological research that proves that confident guys are less likely to be single than shy guys?

  • 1
    Wait, isn't that obvious already? May 26, 2015 at 16:59
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    @georgechalhoub : The point of having evidence-based beliefs isn't to believe things because they are obvious.
    – Christian
    May 26, 2015 at 17:09
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    You're also mixing between getting a girlfriend or having casual sex. Those are two different things. May 26, 2015 at 17:20
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    VTC - there's no definition of either "confidence" or "getting the girl" to base actual scientific study (or even a less scientic poll) around. Plus what the last commenter said. If you can find a more precisely worded claim, it can be examined.
    – user5341
    May 26, 2015 at 17:42
  • @DVK : It's quite ironic. You complain that the question is to vague and at the same time provide an answer that doesn't even fit into the vague definition. Confidence is a word that has meaning to psychologists. I did provide a definition of getting the girl: "Not being single", "Regularly having sex with a girl" That's also relatively well defined.
    – Christian
    May 26, 2015 at 19:33

2 Answers 2


This isn't exactly to my satisfaction on scientificalness of approach, but the best numbers I was able to find so far come out of this:

Match.com, which helped to pioneer the online dating industry, has revealed the results of its Singles in America: 2013 survey. More than 5,000 single men and women 18 and older participated in the survey. Here are some of the findings:

92% of single men feel comfortable if/when a woman asks them out
The "big three" criteria by which singles judge a date are grammar (83%), confidence (78%) and teeth (76%)

Elsewhere in that survey, it was mentioned that 83% of men wanted a confident woman, which means that the above generic 78% (assuming 50/50 survey response breakdown) would imply ~73% of women prefer confident men.

Obviously, this suffers from faults (self selection bias, demographics bias, bias of people pressured to respond to make a favourable opinion of themselves, as well as some assumptions outlined above). But it's the best I could find, and seems to indicate that confidence in a man is a pretty important factor as stated by Match.com responders.

Another possible fault of this survey (but it would be inherent in almost all sources using what people say vs. what they do) is that there may very well be a large discrepancy between revealed and stated preferences, that would be impossible to detect absent actual behavioral observation. (And even a behavioral observation would not necessarily be accurate unless done "in the wild", so to speak - without the pressure of being observed and judged by researchers).

There's no raw data available for the survey, but all the figures quoted above are found on their infographics/websites: http://blog.match.com/category/singles-in-america/ and http://www.singlesinamerica.com/

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    I think part of this could also be perceived confidence versus actual confidence. People don't always interpret your actions or feelings the same way you do.
    – Dispenser
    May 26, 2015 at 18:13
  • My wife told me she was attracted to me just yesterday because of my confidence when she first met me. Personally i feel like im supper self conscious and im a very shy, not outspoken person. but she thinks im confident so whatever that means lol, maybe all women dont actually know what the word means...
    – Himarm
    May 26, 2015 at 19:25
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    I asked for psychological research. This isn't. This isn't written by a psychologist who studies the subject. It doesn't study how many people get girlfriends or sex but how people rate each other.
    – Christian
    May 26, 2015 at 19:28
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    Do you know if the results are directly published anywhere? I've found various news articles talking about it (along with the quotes you have), but not anything direct from Match. Also, was it conducted on Match or OKCupid responders?
    – Is Begot
    May 26, 2015 at 20:07
  • @Geobits - there is an absolutely crappy Match website with infographics, but I was not able to find raw tables behind said infographics. Fixed.
    – user5341
    May 26, 2015 at 20:11

In Sexual Behavior, Sexual Attraction, and Sexual Identity in the United States: Data From the 2006–2008 National Survey of Family Growth from the CDC web site, Figure 1. Sexual behavior in lifetime among men and women aged 25–44 years: United States, 2006–2008 on page 9 claims that 97% of men have had vaginal intercourse with the opposite sex (and 90% oral sex with the opposite sex).

This data suggests that it's not just "confident" guys who "get the girl" but, rather, virtually all guys.

Similarly, table 2 on page 18 says that 1.2% of men aged 40-44 years have never had sexual contact with the opposite sex (nearly 80% of men in this age range have had exactly 1 female sexual partner in the last 12 months).

  • 4
    That's an interpretation, and quite possibly invalid one as far as your reached conclusion. (1) First, the question was about "likelyhood". A person who has had 1 sexual encounter, or 1 partner, would weigh in the same as Wilt Chamberlain in that survey, but 1000s of times less when you compare likelyhoods. (2) Also, it's quite possible that some of those people projected false confidence when they obtained their partner's interest, to obtain it. That survey doesn't take such a factor into account at all.
    – user5341
    May 26, 2015 at 19:37
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    First, the question was about "likelyhood". Given that 98% of men "get the girl", then IMO the likelihood of a man having got the girl is about 98%. If the question had been about "getting 1000 girls" then I wouldn't have posted this answer. Also I was more-or-less ignoring the question-as-asked, and instead trying to give evidence related to the claim-as-quoted.
    – ChrisW
    May 26, 2015 at 19:47
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    the oroiginal claim is from an article titled "picking up" women. Therefore, a person who gets 1000 girls does, indeed, count as 1000 more successful under the actual claim being examined
    – user5341
    May 26, 2015 at 19:56
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    -1 this is a straw man argument. You seem to be implying that because 97% of men over 25 have had sex, that means 97% of the time the guy gets the girl. Even if that implication were valid (it's clearly preposterous to anyone who's ever tried to "get the girl"), that still wouldn't answer the question of whether confidence increases those odds. May 26, 2015 at 23:27
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    The false dichotomy here is that the spectrum of success in the dating field is being simplified to a binary "are you still a (heterosexual, penis-in-vagina) virgin?"
    – Oddthinking
    May 27, 2015 at 3:00

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