Women Attracted to "Bad Boys"

Table Of Contents

Explanation of Conservative Trope

Women attracted to "bad boys" is an overdone sexist trope propagating the false idea that many women prefer hyper masculine men over "nice guys," and it helps propagate negative conservative mindsets about how men should act.

Main Description

American culture is plagued by the myth that nice guys finish last or that women prefer "bad boys." Men watch countless movies where this trope is shown as working. Act nice and women won't be interested. Play the "bad boy" role and women suddenly show interest. Normal nice guys aren't as memorable and not as interesting to watch on screen. Love interests on screen are often flawed for this reason and one of the biggest cliches is women falling for the "bad boy

Conservative Trope Examples

  • My Best Friends Girl (2008)
    A woman at the bar initially calls Tank (Dane Cook) "an a*shole," but quickly changes her tune and decides to go home with him after he tells her to "walk away" if she really thinks that he is.
  • The Girl Next Door (2004)
    Kelly (Timothy Olyphant) is a prototypical bad boy talking with three senior high school women 20 years younger than him. They are flattered and flirty with him despite his creepiness trying to recruit them for adult films.
  • EuroTrip (2004)
    Fiona breaks up with her boyfriend Scott "Scotty" Thomas for "bad boy" singer Matt Damon covered with tattoos and piercings. Scott finds out later that night she's been having an affair when Matt Damon kisses Fiona on stage and wishes her a happy *anniversary* before his band performs a song about it at their graduation party called "Scotty Doesn't Know".
    Staff Aside
    This is a great and hilarious cameo by Matt Damon. It's really funny. But what's great fun on screen sometimes has consequences off it -- where some men may think they'll do better with the ladies by acting like a "bad boy."
  • The New Guy (2002)
    Dizzy is depicted as a nerd who gets bullied in high school until prison inmate Luther consults with him on changing his image. He changes his name to Gil and gets dropped off at a different high school by a prison van, beats up a school bully and acts like a stereotypical over the top bad boy. And it all works and he becomes popular and the girls in school are attracted to him including one in an impressed voice asking, "you were in jail?" and then inviting him to a party.
  • American Pie (1999)
    Paul Finch (Eddie Kaye Thomas) is portrayed as a nice guy who is respectful and intellectual which is inferred to be why he is single as girls are not interested in him. He pays a student, Jessica, to spread rumors that make him appear to be a "bad boy" such as that he beat up Stifler. And the result is that women express interest and start asking about him believing the fake rumors are true.
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
    Jeanie Bueller (Jennifer Grey) meets a bad boy loser in trouble for drugs played by Charlie Sheen while waiting in the police station for her mother to show up. At first, she is repulsed by him, but not long after they are making out.
  • Maverick (Tom Cruise) makes a bet with his best friend Goose (Anthony Edwards) about whether he can have "carnal knowledge" of a woman at a bar. He and Goose do their routine and Maverick sings "You've Lost That Love & Feeling" to Charlie (Kelly McGillis) as his fellow pilots join in. She declines his invitation to join him and goes to her date's table instead. Undeterred, Maverick follows her into the women's restroom to try again to get her to go out with him. He "crashes and burns" but eventually his over pursuing works and they start a relationship.
    Staff Aside
    Imagine how many times women had to put up with overly aggressive men who won't take no for an answer after having this iconic scene eventually pay off for Maverick in Top Gun. Or guys making bets about having sex -- oops I mean *carnal knowledge" -- with a woman you meet at a bar. Picture this same scene replacing 'carnal knowledge' with 'sex' and it becomes awkward and weird.