Russell Wilson is an NFL quarterback and a devoted husband but his sexiest title, according to wife Ciara, is dad.
“…What’s always been beautiful about Russ is just to see him from day one excitedly jumping in and changing diapers," the 35-year-old singer gushed in a GQ interview. “He’s obviously really beautiful to me in every way, but the father in him is by far one of the things that makes him the most sexy to me. Hot. To me it’s hot."
The couple, who have been married since 2016, share son Win, 6 months, and daughter Sienna, 3, and are raising Future, 6, Ciara's son with rapper Future. “I feel like, if I could look back in a crystal ball when I was a little girl,” Ciara told GQ, “and I looked at the idea of my family and what it would be for me, it’s exactly this.”
Sexual attraction can often be explained by a checklist of traits such as physical (tall, dark or handsome) or emotional (funny or smart), though the appeal of male caretakers is more than anecdotal. A 2005 study published two years earlier in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior showed that women rated men (presented in photos) more attractive when depicted playing with babies versus ignoring them.
For women who want children or a partner, why are dads so appealing? "According to parental investment theory, women are physically more obligated to pour resources into having children between pregnancy and breastfeeding," Gary L. Brase, a professor of psychological sciences at Kansas State University and co-author of the paper, tells Yahoo Life. "So men that choose to help provide may be seen as more attractive [in the context of] human evolution."
And established beliefs about gender roles persist — even during the pandemic, women are more than three times as likely than fathers to do housework and childrearing, per the report 2020 Women in the Workplace by McKinsey & Company and Lean In. "If, stereotypically, we don't expect men to invest in children, when they do, it signals care and kindness, which are desirable traits," Veronica Lamarche, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Essex, tells Yahoo Life. "There's a huge difference between conceiving and caretaking. And a willingness to sacrifice [as one does in parenthood] is associated with positive outcomes for relationships."
Clinical psychologist Donna Rockwell adds, "Historically, if women expressed resentment about caretaking, they risked being seen as lazy. Now, the equitable distribution of childcare is becoming more normalized. So when we see a man diapering or being tender with a baby, there's almost like a renewed sense of humanity that relationships can evolve in this direction."
And sometimes dad appeal isn't about kids at all. "That attraction can be aspirational, a reminder of a lifestyle goal," notes Lamarche. "If a man is this involved with his children, how else does he support his partner?"
Read more from Yahoo Life:
Want lifestyle and wellness news delivered to your inbox? Sign up here for Yahoo Life’s newsletter.