The Appeal of the DILF

In Search of the Appeal of the DILF - Flora Oswald, Shelby Hughes, Amanda Champion, & Cory L. Pedersen

Contemporary culture has afforded a new sexualized identity to fatherhood. Fathers are often labeled as nurturing, dominant, and domesticated; attributes demonstrably appealing to females. Colloquially, the sexy dad has come to be referred to as “DILF” (i.e., Dad I’d Like to Fuck), a concept popularized in the media since its debut online in 2011. DILFs are increasingly searched for by women on pornography websites, evidence of an increasing sexual interest in or awareness of the DILF phenomenon. Although sometimes conceptualized as a passing colloquialism, the DILF is reflective of shifts in popular culture pertaining to media, gendered parenting, notions of masculinity, and women’s sexual expression. This unique cultural intersection merits empirically driven investigation. This study explored whether women find DILFs more attractive than otherwise equally attractive men without children. Female participants were randomly assigned to one of two possible male profile conditions of the same attractive man (with children versus without children). Overall, results revealed that women rated the male target with children as possessing more positive attributes relative to the male target without children. Follow-up analyses revealed more positive emotional attributes ascribed to the DILF target condition, whereas more positive social attributes were ascribed to the non-DILF target condition. Results are discussed in reference to the changing landscape of masculinity and fatherhood.

Article published in the journal Psychology & Sexualitydoi: 10.1080/19419899.2020.1769164