The Appeal of the DILF

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

Contemporary culture has afforded a new sexualized identity to fatherhood. Fathers are often labelled as nurturing, dominant, and domesticated (Bereczkei, et al., 1997; Sadalla et al., 1987; Smith, 2017) – attributes which are demonstrably appealing to females. Colloquially, the sexy dad has come to be referred to as DILF (“Dad I’d Like to Fuck”), a concept popularized in the media since its debut online in 2011 (, 2011). Though the evolutionary psychology perspective provides that the DILF fantasy is appealing because women should be attracted to older men, given their resources and potential for provision of offspring (Buss, 1989; Buss & Barnes, 1986), this perspective does little to explain why women might be attracted to and seek out fathers, particularly for short-term sexual relationships (as is implied in the DILF label). Outside of the scientific realm, evidence for the DILF trend is available. DILF and other related terms such as “daddy” are increasingly searched for by women on pornography websites, evidencing increasing sexual interest in or awareness of the DILF trend. For instance, pornography sites like Pornhub confirmed the popularity of daddy porn in their Year in Review Report for 2017. Despite the growing popularity of the DILF trend, there is a dearth of scientific research on the topic. The purpose of the current investigation was therefore to explore specific reasons why women are attracted to DILFs, and whether DILFs are more appealing to women than otherwise equally attractive men without children.


Females participants who have sex with men were recruited to the online survey and randomly assigned to one of two possible vignette/photographic conditions of the same attractive older man (with children versus without children). Participants in each condition rated the vignette character on a variety of traits, provided information about their paternal relationship, and completed a measure of erotophilia.  Results suggest that the DILF phenomenon does appear to have empirical validity – DILFs were rated as having more positive attributes  The status of the DILF as a father, rather than his age, appears to be a key component of this attraction.  DILFs were rated as more emotionally skilled (but less socially skilled) than non-DILFs.

Oral presentation delivered at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Montreal QC, 2018.