Scientific American takes a gendered view of this psychological study, using the fact that “women conforming to social standards aren’t as attractive” – but the real moral seems to me to be that the freaks have more appeal:
…[A] 2006 study found that when in a mating mind-set, men become less conformist and women become more so. A paper in the June issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, however, reports that we have it all wrong.
In the new work, which studied subjects who identified as either heterosexual or bisexual, both women and men preferred nonconformist partners—those whose clothes, opinions or life decisions broke the norm—when selecting from online dating profiles, describing ideal partners or picturing dates with people they had just met. Men showed just as much interest as women in oddballs (and in one experiment, in fact more interest), even though subjects predicted women would like misfits more. Further, independent-minded people—in the U.S., the U.K. and India—reported more success in both short- and long-term dating. Other research has shown breaking rules to be a good indicator of status and power, which may explain part of its appeal for both sexes….