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Two hot Hemsworths: an analysis of attraction

| Friday, November 30, 2018

I’d like to preface this article by saying I’m not even a fan of the Hemsworth brothers. Collectively, I’ve seen three movies they were in and neither brother was the main star in any of them. This study isn’t about the Hemsworths. Or about who’s hotter. It’s about science.

On Nov. 5 at 12:19 a.m., freshman psychology major Katherine Machado called me on my cell phone. The call lasted 33 seconds. “Come to my room. It’s for science.”

She didn’t say anything else and she didn’t need to. I went immediately. When I got to Machado’s room, I was surprised by the scientific experiment in progress. Rather than ask me to read words testing the Stroop effect or inquire about my synesthesia, Machado pulled up a Google image of the Hemsworth brothers side-by-side. “Who do you think is hotter?”

After I answered (and after I extensively compared the Hemsworths for 10 minutes decisiveness is not my strong suit), Machado explained the tenets of her study to me.

The night before, her friend group of six had become ensnared in a very serious argument: Which Hemsworth is hotter? All three women felt that Liam Hemsworth was the more attractive brother, but the men were passionate about Chris’s allure.

As tensions flared and the group consensus remained divided by gender, Machado realized the debate was ripe with potential for scientific exploration. Why squabble with her buddies when she could carry out a campus-wide analysis into the inner psyche of how people discern attractiveness?

Machado’s prediction was that most women would find Liam Hemsworth more attractive, while most men would be impressed by Chris. Her initial theory was that women were more likely to see movies Liam acted in (e.g., “The Last Song”), while men were more likely to see movies Chris starred in (e.g., “Thor”). People like what they know and increased exposure leads to familiarity, making each Hemsworth more attractive to their respective audience.

Intrigued by Machado’s experiment, I set out with her to uncover the truth. Together, over the past three weeks, we have surveyed more than 250 Notre Dame students.

Here are our major, completely unbiased, totally scientific takeaways:


Some people hate science.

You know who you are. We asked you about your Australian inclination and you replied with “Lol who cares.” We care, fool. And the scientific community. Being a straight male or not being a fan does not excuse you, either. Please swallow your toxic masculinity and get on Google Images. The collective knowledge of our community depends on it.


More women like Liam.

While only 52.2 percent of women prefer Liam to Chris Hemsworth, a mere 4.4 percent more than the 47.8 percent of female Chris connoisseurs, they were still nearly twice as likely to find Liam more attractive than men were.

Machado offers a possible explanation for this phenomenon, explaining the mistake in her original hypothesis. Though it is true that Liam’s roles in “rom-coms” appeals to a very female demographic, Chris’s recent roles in “The Avengers” franchise have been received by a much wider audience. Men are only familiar with Chris, leading them to be more likely to select him as the hotter Hemsworth, but women have equal exposure. Thus, the split of female Liam and Chris fans is fairly evenly split. Machado’s initial prediction underestimated the power of the Avengers. Never underestimate the power of the Avengers.


No one loves Liam’s beard.

Passionate Chris supporters often cite Liam’s face squirrel as a reason to disregard him. Even one Liam ally admitted, “Yeah, with the beard, he looks like a troll. A hot troll that would make me say ‘damn.’ But maybe not such a good look on a man.”


Men emphatically prefer Chris Hemsworth.

Women usually spent a while debating the merits of each Australian looker, comparing Google images and even breaking out in a visual sweat from their intense concentration. Men, on average, chose in a heartbeat and they chose strongly. “Chris and it’s not even close.” “Chris by far.” “Oh I absolutely feel strongly about Chris.”

Several male participants even grew angry by the nature of the study. “I don’t know why you’re asking me,” a particularly passionate freshman boy fumed. “There’s no question about it. Chris Hemsworth is way hotter. He’s a god.” Others noted they were “insulted by the question.”

Machado and I believe this immediate, emphatic insistence could be representative of a larger observation about attraction. Women seemed to need “all the facts,” as one Pasquerilla East resident said, while men relied on instinct. Women wavered between the two hot Hemsworths, while men were willing to die defending Chris.


Chris Hemsworth is surprisingly hot.

Men that were unfamiliar with the Hemsworth brothers seemed ambivalent before seeing pictures. Their confidence in Chris occurred once they saw him. One Knott resident noted, “I didn’t know who they were, but wow, Chris is an extremely good-looking guy.”

Women, too, seemed shocked by the hotness of the older Hemsworth. Many female participants initially chose Liam, but pulled up Google Images, “just to check.” This is where Chris found heavy female support. Women were surprised by just how good looking Chris was, and many commented that Liam was not as handsome as they remembered.

Machado and I explain this phenomenon by going back to the disparity between the two brothers’ movie roles. Liam often plays heartthrobs, while Chris joins casts as a man of brute strength. Liam has a more amorous association with him; Thor doesn’t offer the same romantic sensibility. Thus, women expect Liam to be physically attractive. They don’t have the same expectations for the God of Thunder. Sophomore Ryan Navin agrees, offering “Liam plays the sensitive roles. Girls like that.”


Men and women are attracted to different things.

Men seem especially impressed by sculpted features, describing “a jawline that could cut diamonds” (freshman Joseph Day), “biceps that are absolutely massive” (freshman Collin Kemper) and “those icy blue eyes, that chiseled face” (Samuel Konrad).

Women, on the other hand, were less impressed with muscle mass. Freshman Lizzy Wendel found Chris more attractive, but not because of his toned body. “It’s not related to his looks, but I like that Chris is good with kids. That’s hot.” Another female participant explained, “Chris is buff. But Liam has a nice face. The face is important.” Sophomore Julia Dillhoff looks for long-term commitment, sharing, “I fell in love with Liam first and Chris came later. I have to love Liam.”

Konrad sums it up best. “Liam’s a lady’s man. Chris is a man’s man.”


It sucks to be Luke Hemsworth.

Ah yes, the oft-forgotten eldest brother. The Kevin — no, the Frankie Jonas of the Hemsworth clan: Luke. To quote a female participant who preferred to remain unnamed, “The real tragedy is there’s a third brother out there. And he’s not even ugly. His brothers are just Greek gods.” I’m rooting for you, Luke. I’m rooting for you.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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