03/06/2012 04:56 pm ET Updated Mar 06, 2012

Rihanna's Attraction To Chris Brown May Be Genetic, Researchers Say

Rihanna isn't just a self-proclaimed "good girl gone bad," and Chris Brown may not be the only reason for her rude girl ways, researchers say. According to psychology professor Peter Jonason, women like Rihanna may be genetically predisposed to like bad boys like Chris Brown.

Jonason's theory, called the "Dark Triad," defines the bad boy personality as a combination of narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopath and lies at the heart of writer Kevin D. Williamson's assertion in the National Review last week that "Yes, Chicks Dig Jerks."

Narcissists are self obsessed and manipulative, psychopaths are impulsive, thrill-seeking and callous, and people with a Machiavellian nature are deceitful and exploitative, according to the "Dark Triad" theory.

Willamson uses Jonason's research to argue that as unattractive as the "Dark Triad" combination might appear, women often equate it with masculinity and a man's ability to father healthy children. "We have some evidence these traits may represent a successful evolutionary strategy," Jonason told New Scientist magazine back in 2008.

According to the Daily Mail, Jonason tested his theory on 200 college students, subjecting them to personality tests designed to rank each of their dark triad traits. Study participants were also asked about their attitudes to sexual relationships and about their sex lives, including how many partners they had and whether they sought out flings.

The results showed that men who scored higher on the trio of traits tended to have more partners and more interest in short-term relationships.

Another study, conducted by David P. Schmitt at Bradley University, found a similar connection between female attraction and dark triad traits in the 37,000 people he surveyed.

Bradley says it's a universal phenomenon, one that certainly seems viable in Rihanna and Chris Brown's world.

Or perhaps loneliness is to blame. According to PEOPLE, the singer told Britain's "The Jonathan Ross Show" that "Single life is so overrated." "It sucks. I have such incredible experiences in my life," she said. "You don't want to live your life and then meet someone. You want to share your life with someone. That's what I'm missing right now."

The couple's on and off relationship recently returned to center stage when Brown reportedly attended Rihanna's 24th birthday bash.

Check out a history of the couple's tumultuous relationship here.



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