Created By: Alrune on June 8, 2011 Last Edited By: atheywa on September 7, 2016

All Men Want Virtuous Women

Men prefer morally virtuous women.

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Trope
This is the Spear Counterpart to Single Woman Seeks Good Man and the more or less adult version of All Guys Want Cheerleaders and All Guys Want Sorority Women.

When it comes to purely sexual attraction, guys prefer hot and sexy women with a certain raunchiness to them. Just like girls turned-on by bad boys.

But when it comes to potential wife material, most men agree on preferring a woman who is just as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside, the "wife"-type in The Three Faces of Eve and Betty of Betty and Veronica. Which is why men looking for a serious relationships believe in My Girl Is Not a Slut and favour girls who would say "I Will Wait for You".

Usually, the guy with this mindset, not unlike his female counterpart, has already had one or several unsatisfying relationships which were more based on the physical level, and is now a mature man (more often than not in his 30's) who wants to settle down and raise a family. But you can't raise a family with a vapid skank with no brains, unless said vapid skank is meant to die at one point. So it only comes naturally that such men prefer women who they can actually rely on to raise their kids and be a good mother.

Alternatively, if the family isn't part of the equation, maybe the guy is tired of dating villainesses and would now rather have a relationship with a girl whose morality he may not have to worry about. Or he actually like his villainess girlfriend, but would rather have her clean her act before going anywhere serious.

More rarely a First Love but it can happen, double points if the girl is a virgin.

Important note: Guys who court women only for their beauty don't apply here. They only apply if they choose the girl also because her personality attracts them and if they actually want to commit in a way or another. If they go after her because she's beautiful but nothing else or just for a nooky session, it's not this trope.

Sister Trope to My Girl Is Not a Slut.

Contrast Dating Catwoman. Compare All Girls Want Bad Boys and Single Woman Seeks Good Man.

Examples:

Anime & Manga

  • Yusuke is in love with Keiko in YuYu Hakusho for her virtues. Kuwabara is also attracted to Yukina for the same reasons.
  • Even though a pervert, Onizuka-sensei clearly prefers good girls as shown with his relationship with Azusa.
  • Speed Grapher: Tatsumi is after Kagura for how pure and angelic she looks and behaves.
  • In Maison Ikkoku, Godai is attracted to Kyoko for her beauty but also for her Yamato Nadeshiko qualities.
  • In Berserk, Guts is after Casca not only because of how much of a Hot Amazon she is, but also for her loyalty and her self-reliance.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Kamina and Kittan sure are attracted to Yoko because she's hot but also because she has enough spunk and courage to stand toe-to-toe against much tougher enemies. Not to mention her usually considerate self.
  • In X1999, it is subverted with Sorata and Arashi because Sorata mostly insists on how beautiful Arashi is, despite her moral righteousness. But it's played straight otherwise between Kusanagi and Yuzuriha.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, although not a very nice person, Vegeta settled down with the intelligent, considerate and reliable Bulma.
  • In Fistof The North Star, Ken, Shin and Raoh are after Yuria for her kindness and gentleness. Same can be said about Rei and Mamiya, even though he did find her beautiful before anything else.

Comics

  • All over the place in Marvel comics, especially among the X-Men:
    • Scott Summers chose Jean Grey for her heroic capacities.
    • Gambit has a thing for Rogue because of her frisk personality but also because of her kindness.
    • Elixir and Wither fought over Wallflower because of how gentle and kind she is.
    • Black Panther and Storm got married because the Black Panther appreciated the stern, reasonable, queen-like demeanour of Storm.
  • In Watchmen, both Dr Manhattan and The Owl courted the Silk Spectre for her beauty but also for her motherly and straightforward persona.

Films

Books

  • Hearts in Atlantis revolves around this, among other things.
  • Kiku in Coin Locker Babies is all about this trope in his relationship with Niva.

Others

  • In Classic Mythology, the myth of Eros and Psyche is also about this.
    • Odysseus is also about this, which is why he married Penelope.

Community Feedback Replies: 47
  • June 8, 2011
    StarryEyed
    • One of the major themes of Proverbs is that choosing a wife should be about this.
      "A virtuous wife who can find? Her price is far beyond rubies."
  • June 8, 2011
    emeriin
    But you can't raise a family with a vapid skank with no brains, unless said vapid skank is meant to die at one point.

    Can we take this out? The trope is good, but that's kinda abrasive.
  • June 8, 2011
    jatay3
    How about Single Man Seeks Good Woman? For some reason, due to language confusion, some might translate the title to be "All men want chaste women" which is another trope. Virtuous means a lot of things besides chastity. Also some might take this as having Unfortunate Implications without further explanation. It might be implied to mean "all men want a woman who will Stay In The Kitchen when, of course, a female love interest can be a Lady Of War or an Iron Lady and still be brave, loyal, and hardworking and possess other virtuous qualities. Also, of course, not all men want virtuous women. Some men, like some women , are frightfully foolish.

    Perhaps I spent to much time expounding. The point is that Single Man Seeks Good Woman is really a better title.
  • June 8, 2011
    Antigone3
    "Single Man Seeks Good Woman" may be a little clearer, but there are still people around who claim a guy should have lots of sexual experience before marriage, but his wife MUST be a virgin. I'd suggest a "No Real Life Examples" flag on this one, personally.
  • June 8, 2011
    LordLaharlsVassal
    I agree with jatay3, the name now get too much Unfortunate Implications, and while it should probably be mentioned in the description it should not be in the name.
  • June 8, 2011
    peccantis
    Can we sneak Proper Lady in somehow?
  • June 8, 2011
    Alrune
    We sure can. But, as for the title, I would rather say All Men Want Good Women. Single Man Seeks Good Woman sounds a little too redundant to me but that's my own taste.
  • June 8, 2011
    Mimimurlough
    Needs a better description. More precisely, one that notes the good woman/ bad woman dichotomy. Single Woman Seeks Good Man is about dating men who don't treat you like crap, whereas these women get the Bad- stamp just for sleeping around.
  • June 8, 2011
    clokverkorange
    Nearly every female in every one of Edgar Rice Burrough's novels, but notably Dejah Thoris, despite running around jaybird-naked, has a heightened sense of nobility, chastity, and chivalry that only enhances John Carter's feelings for her. Ditto Thuvia, Maid of Mars.
  • June 11, 2011
    MorganWick
    Wait, what IS this trope supposed to be? The name and laconic together suggest literal good/bad but could be mistaken for slut/virgin, the description, or at least the first couple paragraphs, suggest slut/virgin, and the comments suggest people are reading it as literal good/bad.
  • June 11, 2011
    Ardiente
    Yeah, I think the trope should be about Good/Bad. Slut/Virgin is already covered with My Girl Is Not A Slut. Basically this trope should be about men seeking women they can admire and respect. Whether chastity is part of the sought-after traits depends on the man, but usually that's never even mentioned, and it might even be a mere by-product of the other, more important virtues.

    Oh, and the Real Life examples should follow from this.
  • June 13, 2011
    Alrune
    That's precisely the point. It isn't about Chastity, more about morality in one's actions, a woman a man can effectively respect. So what about the title?
  • June 16, 2011
    Ardiente
    Hey, what happened to this YKTTW? IT WAS VERY GOOD!
  • July 4, 2011
    Alrune
    Well let's revive it.
  • July 4, 2011
    Confusion567
    Some Older Than Radio examples:
    • In Ibsen's Peer Gynt, the titular rogue spends much of his life sleeping around and stealing wives and saying "To hell with women! ...except for one." The one is Solveig, who abandons her old life to be with him, and waits for him virtuously for decades, finally saying that he never sinned or hurt her and saving him from hell.
    • Don Quixote does everything for Dulcinea, a (mostly imagined) woman who is perfectly virtuous. He draws inspiration for her from...
    • In old tales of chivalry (as old as King Arthur to all of the knockoffs in the 16th century which Don Quixote parodied), the knights did everything for their true love, who was always portrayed as good, chaste, devoted, etc.
  • July 5, 2011
    neoYTPism
    May be worth noting that due to the subjectivity of morality, the "virtue" of a woman can in turn also be subjective.
  • July 5, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Referenced in the film Monkey Business. Bear in mind that Groucho is a Jerk Ass Deadpan Snarker.
    Allky:Is there anything you've got to say before I drill you?
    Groucho: Yes, I'd like to ask you one question.
    Alky: Go ahead.
    Groucho: Do you think that girls think less of a boy if he lets himself be kissed? Don't you think that although girls go out with boys like me, they always marry the other kind?
  • July 7, 2011
    Muramasa
    Perhaps change the name to All Men Want Virtuous Wives, although it could cover any long term relationship. The wife connotation differentiates this 'want' from straight up sexual desire. The qualities of the women would also be virginal and traditionally feminine,even if she is not a virgin, which fits the good girl image. Other virtues and qualities make her more desirable as a wife, but it would be the basic virtuous femininity that is the cornerstone for the other virtues.

  • September 9, 2011
    Tambov333
    Bump.

  • November 19, 2011
    Tambov333
    Another.
  • November 19, 2011
    FinalStarman
    Please remove the sinkhole to If You Know What I Mean; there was no double entendre there.[[hottip:*:As in, it only means sexual in this context.]] And it wasn't lampshaded.
  • November 19, 2011
    surgoshan
    I think the issue of virtue should stay in the title because the double standards of sexual mores plays very heavily into this. For a long while now, the stereotype has been that a man sews his wild oats and then settles down with a virginal wife his parents approve of. And rather than "wives" perhaps "brides". Men Seek Virtous Brides
  • November 19, 2011
    LeighSabio
  • November 20, 2011
    jatay3

    "I think the issue of virtue should stay in the title because the double standards of sexual mores plays very heavily into this."

    The problem I have with this is as much philosophical and philological as it is tropological. Words have functions. When we change their meaning we lose the function for which they stood. "Virtue" means "a good quality" and "virtuous" means "having good qualities". We already have the word Chastity for the distinct virtue of Chastity and if we start making virtuous synonomous with chaste we will need another word for virtuous.

    We shall also get the implication that someone who admires a Hooker With A Heart Of Gold is admiring being unvirtuous when in fact he is doing no such thing. Having a heart of gold is a virtue(kindness) just as much as chastity is, and often a more admirable one depending of course on the situation.
  • November 20, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    ^ Well said.
  • November 20, 2011
    jatay3
    What is wrong with Single Man Seeks Good Woman?
  • November 21, 2011
    FrigidPrince
    Yeah, it's an almost exact mirror image!
  • November 21, 2011
    Falco
  • November 22, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    ^^ Distaff-spear counterparts tend to have different implications due to gender stereotypes and gender roles.
  • December 6, 2011
    FastEddie
    Incorrectly launched. Returning to YKTTW.
  • December 6, 2011
    Desertopa
    Jacob, the pickup artist, to Hannah in Crazy Stupid Love.
  • March 15, 2012
    Alrune
    How about I launch this under All Guys Want Good Girls?
  • March 15, 2012
    Alrune
    ot All Men Want Good Women since we're talking about people well past teenage years here.
  • March 1, 2013
    Alrune
    Unearthing this. It's a trope but we need a little more explanation on the description and some more examples if possible.

    If people think it's ok to launch as it is, let's hat it.

    Of course If You Know What I Mean sinkholes will be removed.
  • March 1, 2013
    IsaacSapphire
    It doesn't have to be, but in execution it tends to be a Double Standard trope, as A Man Is Not A Virgin is usually still in action in the story.
  • March 1, 2013
    MiinU
    The last five examples in the OP are little more than, '[.....] is all about this trope'. They need context.

    Anime

  • March 2, 2013
    Alrune

    Film

    • When Harry Met Sally is a classic example of this. Even though Harry was attracted to Sally because he found her attractive, when he eventually confesses he also talks about her cutesy quirks and her frank, no-nonsense self.
    • Sleepless In Seattle invokes this since Jonah, Sam's son, wants to find the best mate for his father and wants a kind, considerate stepmother.

    Books

    • Hearts In Atlantis: The second part of the book alludes to this trope as Peter is taken out of addiction by Carol. He falls in love with her because she saved him and treated him with kindness.
    • Kiku in Coin Locker Babies hooks up with Niva, who is older and less attractive than him, because she's a very caring, supportive, loyal and sophisticated woman.

    Others

    • In Classic Mythology, the myth of Eros and Psyche is also about this, since Eros married Psyche because of her pure heart and her perserverance in proving that she loves him. Despite this, he also comments on her beauty which was enough to make Aphrodite jealous. Aphrodite herself invokes this trope by giving her future daughter-in-law tasks to complete.
    • Odysseus is also about this, which is why he married Penelope who remained patient, faithful, loyal and waited for him... for 20 years.
  • March 3, 2013
    Alrune
    Bump.

  • March 3, 2013
    jatay3
    Oh as a context the Virtuous Woman given by Starry Eyed was pretty clearly The Consigliere of a powerful Jewish Noble or Merchant husband if one reads the passage and was praised as much for her enterprise as her propriety.
  • March 15, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump, maybe
  • March 16, 2015
    NemuruMaeNi
    Yu Yu Hakusho example is shoehorned. There are romantic things about those pairs, but virtues are never discussed, and there's no harem (or something) to choose a partner from over lewd or rambunctious or lazy-ass alternatives. One is longterm childhood relationship blossoming, the other is love at first sight. So it's just "there's a couple involving main characters with female in those pairings being good at heart".

    Who knows how many of other examples are the same.
  • March 16, 2015
    Gowan
    As others already said, "virtuous" is not really a good idea. Definitely change it to something like "goood woman", and remove the "chastity" part ... unless, that is, you want this to apply really only to virgins. Though in that case, I won't be able to come up with an example.

  • March 16, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    The proper pothole in the "Important Note" paragraph is Square Peg Round Trope.
  • March 16, 2015
    DAN004
    Call this Single Man Seeks Good Woman plz. Cuz it's just like the Distaff Counterpart: a single man, out of many, seeks a good woman that is considered a rarity, and the good woman usually doesn't have much ppl fawning over her.
  • September 7, 2016
    DAN004
    Bump
  • September 7, 2016
    NubianSatyress
    It's not the same as Single Woman Seeks Good Man, so I don't agree with renaming it as a snowclone.

    The difference is right in the description: "Single Woman Seeks Good Man" is about a woman who eschews relationships with the "wrong" type of men and only shows interest in Mr. Right. This trope, on the other hand, is about men wanting to bang "bad, slutty women" but marry pure, virtuous women. There's a difference.

    Women are, usually, criticized for sleeping around and being unchaste (see Madonna Whore Complex) while it's considered socially acceptable (and at times normal) for men to want to "sow their oats" with easy women until they finally find the one that's Not L Ike Other Girls and can be a good wife.
  • September 7, 2016
    magnum12
    The way I see it, Character Alignment plays a big role in this, just like Single Woman Seeks Good Man (the target being typically either good or on the light side of neutral).

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=gjnm5ea49ohv9cqim54zk6z5