Readers, you may want to hold on to your rocking chairs as the following news will likely come as a stunning shock to you. There's no easy way to put it, but women find men with expensive cars more attractive than those with cheaper cars.

The 'groundbreaking' study, led by a UK university, revealed that women do in fact judge men by their wealth and material status symbols, using a simple test to come to this conclusion: showing one group of women a picture of a man sitting in a Bentley Continental, and another group of women the same man sitting in an old Ford Fiesta. Invariably the results were the same - the women who saw the Bentley driver rated him higher in terms of attractiveness, while those who saw the man in a Ford Fiesta rated him lower.

The women were aged between 21 and 40, and while men may feel a little smug having some qualitative proof that women can indeed be shallow and materialistic there is a more basic, primal instinct being displayed by women. Dr Michael Dunn, one of the study's authors, stated that women desire wealth and success in a man as "that male would be in a better condition to rear healthy offspring".

Men put in a similar study to judge a woman's attractiveness by the car that she was driving came to an equally shocking conclusion - men didn't care what car the woman was driving but instead judged her on the attractiveness of her face and body. Once again, the desire to create health offspring plays a major role, and its fair to say that both sexes are guilty of being a little shallow when it comes to the opposite sex.

The study follows other astounding research coming out of the UK, including this study from a few years ago that revealed women are harder to please than men. Then again, it may just be a case of British women who are shallow. A study out of the U.S. revealed that almost nine in ten women (88%) say they would rather chat up someone with the latest fuel-efficient car versus the latest sports car, and four in five Americans saying they would find someone with the latest model fuel-efficient car more interesting to than someone with a new sports model.