The Phylogenetic Development of Humans
The apparent female preference for jerks is easy to explain if one is familiar with the phylogenetic development of humans. What this means in simplistic terms is that evolution has favored those genetic behavioral traits in both genders that best assure survival of the species. Here are a few thoughts based on the results of well conducted studies by respected researchers:
For the best chance of successfully raising children the female will favor a male that (1) is dominant over other males, (2) is successful in handling his resources, (3) likes children, (4) is approved by the female's family.
A classic dominant alpha male will be physically big, well over 6-feet tall and have an attitude. Success in managing resources will be demonstrated by his position as CEO of a corporation, but if he isn't a CEO he fakes it by wearing a Rolex, dressing sharply, and/or driving a Mercedes Benz. Numbers (3) and (4) are typical of "nice" guys, but women often get hung up on numbers (1) and (2), and don't make it to (3) and (4) until they get older and smarten up.
Until later years I had always been a nice guy. A good friend of mine who underneath was also a nice guy had mastered the art of playing the jerk for the purpose of scoring regularly. He gave me the following piece of advice that has proven true.
"Compliment the un-attractive ones because they aren't used to it and it will build their egos and make them feel good. They will love you for it. Conversely, snub, insult, or worse yet ignore the very attractive ones because they aren't accustomed to it and their well-entrenched self confidence will be shaken, driving them to pursue you. They will feel that only by scoring with you can their self confidence be restored."
Over the years I have watched this master use these principles time after time, and with few exceptions they have always worked.