Across decades and cultures, researchers have found that men prefer physical attractiveness in their romantic partners more than women do, whereas women prefer social status and resources in their partners more than men do. From an evolutionary perspective, these sex differences are important as they reflect hypothesized psychological mechanisms that evolved in response to different adaptive challenges faced by ancestral men and women. Social psychologists, however, have recently challenged the validity of mate preferences and thus, this evolutionary perspective. Indeed, recent speed-dating studies (e.g., Eastwick and Finkel, 2008) and a meta-analysis (Eastwick, Luchies, Finkel, and Hunt, 2014) demonstrate that the sexes respond similarly to physical attractiveness and earning prospects in potential mates encountered live, as well as in ongoing relationships. Here, we review (a) the mate preferences literature and associated evolutionary perspective, (b) the recent challenge to this work, (c) issues that have arisen with the challenge, and (d) empirical work that we have undertaken to respond to those issues and to demonstrate that the sex-differentiated mate selection processes do indeed occur in initial mating contexts and ongoing, long-term relationships. We then conclude by discussing various remaining issues and considerations, as well as future directions.
Long-term mating, Mate selection, Mate preferences, Speed dating, Romantic relationships
Gender and Sexuality | Personality and Social Contexts | Social Psychology
Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences
LI, Norman P., & MELTZER, Andrea L..(2015). The validity of sex-differentiated mate preferences: Reconciling the seemingly conflicting evidence. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 9(2), 89-106.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/2202
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