Mixed support for sexual selection theories of mate preferences in the Swedish population
Publishing year: 2008
Publication/Series: Evolutionary Psychology
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Human Nature Review
Evolutionary theory predicts the existence of relatively stable sex differences in partner preferences with, for example, males being more concerned with traits predicting high fertility and females with traits predicting high resource availability. We tested three predictions using personal advertisements from both traditional newspapers and internet dating services. In accordance with predictions, men offered resources more often than did women, and women requested resources more often than did men. Males in all age-categories preferred younger partners. Young females preferred older males, but the pattern was reversed for the majority of females past their fertile period. In contrast to predictions, there was no difference between males and females in the degree to which they offered, or asked for, physical attractiveness. Based on our results and a review of previous studies, we suggest that sex differences in factual or advertised preference for physical attractiveness may be more labile than sex differences in preference for resources and status across societies.