Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures
ABSTRACT Contemporary mate preferences can provide important clues to human reproductive history. Little is known about which characteristics people value in potential mates. Five predictions were made about sex differences in human mate preferences based on evolutionary conceptions of parental investment, sexual selection, human reproductive capacity, and sexual asymmetries regarding certainty of paternity versus maternity. The predictions centered on how each sex valued earning capacity, ambition— industriousness, youth, physical attractiveness, and chastity. Predictions were tested in data from 37 samples drawn from 33 countries located on six continents and five islands (total N = 10,047). For 27 countries, demographic data on actual age at marriage provided a validity check on questionnaire data. Females were found to value cues to resource acquisition in potential mates more highly than males. Characteristics signaling reproductive capacity were valued more by males than by females. These sex differences may reflect different evolutionary selection pressures on human males and females; they provide powerful cross-cultural evidence of current sex differences in reproductive strategies. Discussion focuses on proximate mechanisms underlying mate preferences, consequences for human intrasexual competition, and the limitations of this study.
- SourceAvailable from: David M BussPsychological Inquiry 07/2013; 24(3):171-177. · 4.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Preferences for certain pornographic themes are hypothesized to have been influenced by our evolution- ary history, where sperm competition could play a significant role. The mating system in our australo- pithecine ancestors, as well as in modern human societies, however, suggests that polygyny (characterized by low risk of sperm competition) has predominated over multi-male multi-female mating systems where high sperm competition is expected. In this study, a sample of men ( N = 96) was investigated for their preferences for sexually explicit material showing low (sexual interaction with three women), moderate (one man and one woman) and high intensity of sperm competition (one woman and two men). The participants showed a strong and highly consistent preference for pictures showing moderate and low intensity of sperm competition. These preferences were not influenced by sociosexuality, pornography consumption or attitudes toward pornography. It is suggested that these preferences may mirror psychological adaptations for sperm competition which are activated when the risk of cuckoldry is high. Certain circumstances, where preferences for cues associated with high intensity of sperm competition would be adaptive, are discussed.Personality and Individual Differences 02/2015; 76:99 - 103. · 1.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Two hypotheses concerning the relative importance of agentic versus communal traits as predictors of self-esteem were tested. The perspective hypothesis assumed that self-esteem is dominated by agency over communion because self-perceptions are formed from the agent (versus recipient) perspective. The culture hypothesis assumed that self-esteem is dominated by communal concerns in collectivistic cultures and by agentic concerns in individualistic cultures (echoed by individual differences in self-construal). Study 1 involving three samples from collectivistic countries and three from individualistic ones found that self-esteem was better predicted from self-ratings of agentic than communal traits, with the exception of collectivistic women for whom the two predictors were equal. Study 2 primed the interdependent or independent self and found self-ratings of agency to be better predictors of self-esteem than self-ratings of communion, with the exception of interdependence priming, where the two predictors were equal in strength.Polish Psychological Bulletin 12/2014; 45(4):469-479.