Washington DC: A new study claims that human evolution influences mate preferences in men and women.
In the study, including 4,764 men and 5,389 women in 33 countries and 37 cultures showed that sex differences in mate preferences were much larger than previously appreciated and stable across cultures.
The researchers suggested that these patterns of mate preferences were far more linked to gender than any individual mate preference examined separately would suggest.
Lead author Daniel Conroy-Beam said that the large overall difference between men's and women's mate preferences told them that the sexes must have experienced dramatically different challenges in the mating domain throughout human evolution.
The study indicated, men favour mates who are younger and physically attractive. Women seek older mates with good financial prospects, higher status and ambition.
Beam said that because women bear the cost of pregnancy and lactation, they often faced the adaptive problem of acquiring resources to produce and support offspring, adding that while men faced adaptive problems of identifying fertile partners and sought cues to fertility and future reproductive value.
Of the 19 mate preferences that researchers considered, five varied significantly based on gender: good financial prospects, physical attractiveness, chastity, ambition and age. Four other preferences: pleasing disposition, sociability and shared religious and political views, were not sex-differentiated.
Beam further said this holistic approach will help answer a lot of questions in mating research in the future.
The study is published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.