Monday, August 22, 2011

Men seek beauty, women want wealth - Telegraph

Men seek beauty, women want wealth - Telegraph:

The new research confirms that, while humans may pride themselves on being highly evolved, men really do go for an attractive mate - though will make do with someone who falls somewhat short of this ideal - while women - apparently understanding this - adjust their desire for a "high-quality" mate according to how attractive they perceive themselves to be. In other words, beautiful women want rich men.

That is the conclusion of research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Peter Todd, of Indiana University, Lars Penke, of Humboldt University, Berlin, Barbara Fasolo, of the London School of Economics, and Alison Lenton, of the University of Edinburgh.

Mr Todd said the problem with earlier work that suggested that likes attract was that the scientists had simply asked people about preferences while today's work showed what they actually did in a real world setting - a commercial speed dating operation with 46 people in Munich.

[...] "We found that what men and women say they want is not the same as what they actually choose and that the actual choices made by men and women accord with a rough evolutionary-predicted trade-off, in this case between men's overall mate value [combining their wealth and status, family commitment and health] and women's self-perceived attractiveness," said Mr Todd.
Women dominate this trade-off, he said, because "men are much less discriminating".

Although people may claim otherwise, beauty is the key for men, since it signifies "good genes", while women, the choosier of the sexes, leverage their looks for security, fitness and commitment.

"Ancestral individuals who made their mate choices in this way - women trading off their attractiveness for higher quality men and men looking for any attractive women who would accept them - would have had an evolutionary advantage in greater numbers of successful offspring."