NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - People may claim looks or money
aren't everything when picking a mate but when it comes to the
crunch, men go for beauty and women choose wealth and security,
according to an international study.
Indiana University cognitive scientist Peter Todd and
colleagues from Germany, England and Scotland used a
speed-dating session in Germany to look at what people said
they wanted in a mate with whom they actually chose.
"While humans may pride themselves on being highly evolved,
most still behave like the stereotypical Neanderthals when it
comes to choosing a mate," Todd said in a statement.
"Evolutionary theories in psychology suggest that men and
women should trade off different traits in each other, and when
we look at the actual mate choices people make, this is what we
find evidence for."
The study, being published this week in the Proceedings of
the National Academy of Sciences, was based on a speed-dating
session in which men and women had "mini dates" of between
three to five minutes with up to 30 different people.
After every date, the men and women marked a box on a card
saying whether they would like to see the other person again.
Before the session, Todd also asked 46 adults to fill out a
questionnaire assessing themselves and their ideal mate
according to traits like attractiveness, financial status,
health and parenting qualities.
He said participants stated they wanted to find someone
like themselves -- a socially acceptable answer.
But once the sessions began, the men went after the more
attractive women and the women were drawn to material wealth
and security, setting their standards according to how they
The men were not as picky as the women.
The men, on average, wanted to see about 50 percent of the
women again, but the women wanted to meet only about one-third
of the men for a second time.
"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 will
accept them -- would have had an evolutionary advantage in
greater numbers of successful offspring," said Todd.