Examines Mating Influences
recent international study suggests that women who live in cultures
that support a woman's power to choose her own lifestyle are less
likely to seek power and wealth when choosing a mate.
"The extent to which an environment
supports or impedes a woman's attempts to direct her own destiny
affects what she values in a man," lead researcher Tim Kasser,
of Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., said in a statement. "When
a female is provided with more opportunities to fend for herself,
she will become less concerned with finding a mate who can provide
resources for her."
Researchers studied data collected
in 1990 involving more than 9,000 men and women from 37 countries
in six continents. Study participants were asked to rank 18 characteristics
they look for in a mate.
The study found that men from
almost every country typically want attractive, young women. Many
women looked for wealthy and powerful men, particularly in nations
where women had limited access to education and reproductive resources,
researchers report in the July issue of Psychological Science.
However, in more developed
nations, women were less likely to seek wealth and power in a
mate in order to secure their own futures. For example, Scandinavian
countries where educational opportunities and reproductive
resources are widely accessible showed the smallest difference
between the sexes on mate preference and little evidence of women
wanting men who could provide for them and their families.