Sex Roles

, Volume 53, Issue 5, pp 347-359

First online:

Young Women's Dating Behavior: Why/Why Not Date a Nice Guy?

  • Anita K. McDanielAffiliated withDepartment of Communication Studies, University of North Carolina at Wilmington Email author 

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The purpose of this study was to investigate why some women report a desire to date nice guys but prefer dating jerks. Specifically, young women's dating choices based on their reasons for dating in general and the attractive/unattractive traits that they perceive that a man possesses were explored. Popular texts offer evidence that young women may/may not select nice guys as dating partners because nice guys may/may not be able to provide them with what they want from their dating experiences. Scholarly texts offer evidence that the answer may lie in how the young woman perceives the nice guy—does he possess attractive or unattractive personality traits? The results of the present study suggest that reasons for dating (i.e., not wanting physical contact, wanting stimulating conversation, and wanting an exclusive relationship) and perceived personality traits (i.e., sweet/nice and physically attractive) influence a young woman's desire to date a nice guy, and that perceived personality traits are better predictors of her choice of a man to date than are reasons for dating.


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