Human Nature

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 365–376

Mate preferences among Hadza hunter-gatherers


DOI: 10.1007/s12110-004-1014-8

Cite this article as:
Marlowe, F.W. Hum Nat (2004) 15: 365. doi:10.1007/s12110-004-1014-8


The literature on human mate preferences is vast but most data come from studies on college students in complex societies, who represent a thin slice of cultural variation in an evolutionarily novel environment. Here, I present data on the mate preferences of men and women in a society of hunter-gatherers, the Hadza of Tanzania. Hadza men value fertility in a mate more than women do, and women value intelligence more than men do. Women place great importance on men’s foraging, and both sexes rate character as important. Unlike college students, Hadza men place considerable importance on women being hard-working, and Hadza women cite looks about as often as men do.

Key words

Evolutionary psychology Hadza Hunter-gatherers Mate preferences 

Copyright information

© Aldine Transaction 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA