Human Nature

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 50-73

First online:

Women’s fertility across the cycle increases the short-term attractiveness of creative intelligence

  • Martie G. HaseltonAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, UCLA Email author 
  • , Geoffrey F. MillerAffiliated withUniversity of New Mexico

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Male provisioning ability may have evolved as a “good dad” indicator through sexual selection, whereas male creativity may have evolved partly as a “good genes” indicator. If so, women near peak fertility (midcycle) should prefer creativity over wealth, especially in short-term mating. Forty-one normally cycling women read vignettes describing creative but poor men vs. uncreative but rich men. Women’s estimated fertility predicted their short-term (but not long-term) preference for creativity over wealth, in both their desirability ratings of individual men (r=.40, p<.01) and their forced-choice decisions between men (r=.46, p<.01). These preliminary results are consistent with the view that creativity evolved at least partly as a good genes indicator through mate choice.

Key words

Art Business Creativity, Female mate choice Fertility Good genes Intelligence Menstrual cycle Mental fitness indicators Ovulation Psychological attractiveness Wealth