Human Nature

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 203–217 | Cite as

Who Cares About Marrying a Rich Man? Intelligence and Variation in Women’s Mate Preferences

  • Christine E. StanikEmail author
  • Phoebe C. Ellsworth


Although robust sex differences are abundant in men and women’s mating psychology, there is a considerable degree of overlap between the two as well. In an effort to understand where and when this overlap exists, the current study provides an exploration of within-sex variation in women’s mate preferences. We hypothesized that women’s intelligence, given an environment where women can use that intelligence to attain educational and career opportunities, would be: (1) positively related to their willingness to engage in short-term sexual relationships, (2) negatively related to their desire for qualities in a partner that indicated wealth and status, and (3) negatively related to their endorsement of traditional gender roles in romantic relationships. These predictions were supported. Results suggest that intelligence may be one important individual difference influencing women’s mate preferences.


Female mate preferences Intelligence Within-sex variation Sociosexuality Gender roles 



We would like to thank Bobbi Low and four anonymous reviewers for their comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Penn State UniversityState CollegeUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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