Current Psychology

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 180–202 | Cite as

Perceptions of self and of ideal mates: Similarities and differences across the sexes

  • Steven C. Clark
  • Adam M. Dover
  • Glenn Geher
  • Paul K. Presson


For 19 mating-relevant traits, single males (N= 53) and single females (N= 86) rated (a) themselves relative to their same-sex peers, (b) their perceptions of the qualities desired by members of the opposite sex in an ideal partner, and (c) the qualities desired in their own ideal romantic partner. Several themes emerged from the data. First, males’ and females’ judgments of what members of the opposite-sex seek were generally accurate. Second, males and females both feel that they fall short of perceived opposite-sex expectations in a few areas. Third, both males and females desire an ideal partner better than themselves, but this is especially true for females. These findings are discussed in terms of evolutionary social psychological principles.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steven C. Clark
    • 1
  • Adam M. Dover
    • 1
  • Glenn Geher
    • 2
  • Paul K. Presson
    • 3
  1. 1.Utah Valley State CollegeUSA
  2. 2.State University of New York at New PaltzUSA
  3. 3.Westminster CollegeUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyState University of New York at New PaltzNew PaltzUSA

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