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.
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Because there is a fixed budget, allocation to one trait is dependent on what has already been allocated to all the others. However, since the results replicate those of the Hill scale, it is unlikely that they are the result of statistical peculiarities of the scale.
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We would like to thank Bobbi Low and four anonymous reviewers for their comments on earlier versions of this manuscript.
Adherence to Gender Roles in Courtship and Marriage
I believe that men should always pay on dates.
I hope for a very traditional proposal including a large diamond ring.
I believe it is appropriate for women to take their husband’s last name after marriage.
I believe that women’s primary job is to work inside the home and raise children.
I expect that when I am married my husband and I will have a traditional division labor where he is the breadwinner and I am the homemaker.
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Stanik, C.E., Ellsworth, P.C. Who Cares About Marrying a Rich Man? Intelligence and Variation in Women’s Mate Preferences. Hum Nat 21, 203–217 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12110-010-9089-x
- Female mate preferences
- Within-sex variation
- Gender roles