Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Lowering Partner Standards in a Short-Term Mating Context

  • Andrew G. ThomasEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_264-1



Humans are more selective when considering partners for a long-term relationship compared to a short-term one.


The characteristics modern men and women desire in a partner differ as a function of mating context. Overall, this pattern reflects a general “relaxing” of standards in a short-term mating context compared to a long-term one. For example, compared to a long-term partner, both sexes are willing to tolerate a prospective casual mate who is lower in intelligence, kindness, and social status (Kenrick et al. 1993; Li and Kenrick 2006).

However, not all standards are relaxed in the context of casual mating. Desire for physical attractiveness in a potential partner, for instance, appears to be maintained, or even enhanced, in a short-term mating context compared to a long-term one (Kenrick et al. 1993; Li and Kenrick 2006). Understanding why standards are lower in some...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Swansea UniversitySwanseaUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Tara DeLecce
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOakland UniversityRochesterUSA