The effects of female control of resources on sex-differentiated mate preferences

Fhionna Rosemary Moore, Clare Cassidy, Miriam Jane Law Smith, David Ian Perrett

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    43 Citations (Scopus)


    A number of sex differences in mate preferences have been reported across cultures. Women prefer partners who are older than them whereas men prefer partners who are younger than them. Women have stronger preferences for resource-acquisition characteristics whereas men have stronger preferences for physical attractiveness. Recently, studies have reported shifts in female preferences with increasing female empowerment and associated female attitudes. Other studies, however, report opposite effects of female wealth and income. In this study, we investigated the effects of female control of the resources necessary to raise offspring successfully on mate preferences. We developed measures of resource control at the level of the individual and investigated relationships between these and mate preferences using an internet survey. Resource control was associated with preferences for physical attractiveness over good financial prospects and greater maximum partner age tolerated. Resource control, however, was also associated with tolerance of younger partners. The results implicate the role of constraints on female access to and control of resources in sex-differentiated mate preferences and highlight differences between resource control and wealth.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-205
    Number of pages13
    JournalEvolution and Human Behavior
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2006


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