Mate choice in modern societies

Human Nature 5 (3):255-278 (1994)

Daniel Perusse
Most research on mate choice in modern societies is based on data that may or may not reflect actual mating behavior (e.g., stated preferences, personal advertisements). In the present study, real-life matings were reported by a large representative sample of men and women (N = 1,133). These data were used to test an evolutionary model in which mate choice is hypothesized to depend on resources potentially contributed to reproduction by each sex. Consistent with the model, it was found that (a) men (but not women) of higher social status acquire more mating partners, suggesting that male status is an important criterion in female choice; (b) women’s (but not men’s) number of partners decreases linearly with age, suggesting that female reproductive potential is an important criterion in male choice; and (c) women (but not men) display a significant relationship between marital dissolution and promiscuity, suggesting that female sexual exclusivity is an important criterion in male choice. These results are discussed in relation to understanding mate choice mechanisms from behavioral data
Keywords Sexual selection  Mate choice  Reproductive effort  Social status  Confidence of paternity  Reproductive potential  French Canadians
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DOI 10.1007/BF02692154
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