What’s Worse : Lazy but Smart, or Stupid but Hardworking? Gender Differences in Mate Preferences and Aversions
Peterson, Jamie Lyn
Bleske-Rechek, April L.
MetadataShow full item record
It is well-documented globally that men more than women prioritize physical attractiveness while women more than men prioritize dominance and status. The current study builds on the authors’ previous research comparing gender differences in seeking positive mate characteristics with gender differences in avoiding negative mate characteristics. We hypothesize gender differences in the avoidance of negative attributes to be more robust than previously documented gender differences in pursuit of positive attributes. Using 11 core traits and their negative counterparts, we created a series of trade-off questions. Positively framed trade-off questions asked participants which was better as a long-term mate, someone who is “X+” but “Y-” or “Y+” but “X-.” Negatively framed questions asked which was worse, someone who is “X-” but “Y+” or “Y-” but “X+.” In the positive frame, women traded other positive traits to obtain a thoughtful, polite, and family-oriented mate; men traded to obtain a good-looking and smart mate. In the negative frame, women settled for other negatives to avoid a disloyal mate; men avoided an ugly or stupid mate. Initial findings imply that men and women differ in not only what they most prioritize, but also what they avoid most in a long-term partner.
Department of Psychology
Color poster with text and graphs.