What Do Women Look For in Choosing Mates?

Choosing a potential mate, whether for a short-term or long-term relationship, is always tricky.

Evolutionary psychologists have carried out numerous studies examining what men and women select for in making this kind of choice.   This kind of research usually focused on two basic types of sexual selection at work.   First of all, there is intrasexual selection, i.e., when males compete with males to demonstrate their fitness.  Instead of antlers or sharp teeth, human males often rely on physical displays of prowess, conspicuous displays of wealth, etc., all for the cause of attracting potential mates.  Then there is intersexual selection or mate choice with men and women demonstrating key qualities that cause them to stand out from other potential candidates.   This can include clothing, jewelry, perfume, a nice car, etc.

For women, mate selection qualities trad focus on things such as be physical attractiveness, displays of wealth, intelligence, athletic ability, or less obvious qualities such as humour, compassion, empathy, or kindness.   The fundamental issue in choosing a potential mate is whether someone would be a good father as well as a good husband.    Some researchers have named these qualities the Three Gees -  good genes, good providers, and good fathers.  Men who can demonstrate all three of these qualities stand the greatest chance of winning the mate selection competition.

To read more, check out my new Psychology Today blog post.



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