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In a new study, Todd and colleagues found that though individuals may claim otherwise, beauty is the key ingredient for men while women, the much choosier of the sexes, leverage their looks for security and commitment.
This formula has served humans throughout time, with the model of choosy females reflected in most mammals, Todd and his coauthors write in "Different cognitive processes underlie human mate choices and mate preferences," which will be published the week of Sept. "Evolutionary theories in psychology suggest that men and women should trade off different traits in each other, and when we look at the actual mate choices people make, this is what we find evidence for," Todd said.
Participants stated they wanted to find someone who was like themselves -- a socially acceptable answer.
But once the sessions began, the men sought the more attractive women and the women were drawn to material wealth and security, setting their standards according to how attractive they viewed themselves.
The study used a speed-dating session in Germany to compare what people say they want in a mate with whom they actually choose.
Speed dating, an increasingly popular way for singles to meet, involves sessions in which men and women have numerous "mini dates" with up to 30 different people, each date lasting anywhere from three to seven minutes.
Reporters registered with PNAS's Eureka Alert can obtain the article through that service.
Coauthors are Lars Penke, Department of Psychology, Humboldt University, Berlin; Barbara Fasolo, Operational Research Group, London School of Economics, London; and Alison P.
Lenton, Department of Psychology, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
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Speed dating events are held across the country, and the time spent on each date ranges from a couple of minutes to 10 or more minutes. All the women lined up on one side of several tables scrunched together, while the men sat across from them and rotated one seat over every two minutes.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating