Are Men or Women Pickier when it comes to Finding a Mate

  • Contributed by:
  • Views: 6,154

There is an interesting article in the New York Times about evolutions role in finding a partner. Most people believe when it comes to dating, women usually are pickier than men.

The usual explanation is evolutionary: because women have a bigger investment in reproduction — they are the ones who have to endure pregnancy, childbirth and breast-feeding — they need to hedge their bets against selecting a dud to be the father.

With the rise of Speed Dating, Psychologists now have easier access to information in a semi controlled environment to test this theory of women being more selective about their mate. Eli Finkel and Paul Eastwick of Northwestern University have recently published a experiment they did which challenges the current thinking. They found that it didn't matter what sex the person was. A person who initiates contact, in regards to going out on a date, tends to be less selective about who he or she asks when compared to the person who is being asked.

The gap in the two theories according to Eastwick and Finkel is social conditioning. Culturally men are expected to "make the first move", when doing so, they gain confidence, making them want to repeat the process. Woman are use to being approached, this makes them feel more desirable and therefore appear more selective.

The article also mentions a Chicago study where 68% of married people in a survey of 3,432 adults found that they met their spouse through a friend or family member. The adults were between the ages of 18 and 59. If you have 20 friends and/or family members, in 3 degrees of separation (20 friends/family knows 20 people who also know 20 people) you then have 8000 people you are connected to you. According to this survey, one of these people will most likely be your spouse. Of course this was 17 years ago, when online dating and social networks were not around. I wonder what the same survey would say today?