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Choosing a mate: what we really want
Date:9/3/2007

re mate choices are made sequentially in a faster and more formalized fashion than in daily life."

For Todd's study, 46 adults in a speed-dating session were also asked to fill out a questionnaire beforehand assessing themselves and their ideal mate according to evolutionarily relevant traits, such as physical attractiveness, present and future financial status, health and parenting qualities.

Not surprisingly, 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. Furthermore, while men on average wanted to see every second woman again, the women wanted to meet only a third of the men again.

While the study's results came as no surprise to Todd, the research usefulness of the speed-dating forum did. Todd and his colleagues are conducting several other speed-dating studies that could confirm the results.

"Speed dating lets us look at a large number of mate choice decisions collected in a short amount of time," Todd said. "It only captures the initial stage of the extended process involved in long-term mate choice. But that initial expression of interest is crucial for launching everything else."


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Contact: Peter Todd
pmtodd@indiana.edu
812-855-3914
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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