Navigation Links
Want to Find Love? Be Giving

Study suggests helping others boosts attractiveness

FRIDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Looking for someone to celebrate next Valentine's Day with? New research suggests you'll gain extra points with prospective mates if you give of yourself to others in activities like volunteering.

When it comes to romance, "being generous can pay off," said study author Pat Barclay, an assistant professor at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, who wrote the study while at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

The study found that both men and women were more attracted to an altruistic, giving person when seeking out a long-term relationship.

Barclay, who performed the research at Canada's McMaster University, asked 150 women and 155 men to view photos and profiles of people of the opposite sex. The participants were then asked to rank how attractive the people were and disclose how willing they'd be to have either a short- or long-term relationship with them.

In some cases, Barclay added information to the profiles that suggested a person might be generous and altruistic. A profile might say, for instance, that the person volunteered at a local food bank.

The study findings appear in the February issue of the British Journal of Psychology.

"We found that the addition of generosity to a person's profile will increase their attractiveness for relationships, in particular long-term relationships," Barclay said.

There was a gender divide when it came to more casual affairs, however. "For short-term dates, women were attracted to the generous guys, but men had no preference regarding generosity," Barclay said. "For a one-night stand, men actually preferred neutral, non-generous women over the generous. They had an aversion to generosity."

Why? Barclay speculated that it may have to do with men thinking they couldn't attract a more generous woman or assuming such a woman wouldn't sleep with them.

In general, he said, "generosity can signal something about the person to both males and females. But women have had to worry more about guys doing the mate-them-and-dash kind of routine. They'd be slightly more concerned with character than men."

It's hard to quantify exactly how much of a difference generosity/altruism made in mate selection, Barclay said, although it might bump a person from five points to 5.5 on a 10-point attractiveness scale. "It's not going to turn a five into an eight, but it can certainly make a difference in competition with other people who are about the same level."

Why does all this matter? In the bigger picture, the research could give scientists some insight into evolution of humans. The findings add "to what we know about sexual selection in human behavior: traits that have evolved in one specific sex for the purposes of luring the other. These results suggest that altruism may very well be one of those traits that has been either evolved for, or adapted to, serve the purposes of luring a good mate," said Stan Treger, a psychology graduate student at Illinois State University.

Now to the nitty-gritty: Should you volunteer at the soup kitchen in order to attract a mate? Maybe, but don't flaunt it, Barclay warned.

"If somebody is always saying, 'Look, I'm generous, I'm really generous,'" he said, "people will be a little skeptical about why you're constantly mentioning that."

More information

There's more on altruism at Stanford University's Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

SOURCES: Pat Barclay, Ph.D., assistant professor, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada; and Stan Treger, psychology graduate student, Illinois State University, Normal, Ill.; February 2010, British Journal of Psychology

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Informational handout key to giving parents a better understanding of CT radiation risks
2. Giving CPR Kits to Kids Nudges Parents to Learn
3. Mothers milk a gift that keeps on giving
4. Giving emergency nurses aromatherapy massages with music dramatically reduced stress levels
5. Elder Caregiving Site Wins WebAward for Outstanding Online Community
6. Giving emergency nurses aromatherapy massages with music dramatically reduced stress levels
7. NEWSWEEK: Cover: Giving Globally: How to Heal the World
8. Novartis Vaccines Launches National Gift-Giving Program to Help Protect Loved Ones by Reserving an Influenza Vaccination
9. AUDIO from Medialink and AARP: Giving Flu Prevention a Shot in the Arm
10. Giving Back to the Community Golden Corral Style
11. USC study examines effects of caregiving
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Since its inception, Seniors Guide has been ... living and all other retirement options. Support for issues surrounding the senior community ... top priority. , So it’s no surprise that every November, Seniors Guide ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... Holcomb – Kreithen ... plastic surgery practices in Florida, is proud to announce that Dr. Joshua Kreithen, ... giant Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company. , Ethicon is a global ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... Sikka Software announced today that they are showcasing the Sikka Software ... complex business decisions by providing the tools and information they need to grow their ... procedures customized by zip code. , The Sikka Software Ecosystem includes over 32 ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... verified that their Vasont Universal Integrator (VUI) extension unites with Syncro Soft’s latest ... managing content as a continuous process with the latest release of oXygen® XML ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Phoenixville, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... all of the assets of DataTrade Solutions Inc., a Healthcare IT consulting, development ... by utilizing the programming and technical experience available within DataTrade to extend the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... 2015  Precision Image Analysis Inc. (PIA), a ... announce a dramatic expansion of its capabilities as ... its ISO-9001:2008 certification for its Quality Management System, ... protocols and procedures. This expansion enables PIA to ... Core Lab services include design and optimization of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Mexico Healthcare and Life Sciences Report 2015 ... . --> Pharmaboardroom releases its new 98-page Mexico ... America , a country of over 122 million people. ... 122 million people. --> It offers companies, investors, policymakers, ... insights into the second largest pharma and healthcare market in ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... AVIV, Israel , November 30, 2015 ... ) ("Elbit" or the "Company") announced today that it was ... of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) has approved its ... disorders. --> --> ... a non-invasive treatment alternative that combines two technologies: Focused ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: