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Women may not be so picky after all about choosing a mate
Date:6/3/2009

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Men and women may not be from two different planets after all when it comes to choosiness in mate selection, according to new research from Northwestern University.

When women were assigned to the traditionally male role of approaching potential romantic partners, they were not any pickier than men in choosing that special someone to date, according to the speed dating study.

That finding, of course, is contrary to well established evolutionary explanations about mate selection. An abundance of such research suggests that women are influenced by higher reproductive costs (bearing and raising children) than men and thus are much choosier when it comes to love interests.

The new study is the latest research of two Northwestern psychologists whose well-reported work on speed dating offers unparalleled opportunities for studying romantic attraction in action.

Deviating from standard speed-dating experiments and from the typical conventions at professional speed-dating events -- women in the study were required to go from man to man during their four-minute speed dates half the time, rather than always staying put. In most speed-dating events, the women stay in one place as the men circulate.

"The mere act of physically approaching a potential partner, versus being approached, seemed to increase desire for that partner," said Eli Finkel, associate professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern and co-investigator of the study.

Regardless of gender, those who rotated experienced greater romantic desire for their partners, compared to those who sat throughout the event. The rotators, compared to the sitters, tended to have a greater interest in seeing their speed-dating partners again.

"Given that men generally are expected -- and sometimes required to approach a potential love interest, the implications are intriguing," Finkel said.'/>"/>

Contact: Pat Vaughan Tremmel
p-tremmel@northwestern.edu
847-491-4892
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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