When it comes to romantic attraction men primarily are motivated by good looks and women by earning power. At least that’s what men and women have been saying for a long time. Based on research that dates back several decades, the widely accepted notion permeates popular culture today.
But those sex differences didn’t hold up in a new in-depth study of romantic attraction undertaken by two Northwestern University psychologists.
In short, the data suggest that whether you’re a man or a woman, being attractive is just as good for your romantic prospects and, to a lesser extent, so is being a good earner.
“Sex Differences in Mate Preferences Revisited: Do People Know What They Initially Desire in a Romantic Partner?” was published in the February issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
For a month, the romantic lives of study participants were scrutinized, including their prospects within and outside of a speed-dating event.
What people said and did in choosing romantic partners were two different matters.
“True to the stereotypes, the initial self-reports of male participants indicated that they cared more than women about a romantic partner’s physical attractiveness, and the women in the study stated more than men that earning power was an aphrodisiac,” said Paul Eastwick, lead author of the study and graduate student in psychology in the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern.
But in reality men and women were equally inspired by physical attraction and equally inspired by earning power or ambition.
“In other words good looks was the primary stimulus of attraction for both men and women, and a person with good earning prospects or ambition tended to be liked as well,” said Eli Finkel, assistant professor of psychology at Northwestern. “Most noteworthy, the earning-power effect as well as the good-looks effect didn’t differ for men and women.”
One of the reasons women consistently answer that personality and earning power are the two most important attributes is they understandably do not want to be caught giving the most shallow answer. Though requirements for earning potential can be shallow beyond a certain point. also shallow to a degree. Requiring that a mate earn what it takes to provide a fairly comfortable and basic living is reasonable. No one wants to be haunted by the need for bare necessities. Having to provide luxurious lifestyle might be pushing it. Though as most sociological data show most people marry within their economic class. An average income man might or might not be with his soul-mate or the best approximation because the woman from a wealthy family who went to Princeton and has a six figure job is not likely someone he would ever meet, much less get a chance to romance. Much of the mate choice data suggests that men look for attractive partners because that beauty signifies good health, that fertility, with those qualities leading to the belief his genes with be propagated. That might only be what he thinks he wants when it comes down to sitting across from someone and talking to them for a few minutes. Suddenly he finds their similar taste in music alluring. Maybe there is some other quality about her – she volunteers at an animal shelter, works as a police detective – qualities that are intriguing. I’ve talked about this subject with friends, as we all have, we generally agree that most couples are about equal in looks. That seems to be a universal. When Angelina Jolie was with Billy Bob Thornton, that was an anomaly. As the study news says this new study – the sexes are generally about equally shallow – just begs more questions. Do we continue to behave this way because of remnants of eons old evolutionary behavior or is it also modern behavior which still serves some purpose.Even if one realizes that one dating choices yield good looks, but less than stellar character, can one really change what they seem naturally attracted to. Not that 5s on the ten-scale are necessarily better human beings. Though that is another topic where acquaintances generally agree that average looking people are more humble and less arrogant.
“Sociology – Subject matter ranges from the micro level of individual agency and interaction to the macro level of systems and the social structure.
Sociology is a very broad discipline. Its traditional focuses have included social stratification, social class, social mobility, religion, secularisation, law, and deviance. As all spheres of human activity are sculpted by social structure and individual agency, sociology has gradually expanded its focus to further subjects, such as health, medical, military and penal institutions, the Internet, and even the role of social activity in the development of scientific knowledge.” With that in mind this brings up an interpreting phenomenon; If your curious about what police officers think of the average person they are supposed to protect check this out.
These pages were deleted from the forum a few hours ago. Thanks to oldnumber7 for the links
The forum has been scrubbed of this discussion thread, but the links above will – for a while anyway – lead to the Goggle cache of the discussion. Some of the offers were generally sympathetic to OWC, but wished they would behave better. Some were less tolerate. At least one officer saw OWS in the tradition of police unionizing at the turn of the 20th century and women’s suffrage, and a few saw OWS this way:
You really believe these Occupiers speak for the majority of civilians? Not even close. They are an extreme minority that more closely align themselves with anarchists than anything resembling law and order.
As with every social justice movement there are extremists and crackpots who have associated themselves with OWS. There is no group of people who are perfect. One of the main tenets of Christianity is that we are all born sinners – flawed even as we take our first breath. Recently a Salon writer posted that all the coaches associated with the child rape scandal at Penn. State were Republicans. As I noted it would be a terrible leap in logic to paint all Republicans as sexual predators because of the actions of one and the negligent inaction of a few others. The same fairness and logic should extend to the OWS as well. There are lots of reasons a civilized society should want the truth about any group and not fall for this ages old logical fallacy of painting the majority in a negative light because of the actions of a very small minority. One obvious reason is that if we pause for a moment and consider every police officer in the U.S. as being part of a cohort, a group with similar characteristics – one police union is even called The International brotherhood of Police Officers – than they too could be painted a group which poses a danger to civilized society. After the Boston Police Strike of 1919 Governor Coolidge called the strikers “deserters” and “traitors,”. Two NYPD police officers dumped a 14 year old boy at a Staten Island swamp to teach him a lesson, one of them later bragged about being a “gangsta” on his MySpace page. NYPD police are currently being investigated for crimes such as ticket fixing, planting drugs on innocent suspects and gun-running. In 1998-1999, 23 domestic violence complaints were filed against Boston police employees, but none resulted in criminal prosecution. “Two studies have found that at least 40% of police officer families experience domestic violence, (1, 2) in contrast to 10% of families in the general population.(3) A third study of older and more experienced officers found a rate of 24% (4), indicating that domestic violence is 2-4 times more common among police families than American families in general.” One police union officer in Michigan threatened legislators over the attempt to pass anti-union laws. You get the idea. I could literally do this every day. Does this vast accumulation of police violence, police crimes, police brutality, police hypocrisy and generally piss poor judgement mean all police are horrible human beings or “anarchists” or ‘socialists” or “pigs” living off our tax dollars. No. Police work tends to attract authoritarian personalities. These authoritarianism can range from having a personality that prizes order over other virtues. At worse they have led to cases where police have brutalized and murdered people. Even though these reports about police do come over the news reports daily, the vast majority of police are pretty decent people – I’m related to a couple of police officers so that might be an influence on my overall judgement. At the same time I realize my relatives are human and thus not always perfect.
Copper engraving illustrating Kepler’s Geometrical Model of the Copernican System., J. Kepler, 1597