Age and gender differences in mate selection criteria for various involvement levels

Bram P. Buunk, Pieternel Dijkstra, Detlef Fetchenhauer, Douglas Kenrick

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    113 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The present study investigated mate preferences for five different levels of relationship involvement-marriage, serious relationship, falling in love, casual sex, and sexual fantasies - among individuals of 20, 30,40, 50, and 60 years of age. Consistent with an evolutionary perspective, men preferred mates who were higher in physical attractiveness than themselves, whereas women preferred mates who were higher in income, education, self-confidence, intelligence, dominance, and social position than themselves. The lower the level of relationship involvement, the lower were the preferred levels of education, physical attractiveness, and, particularly for males, preferred intelligence in comparison to oneself. For sexual fantasies, men and women preferred mates who were higher in physical attractiveness than those they preferred for real partners. There were few age differences in mate preferences, although older individuals set higher standards for a potential mate's education.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)271-278
    Number of pages8
    JournalPersonal Relationships
    Volume9
    Issue number3
    StatePublished - Sep 2002

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    Fantasy
    age difference
    Marriage
    social attraction
    Intelligence
    Patient Selection
    gender-specific factors
    Accidental Falls
    Social Dominance
    Education
    Physical Education and Training
    Love
    intelligence
    social position
    self-confidence
    level of education
    love
    education
    marriage
    income

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Psychology(all)
    • Social Psychology

    Cite this

    Age and gender differences in mate selection criteria for various involvement levels. / Buunk, Bram P.; Dijkstra, Pieternel; Fetchenhauer, Detlef; Kenrick, Douglas.

    In: Personal Relationships, Vol. 9, No. 3, 09.2002, p. 271-278.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Buunk, Bram P. ; Dijkstra, Pieternel ; Fetchenhauer, Detlef ; Kenrick, Douglas. / Age and gender differences in mate selection criteria for various involvement levels. In: Personal Relationships. 2002 ; Vol. 9, No. 3. pp. 271-278.
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