Although men have stronger preferences for a "good looking" and "slender" partner, men and women care equally about having a partner who is specifically attractive to them, a new research suggests.
"We looked at the extent to which attractiveness and resources are 'desirable' versus 'essential' to men and women when they are looking for a long term partner," said study co-author David Frederick from Chapman University.
Previous studies have shown that men care more about attractiveness in a long term partner, and women care more about resources.
"We found that men and women care equally about having a partner who is specifically attractive to them. Wealthier men and people who were more confident in their appearance had stronger preferences for a good looking partner," Frederick, an assistant professor of psychology, said.
The study took a "mating market" approach which is defined as heterosexual individuals competing with others of the same gender to make "bids" to members of the other gender for the purpose of securing a romantic partner.
People with desirable traits are in a position to be more selective about what they look for in mates.
Specifically, the study revealed that men and women differed in the percentage indicating it was 'desirable/essential' that their potential partner was good looking (M 92 percent vs. W 84 percent), had a slender body (M 80 percent vs. W 58 percent), had a steady income (M 74 percent vs. W 97 percent), and made/will make a lot of money (M 47 percent vs. W 69 percent).
People with higher incomes had stronger preferences for partners who are good looking. Wealthier women had stronger preferences for men who had a steady income or made lots of money.
Men with more education had stronger preferences for female partners who are good looking and slender.