Human mate selection under competitive pressure
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Stable, cross-cultural, gender-based preferences in relationship choices have been identified by evolutionary psychologists (Buss 1987, Symons and Ellis 1989). This study furthered such research by collecting data from 20 participants (10 male, 10 female) using a mixed design. Participants completed three questionnaires on sexual orientation and relationship status, their attitudes towards aspects of relationships, and a trait-rating scale (a replication of Buss 1989). Participants then answered questions on the desirability of 48 profiles which differed in quality, notable trait (physical attractiveness, personality, or income) and level of potential competition for the mate. Significant main effects were detected for gender and type of profile, but no significant effects were found for competition or attractiveness of the participant. In addition, no significant differences were detected in relationship preference or trait rating. Reasons for this (including a small sample size) have been identified, and follow-up work proposed.