Sex Differences in Mate Preferences Across 45 Countries: A Large-Scale Replication

Kathryn V. Walter*, Daniel Conroy-Beam, David M. Buss, Kelly Asao, Agnieszka Sorokowska, Piotr Sorokowski, Toivo Aavik, Grace Akello, Mohammad Madallh Alhabahba, Charlotte Alm, Naumana Amjad, Afifa Anjum, Chiemezie S. Atama, Derya Atamtürk Duyar, Richard Ayebare, Carlota Batres, Mons Bendixen, Aicha Bensafia, Boris Bizumic, Mahmoud BoussenaMarina Butovskaya, Seda Can, Katarzyna Cantarero, Antonin Carrier, Hakan Cetinkaya, Ilona Croy, Rosa María Cueto, Marcin Czub, Daria Dronova, Seda Dural, Izzet Duyar, Berna Ertugrul, Agustín Espinosa, Ignacio Estevan, Carla Sofia Esteves, Luxi Fang, Tomasz Frackowiak, Jorge Contreras Garduño, Karina Ugalde González, Farida Guemaz, Petra Gyuris, Mária Halamová, Iskra Herak, Marina Horvat, Ivana Hromatko, Chin Ming Hui, Jas Laile Jaafar, Feng Jiang, Konstantinos Kafetsios, Tina Kavčič, Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair, Nicolas Kervyn, Truong Thi Khanh Ha, Imran Ahmed Khilji, Nils C. Köbis, Hoang Moc Lan, András Láng, Georgina R. Lennard, Ernesto León, Torun Lindholm, Trinh Thi Linh, Giulia Lopez, Nguyen Van Luot, Alvaro Mailhos, Zoi Manesi, Rocio Martinez, Sarah L. McKerchar, Norbert Meskó, Girishwar Misra, Conal Monaghan, Emanuel C. Mora, Alba Moya-Garófano, Bojan Musil, Jean Carlos Natividade, Agnieszka Niemczyk, George Nizharadze, Elisabeth Oberzaucher, Anna Oleszkiewicz, Mohd Sofian Omar-Fauzee, Ike E. Onyishi, Baris Özener, Ariela Francesca Pagani, Vilmante Pakalniskiene, Miriam Parise, Farid Pazhoohi, Annette Pisanski, Katarzyna Pisanski, Edna Ponciano, Camelia Popa, Pavol Prokop, Muhammad Rizwan, Mario Sainz, Svjetlana Salkičević, Ruta Sargautyte, Ivan Sarmány-Schuller, Susanne Schmehl, Shivantika Sharad, Razi Sultan Siddiqui, Franco Simonetti, Stanislava Yordanova Stoyanova, Meri Tadinac, Marco Antonio Correa Varella, Christin Melanie Vauclair, Luis Diego Vega, Dwi Ajeng Widarini, Gyesook Yoo, Marta Zat’ková, Maja Zupančič

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Considerable research has examined human mate preferences across cultures, finding universal sex differences in preferences for attractiveness and resources as well as sources of systematic cultural variation. Two competing perspectives—an evolutionary psychological perspective and a biosocial role perspective—offer alternative explanations for these findings. However, the original data on which each perspective relies are decades old, and the literature is fraught with conflicting methods, analyses, results, and conclusions. Using a new 45-country sample (N = 14,399), we attempted to replicate classic studies and test both the evolutionary and biosocial role perspectives. Support for universal sex differences in preferences remains robust: Men, more than women, prefer attractive, young mates, and women, more than men, prefer older mates with financial prospects. Cross-culturally, both sexes have mates closer to their own ages as gender equality increases. Beyond age of partner, neither pathogen prevalence nor gender equality robustly predicted sex differences or preferences across countries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)408-423
    Number of pages16
    JournalPsychological science
    Volume31
    Issue number4
    Early online date20 Mar 2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

    Keywords

    • biosocial role theory
    • cross-cultural studies
    • evolutionary psychology
    • mate preferences
    • open data
    • preregistered
    • sex differences

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