Socioeconomic development and shifts in mate preferencesEvolutionary Psychology 6(3): 447-455
Mate preferences shift according to contexts such as temporal duration of mateship sought and ecological prevalence of parasites. One important cross-cultural context that has not been explored is a country’s socioeconomic development. Because individuals in less developed countries are generally less healthy and possess fewer resources than those in more developed countries, displays of health and resources in a prospective long-term partner were hypothesized to be valued more in populations in which they are rare than in populations in which they are more common. We also predicted negative correlations between development and preferences for similar religious background and a desire for children. We found strong support for the health hypothesis and modest support for the resource acquisition potential hypothesis. We also found an unpredicted positive correlation between development and importance ratings for love. Discussion addresses limitations of the current research and highlights directions for future cross-cultural research on mating psychology.
mate preference shifts, cross-cultural, socioeconomic development, evolutionary psychology.