Women more than men attend to indicators of good characterEvolutionary Psychology 4: 248-261
Past research implicates adaptations in women to assess men’s willingness to invest in offspring (La Cerra, 1995). In two new studies, women’s evaluations of an opposite-sex target as a long-term partner and short-term sex partner were negatively impacted by viewing that target ignore a baby in distress; this effect occurred for men in Study 1 only. Men’s short-term sexual attraction to a female target was not affected by context. In Study 2, women responded similarly to a man vacuuming and to a man interacting with a happy baby. Neither sociosexual orientation nor sex-role beliefs moderated participants’ sensitivity to targets’ behavior. Women more than men appear to display a general sensitivity to an opposite-sex target’s good character.
human mating, parental investment, human sex differences.