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Women knew it; Science confirms it

Posted by gnn1 on Sunday, 9 September 2007

Scientists studying 26 men and 20 women in Munich have determined what women have known for many years: men prefer beauty to brains.

Scientist Peter Todd of Indiana University in Bloomington led the study which placed the 46 participants in a ‘speed dating’ situation.  The men and women, ranging from their mid 20s to early 40s had short encounters with another dater, each lasting three to seven minutes.  They then moved on to another dater.  Following this, they then mark off on a form who they’d like to meet again, and if a pair matches, a date can be arranged.

Before the speed dating sessions, the participants filled in a form indicating their preferences for a potential mate, covering categories including socio-economic status, family commitment, health, and physical appearance including attractiveness.

Researchers then compared the pre-session questionnaires with the people that participants asked to meet again.

Researchers noted that often men’s choices reflected the attractiveness of the person they met, despite what they may have said on the questionnaires.  They were likely to select any woman above a minimum threshold of perceived beauty.

Women, interestingly, also strayed from their questionnaire answers.  They were, however, choosier than their male counterparts.  Women seemingly understood the importance of their appearance to the men they met and adjusted their expectations accordingly.

“Women made offers to men who had overall qualities that were on a par with the women’s self-rated attractiveness. They didn’t greatly overshoot their attractiveness,” Todd said, “because part of the goal for women is to choose men who would stay with them.”  But, he added, “they didn’t go lower. They knew what they could get and aimed for that level.”

Interesting.  It seems that despite what a woman may say, she is actually a good judge of her attractiveness, if only subconsciously.  I will say however that, statistically, this was an incredibly small sample size.  I’d like to see this repeated, worldwide, with larger samples from each city.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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