Women prefer prestige over dominance in mates

Dec 17, 2008

A new study in the journal Personal Relationships reveals that women prefer mates who are recognized by their peers for their skills, abilities, and achievements, while not preferring men who use coercive tactics to subordinate their rivals. Indeed, women found dominance strategies of the latter type to be attractive primarily when men used them in the context of male-male athletic competitions.

Jeffrey K. Snyder, Lee A. Kirkpatrick, and H. Clark Barrett conducted three studies with college women at two U.S. universities. Participants evaluated hypothetical potential mates described in written vignettes. The studies were designed to examine the respective effects of men's dominance and prestige on women's assessments of men.

Women are sensitive to the context in which men display domineering behaviors when they evaluate men as potential mates. For example, the traits and behaviors that women found attractive in athletic competitions were unattractive to women when men displayed the same traits and behaviors in interpersonal contexts. Notably, when considering prospective partners for long-term relationships, women's preferences for dominance decrease, and their preferences for prestige increase.

Source: Wiley

Explore further: What makes a good horror movie?

Related Stories

Perfume could be the riskiest gift you'll ever buy

Feb 16, 2015

When it comes to making careful plans to impress that significant other, certain things can seem like musts. Classy restaurant – check. Romantic atmosphere – check. Best suit or little black dress – ...

Male-dominated societies are not more violent, study says

Apr 01, 2014

Conventional wisdom and scientific arguments have claimed that societies with more men than women, such as China, will become more violent, but a University of California, Davis, study has found that a male-biased sex ratio ...

Even fact will not change first impressions

Feb 14, 2014

Knowledge is power, yet new research suggests that a person's appearance alone can trump knowledge. First impressions are so powerful that they can override what we are told about people. A new study found that even when ...

Recommended for you

Best friends may help poor kids succeed

6 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Children who grow up in poor neighborhoods face more obstacles in life, but new research suggests that having a best friend can help these kids succeed.

Emotion knowledge fosters attentiveness

8 hours ago

Young children, who possess a good understanding of their own emotions and of those of their fellow human beings early on, suffer fewer attention problems than their peers with a lower emotional understanding. Evidence of ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.