British researchers say if men believe they are frittering away their money wining and dining a girl to win her hand, they should think again.
Peter Sozou and Professor Robert Seymour of University College London say they've developed a mathematical model that shows how expensive, but worthless, gifts may help facilitate courtship.
The scientists said their study shows gifts can act as a signal of a man's intention. And offering an expensive gift may signal a long-term commitment -- but the man must be wary of being exploited by a gold-digger who intends to dump him once she gets the gift.
They determined an extravagant gift, which is costly to the man but worthless to the woman -- such as a dinner or show tickets -- may solve the problem since a costly gift signals the man has long-term intentions, but the gift deters gold-diggers by being worthless.
The study is detailed in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B.
Copyright 2005 by United Press International
Explore further: Changing dinosaur tracks spurs novel approach