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New Study: Men Like Beauty, Women Like Money When Looking for Mates

Let's all let out a collective "duh" at this new study:

New scientific research has reached the conclusion which many of us have long suspected - that men are attracted by beauty while women focus on a partner's wealth.

Data taken from a speed-dating study reveals that when it comes to the rules of attraction people behave like stereotypical Neanderthals.

It found that men would try to entice the most attractive woman they met, although they accepted they would make do with someone who falls somewhat short of their dream.

Meanwhile women will try and find a man whose wealth is on the same level as their own perceived attractiveness.


Why do you say that Matt? I absolutely disagree. The way that psychological researchers conduct studies and experiments is generally very scientific and objective.
Sure, unless we actually read this study we can't be aware of any limitations or faults it may have, but I personally have read and researched many studies that have reported the same findings, and let me tell you, the body of evidence in the field of evolutionary psychology that suggests that in finding a mate men generally look for youth and attractiveness, and women look for status and resources is well established and very difficult to dispute.
Also, the information provided by this study is not at all new and evolutionary psychologists have been arguing this point for decades since Dr. David Buss first argued and found evidence for the above points in the 80s.
Yes, there are critics of evolutionary psychology, but the phenomenon of the gender differences mentioned in mating preferences that have been mentioned is a universal fact. Explanations as to why this occurs varies (social exchange and learning theories, as well as societal expectations of gender roles being a few other contributory explanations), however evolutionary psychology has the largest body of evidence, and is the most successful in explaining human motivation in many aspects of our lives, particularly mate preference.
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Gender is a social construct. Without the fields of psychiatry and psychology, there would be no mental patients. Without prisons there would be no criminals.
Psychiatry and Psychology need belief to exist. The list goes on and on........

Normality is a social construct.

Look at anthropological studies of indigenous cultures where capitalism doesn't exist, look at other cultures and how beauty is measured.

I'm poor and I have no problem finding partners. I do have a massive....though ;-)
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"Data taken from a speed-dating study reveals..." that people looking for a partner through speed-dating will get exactly what they deserve.
Speed-dating? Really? I thought that those went out of style with David E. Kelley shows and Monica Lewinsky jokes.
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The fact that the data is taken from speed dating loads the results, as speed dating attracts a certain kind of demographic. Not only that, but the nature of the time constraints in that atmosphere provide inadequate time to dig deeper then a superficial level. It should not be taken to assume that this is representative of a culture as a whole, and especially not as a global or universal truth. This is not to say the data is invalid, just that it shouldn't be read into too deeply, as this is not a deep enough study to make grand conclusions.
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Uhh... I guess I'm an anomaly, then. I'm usually attracted based on appearance first. After all, appearance is the first thing you see. Isn't that the same for most women? Who goes around asking guys how much they make and THEN deciding whether they're attractive or not? That seems a little weird to me...

Mind you, maybe that's how speed dating works.
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Terry, while gender is partially a social construct, our obligatory parental investment caused by our physical differences (that is, the brief contribution of sperm for a man and the 9 months gestation and ensuing lactation for a woman) ensure that many of the gender roles we have today will persist indefinitely.
(You need to think about survival of the fittest here, and we haven’t evolved so much in the last few thousand years back when these behaviours were ingrained.) As a result, the men who are going to be most reproductively successful are the ones who are promiscuous and basically “spread the seed”. Their offspring will also be the most reproductively successful if the mother has good, healthy genes, so men tend to be attracted to youth, low hip to waist ratio, clear skin, symmetrical faces, and lustrous hair, as these are all indicators of health and fertility.
And the most reproductively successful women will need to find a man who while she is nursing and caring for the young (don’t attack me here for being sexist – due to the woman carrying and usually breast feeding the child, the vast majority of the time she will have a stronger bond than the father), has resources and status so that he can provide for her offspring.
Yes, many of our customs have changed since our Neanderthal days e.g. working mothers, child care, paternal leave from work. However we are still motivated by these deeply engrained instincts that we have evolved, and that have made us the reproductively successful species that we are today. Note that all over the world, it is far more acceptable and common for a woman to marry an older man than vice versa.
Also, the measures of beauty in women I mentioned above (low hip-waist ratio etc…) have been found to be universally appealing to men.
Capitalism is irrelevant. Resources don’t always come in the form of money, but also status, contacts, the ability to provide the basics (food, water etc…).
Normality is irrelevant too (unless you are attacking psychology in general), and besides, there are multiple definitions of when a person is “abnormal” (are they statistically different from the population? Are their behaviours not sanctioned by their culture? Are they a danger to themselves or others? Are they suffering or under distress?).
Besides, what do you have against psychology? By any chance are you a scientologist?
Also, Terry and L, exceptions to the rule are unimportant. Evolutionary psychology (what this “study” argues) is always intended to apply to the level of the species, and not the individual. I am an exception to the rule too (my partner has little resources).
And Gary K, I agree with you that this study is not going to be particularly reliable due to its non-representative sample and procedures, but we must note that a ridiculous amount of much more reliable and valid studies have been conducted with huge sample sizes (10s or thousands), and across many cultures (I read one yesterday that measured across 36 countries) on mating preferences in men and women, and they have found the same results. It is a very robust and universal finding.
Sorry for my rant. I work in the area and I could argue my point for days. I mean no disrespect to anyone.
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One more thing Terry,
How can you say that without psychologists there would be no mental patients? Are you implying that mental illnesses don’t exist without psychologists to diagnose it?
I know people with bipolar and schizophrenia. Without help from psychiatrists, their quality of life would be far, far less. A young man I know with schizophrenia, if he doesn’t take his medication, starts to have delusions that frighten him and make him a danger to himself. Someone in my family suffers from bipolar and when she was off her medication, as a single mother, she psychologically and physically abused her children, believing that she was under instructions from both God and the Devil.
I know people with anxiety disorders like OCD – the most debilitating of all the anxiety disorders. Without behavioural therapy and sometimes SSRIs, these peoples’ lives would be ruled by their compulsions.
I know a number of young girls who are recovering from anorexia. Did you know that anorexia has a higher mortality rate than any other psychopathology? That’s right, 20% of girls with anorexia (I say “girls” because 95% of anorexics are female) die. 10% from malnourishment, and 10% from suicide. Do you think we should just leave these girls to their own devices?
Do you know anyone with severe psychopathologies?
What do you think motivates psychologists? Do you really think it’s the money, because here in Australia, the vast majority of psychologists earn little more than teachers (and that’s with a minimum of 7 years university education).
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Yes I most definitely am stating the the whole field of psychiatry, psychology and mental illness labeling is a social construct.

You're obviously a believer and I am not.

Look up social constructionism on wiki.

Read Michel Foucault.

Psychiatrist and Psychologists are just highly paid social control agents.

Wow, you're right! The sky is blue. But then again, language is a construct so maybe the sky is ug.
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Oh, Lord, not another Scientologist telling us how psychiatrists are evil.

Xenu, protect us!

And don't let that tin foil hat of yours slip off, Terry.

Are you saying that all social constructs are wrong, and that crime only exists because we define it as such? Mental illness is only there because we say it is? Until we identify a problem, it doesn't exist?

Ah, for the days of the caveman, when you could rape and kill and steal without believing it was something wrong.
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Heh, I think it's less a scientology thing and more of the age old argument of nature vs. nurture as defined by sociologist and psychologists. Personally, I'm of the opinion that a big chunk of sociology consists of politics made science, but maybe that's just me.
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First of all, it’s constructivism, not “constructionism”, and it is a theory, and not at all one that is incompatible with psychology. Check out the work of Piaget and Vygotsky
(particularly his “zone of proximal development”), two very famous psychologists who were heavily influenced by social constructivism, and whose work is taught to today’s budding psychologists.
Also, social constructivism was originally proposed by sociologists (one of the first being Berger, who had no qualms about the field of psychology). Sociology and psychology both come under the umbrella of the social sciences and are very similar. Sociology is particularly entwined with relationship psychology (which is what the above study is about), and researchers in those fields will often use work by those in the other field as references for their research.
Indeed normality (or should I say abnormality) is a construct, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t real and shouldn’t be researched or defined. Emotions are constructs too. So what? All that means is that they can’t be directly measured, but they can be indirectly measured. Personality and memory are also constructs, but that doesn’t discredit their existence in any way and we are still developing means to indirectly measure them.
There is indeed truth to the theory of constructivism, as there is to many theories. If you would open your mind to alternate theories, like psychological evolutionary theory for example, you could say that gender roles are influenced by both our physical differences (men are stronger, women almost invariably will have a closer bond to her infants), as well as what we are taught as we are growing up is acceptable for each gender. Gender roles are also influenced by hormones and hormones are not a construct, so it is ignorant so close minded as to assert that gender roles are entirely a social construct and nothing else. Many other theories come into play here too, psychoanalytic, social learning, learning theory etc... Why ignore them all?
An example of evidence that gender roles are not entirely defined by social constructs comes in the form of children who are born with the exterior genitalia of a female, and so are assumed to be female, and raised as little girls, but are eventually discovered to be genetic males (they have a y chromosome, undescended testes, and no uterus or ovaries). A number of studies have been conducted on the behaviours of these children when their condition is discovered early but they are still raised as little girls. These girls were found to have significantly more “tomboyish” behaviours than normal girls. They showed more of an interest in rough and tumble play, “boy toys”, such as trucks, and had drawing styles more typical of boys (drawing from an aerial view, subject matters such as planes rather than dogs and people). They also held a marked dislike of girls’ toys and clothes. When they grew up, around 50% became lesbians (compared to approx. 2% in the general population). Now if these children have been raised as little girls and believe they are little girls, why do they behave so much like little boys?
If you’re referring to Foucalt’s "Mental Illness and Psychology", he later changed his opinions on the matter and disclaimed any responsibility or association for the work.
Your line of reasoning is philosophical, but also illogical. Without jails there would be no criminals? What about the criminal who never goes to jail? No, without jails there would be no prisoners, but there would be criminals. Using your warped sense of logic one could also state that without hospitals and doctors there would be no sickness.
I don’t mean this disrespectfully, but I think I can safely assume that I have far more education and have done far more research in the field of psychology than you (having a degree in psychology), and I ask that you don’t take such a brutal and negative stance on an industry that is there to look after people’s health and wellbeing. To be mentally sound is just as important to your health as exercising and eating correctly. And it’s not about the money either. As I said, in Australia, the majority of psychologists work in public health care and get paid very little. I also dedicate a lot of my time to unpaid, volunteered counselling, as do many of my peers.
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Loren Mosher's Soteria proved that so-called mental health experts are not necessary, neither is toxic medication. The best people to assist people that are experiencing problems with life are people who have learned to cope with life's problems. That's why the psychopharmacology industry cut Mosher's funding and closed the Soteria down. Psychiatrist or psychologist that believe their own diatribe are dangerous people and should be avoided. Both of these fields are no more scientific than tea leave readers. A psychology degree does not make you an expert in mental health. Anyone that is doing ok in life is a mental health expert.

I also work in the field as a volunteer so get off your high horse. We have been lobbying the Govt for funding to setup a residency mirroring the Soteria project, we are close to achieving this. We wont be asking Psychologists or Psychiatrists to participate. Their will be no labeling or toxic medication.

Sorry to everyone else for getting off topic but my my original point is I agree with Matt's comment.
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Well perhaps you'd better avoid me then Terry. I'm dangerous and will probably try to label and drug you with my "toxic medication", at least according to your information.
I’m a psychologist. I'm currently in training to council people with eating disorders, and alcohol and drug-related problems. I wish to help them stop these self-destructive behaviours so that they may lead healthier lifestyles and take the strain off their families and friends. I don't plan on recommending that anyone take drugs to treat these problems, in fact, I am focussed on taking their dependence off drugs. Do you think that makes me a bad person? If I’m doing “ok in life”, does that then qualify me to help people? Oh yeah, and I earn next to nothing.
Let me just say that what you've based your ideas on is a vicious and unreasonable attack on an industry that you can’t know as much about as you think you do. If you did, then your opinion would be very different.
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If you really want to help these people, quit your job and focus on lobbying advertising companies to get unhealthy bodies being passed off as the norm on mass media. Also, lobby to get junk food advertising banned. Eating disorders are uniquely westernised cultural phenomenon.

Same goes for the drug-alcohol users, we need social change not the medicalising of difference and despondency.

Mental health issues are political, not medical.
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Okay, and while we wait for the media to ban junk food advertising and the promoting of unhealthy body images (which would be great, but like that is going to happen any time soon), what's going to happen to these girls with anorexia? They could die within months. And do you really think that the moment the media restricts these things, anorexics will start eating, and obese people will adopt a healthier lifestyle?
You simplify the issue way too much. Social influences are only part of the problem. Anorexia is more about control and perfectionism than being thin. Obesity is largely influenced by our evolutionary preference for fatty and sweet foods that are now available to us in the Western world in excess. With or without advertising, people are always going to have access to and a desire to consume these foods. We can’t restrict availability of chocolates and sweets to the population. Some people develop behavioural habits over time so they lack the control (and sometimes the knowledge) to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Eating disorders aren’t a uniquely Westernised phenomenon either e.g., pica or night-eating disorder to name a few.
And what do you propose is the cultural solution to alcoholism? Banning alcohol? Do you understand the science of addiction?
And how do you propose we help people with, say, autism or Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome through cultural changes?
You speak of lobbying for an impossible utopia. You focus on the culture of the population but you forget about the individual.
Besides, I am a qualified psychologist, not a political lobbyist.
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