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Young men look for an attractive partner and young women emphasise personality but as we age, everyone agrees physical attributes are overrated. The characteristics that attract people to an ideal partner differ between men and women, but become more similar with age, a survey of more than 7, Australian online dating users has found. Researchers asked 7, Australians aged between 16 and 65 to rate the importance of nine characteristics of potential partners on a scale of 0 to The characteristics fell into three : aesthetics age, attractiveness, physical build ; resources intelligence, education, income ; and personality trust, openness, emotional connection.
The study, published in the scientific journal Plos Onefound both sexes rated physical build, attractiveness and all three personality traits as highly important. Income was rated as less important.
Men aged 18 to 25 ased higher priority to attractiveness and physical build, but as men got older these factors became less important. Women placed ificantly greater weight on age, education, intelligence, income, trust and emotional connection. Younger women aged no more than 25 ranked personality factors as much more important than men of a similar age, but the gap narrowed for adults over For adults 60 and older, men rated personality factors more highly than women did.
Both sexes placed greater importance on openness and trust with increasing age. Whyte suggested the differences in preferences between men and women could be attributed to a theory in evolutionary psychology known as parental investment. It contends that women are choosier when picking partners because they invest more reproductively in the survival of offspring.
Beatrice Alba at Deakin University, who was not involved in the research, said though many gender differences are the effect of socialisation, some are driven by evolutionary demands. The study found people who expressed an extremely high preference for a particular trait were likely to care a great deal about multiple traits.
This pattern was most prevalent in people in their years of peak fertility and income earnings — in men aged between 25 and 40 and women between 35 and 45 years old.
Whyte attributed this to individual variations in intensity of preferences. Brendan Zietsch, from the University of Queensland and who was not involved in the survey, said the study reinforced findings that men and women differed somewhat in their stated preferences in a potential partner. But he said a growing body of research suggested that what people said they wanted in a partner did not necessarily correspond to the choices they made. The study was part of the Australian Sex Surveya broader research project on sexuality and gender identity.
The survey was conducted in and surveyed users of Adult Match Maker and its associated dating sites, but did not specifically ask whether users also used other dating apps such as Tinder or Bumble. This article is more than 2 months old. Donna Lu. Wed 19 May Wilhelm Reich: the strange, prescient sexologist who sought to set us free. The sole function of the clitoris is female orgasm. Topics Relationships Sexuality news.
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