Surveys: For men, a woman's intelligence is increasingly important than appearance

Surveys: For men, a woman's intelligence is increasingly important than appearance

Partner choice: For men, women's intelligence is increasingly important than beauty
In numerous surveys in the past, many men said that good looks and a great figure were particularly important to women. Wisdom often only played a minor role. But apparently preferences are changing. According to a new study, men are increasingly placing intelligence over beauty in women.

Various factors influence the choice of partner
Human beauty is in the subjective eye of the beholder, but that doesn't stop many people - especially men - from talking about how important it is to them that their partner looks good. It is known from science that many factors influence the choice of partner. Hormones play a role here, but also the smell of the other person or subconscious behavior. Nevertheless, some men are still sure what their dream woman should look like and use long-established clichés: a pretty face, long blond hair and a great figure with large breasts. But apparently something is happening in the men's world: As the news agency APA reports, a new study shows that men nowadays actually place intelligence increasingly ahead of beauty in women.

Equality between men and women
According to a press release from the University of Innsbruck, this result is based on the foundations of a widespread theory that our partner preferences are fixed in terms of evolutionary biology. With the increasing equality of men and women, the laws of partner selection would also change. Marcel Zentner, professor at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Innsbruck, and his colleague Alice Eagly from Northwestern University (USA) came to this thesis after evaluating numerous studies. “We sifted through and analyzed hundreds of studies from different disciplines. They show that the partner preferences of women and men react with unexpected speed to progress in equality, ”said Marcel.

Gender-typical preference patterns change
First, they examined cross-cultural studies. “These show that the gender-typical preference pattern, such as that women are attracted to influence and wealth and men to youth and beauty, melts away with the increasing gender equality of the countries,” explained the scientist. Accordingly, the preference of women for solvent men in countries with relatively low equality such as Korea or Turkey is twice as strong as in countries with relatively high equality such as Finland or the United States. When they investigated gender role models of individuals, it became apparent that the traditional gender-typical partner preferences can be found primarily in groups of people who have a conventional gender role pattern. The more progressive this picture is, the smaller the gender difference in the partner preferences of the groups of people examined. The researchers also published their results in the journal “European Review of Social Psychology”.

Education of women used to be of little importance
Finally, in the analysis of historical trends, the researchers demonstrated that changes in gender role models run parallel to changes in partner preferences. In many nations, the traditional division of labor, in which men are employed and women do household chores, has long been outdated. Income and education of women hardly played a role in the choice of partner 75 years ago, while today more and more men consider these characteristics to be very important. Due to the fact that men apparently prefer smart women in the first place and consider beautiful faces and curves as secondary, according to the APA news agency, the evolutionary biological partner preferences are shaken, which means: women need men with resources to raise their children, men, however, if possible many fertile women. This way, both can leave the greatest possible number of offspring.

How does the partner fit into a particular life plan?
Nowadays, however, some evolutionary biologists would argue differently: Since our ancestors would have had to face constantly changing environments with new adaptation problems, those who could react flexibly to changes in the environment had the survival advantage. The result of evolutionary history is therefore the flexibility inherent in humans. "The same flexibility also allows people to adapt their partner preferences to changes in society," said Eagly. “As representatives of socio-cultural approaches have long suspected, partners are selected primarily based on how much they fit into a particular life plan. And life plans are significantly shaped by the increasing gender equality, ”says the psychologist. (ad)

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