“And that’s hopeful because it allows for physical imperfections — not the unattainable physical flawlessness we’re bombarded with every day in the media,” she says.
“This is a study of what determines the qualities one is looking for in a mate,” says Roger Friedland, visiting professor of media, culture and communication at New York University, who has studied the behavior of American college students.
“It does not study who they actually mate with, the way they mate with them or the quality of the relationships they found,” Friedland said.
He calls it the “mating market.” Presumably, gay people also compete with members of the same sex when looking for a partner.
There was one deviation: Older people care less about physical attraction, professional success or the potential to make a lot of money, the study found.
Being kind and having good manners also helps.” Read: 10 things married couples won’t tell you The study may help people understand why the advertising industry (and society) puts so much emphasis on women being thin, “part of which is driven by pressure to attract a partner,” Frederick says.
And it may also throw light on why men strive so aggressively for higher income and assertively negotiate for raises, “because income affects not only their ability to pay for dates but also their likelihood of attracting a partner.” The fashion industry rarely focuses on advertising clothes to plus-size women and one major Harvard University study recently found that men are four times more likely to negotiate pay than women.
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And men with more education also had stronger preferences for female partners who were “good looking” and slender, whereas this was not a concern for women.