In this chapter, Etcoff begins to explain why attractive people often receive privileges, focusing on how men and women consider attractiveness when it comes to selecting mates. Etcoff states that "for both sexes, looks are more important to short-term casual relationships than for more serious relationships" in which other qualities become more important. Abundant research shows that neither sex views attractiveness as a neutral or unimportant quality to insider when choosing a mate. Neither men nor women view attractiveness as indispensable. That said, even though both sexes want beauty in a mate, "men want it more," (63). In other words (surprise, surprise) beauty does matter when it comes to mate selection, and it matters in a gendered way.
|Is this "New Younger Woman Gets New Younger Car"!??|
This all sounds like crappy news (for women, at least!), and yet, no Ev-Psych essay on mate selection could leave out the fact that women, more so than men, tend to prefer mates with access to wealth and resources. (We are such gold-diggers! Shame!) So there. men! We ladies can race you all the way to the bottom of the bad gender stereotypes race!
Getting back to the lesson: The good news is that even evolutionary psychologists admit that the MOST important characteristics that the average men and most women look for in mates are NOT beauty and bucks. Yes, men value looks more than women do, and, yes, women value "success" more than men do, but characteristics like kindness, honesty, and faithfulness rank higher on the list than beauty/succss for both sexes.
I'll say that again: characteristics like kindness, honesty, and faithfulness rank higher on the list than beauty/success for both sexes. (BTW, I didn't get this from the Etcoff book, but from other sources that she didn't bother citing... boo.)
Thus, it appears that (1) we women and men are more alike than dissimilar AND (2) we aren't all superficial jerks. Hooray! Take that www.sugardaddies.com!
Alright... of this talk about sugar has left me feeling hypoglycemic. I'm headed out to buy me some candy. Sugar Daddies, anyone?
Question for discussion: there's been a ton of criticism for these "sugar daddy" dating websites. Many critics compare them to prostitution, while supporters say things like "all relationships involve exchange," or "well, wives sometimes sleep with their husbands to get a new fridge." Anyway, there seems to be a pretty huge grey area when it comes to the things that people can legally "exchange" within romantic relationships. What do YOU think? Further, what do YOU exchange, if anything?