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Added: Tecora Alday - Date: 24.06.2021 20:25 - Views: 49090 - Clicks: 1733

Courtesy Wikimedia. Their relationship blossomed, but doubts crept up on both of them now and again. Josh was the primary caregiver for from a marriage, and his financial prospects were dim. Josh, meanwhile, had been dreaming of a cashed-up woman with high ambitions, status and education, ideally with a PhD or two. Currently, the desire for a young, attractive partner of the opposite sex tends to be more prevalent in men than in women. Women, meanwhile, are more likely to prioritise money and status over youth and beauty. Many evolutionary psychologists put this trend down to the power of innate biological drives.

Their argument is that women have a primeval urge to hang on to wealthy men to provide for their children during the long period of pregnancy and childrearing. In the distant past, this behaviour was adaptive, and so evolution selected and encoded it in our genes, forever. Sure, the rituals of modern mating look very different to those of our ancestors. However, there has been a tectonic shift in gender roles over the past 50 years. Or are we still at the mercy of our biological destiny, as evolutionary psychologists claim? The from the research are clear: mating preferences among men and women look increasingly similar.

The trend is directly tied to increasing gender equality, as women gain greater access to resources and opportunities in business, politics and education. In more gender-unequal nations, such as Turkey, women rate the earning potential of partners as twice as important compared with women in the most gender-equal nations, such as Finland. As with Josh and Mia, Finnish men are now more likely than Finnish women to select partners based on their high level of education. However, research carried out in nine nations proves the opposite.

To be fair, evolutionary psychologists acknowledge that cultural factors and local customs can affect how people choose their partners. However, the counter-punch is that evidence of a lingering gap actually supports our case: the difference is only narrowed to the extent that gender equality is attained. R egrettably, traditional gender roles persist even in very egalitarian societies. In one Danish study , husbands whose wives out-earned them were more likely than other husbands to use erectile dysfunction medication.

In another study in the US, single women downplayed their career goals and toned down their assertiveness in the hope of making themselves more desirable to men. What if a society actually did achieve perfect gender equality? Would women and men hold essentially identical partner preferences? The implication is that women will seek to replace this anticipated loss of income by choosing husbands with good earning prospects. This decision will have little to do to with some primeval urge for a great male protector, however; it will be guided by rational calculations about future needs.

Moreover, progressive social policy, changes to the workplace, and greater participation of fathers in childcare could all mitigate such career-compromising pressures. My students sometimes ask me whether gender-equal partner preferences would be desirable. They seem concerned that such equality could snuff out the spark from our love lives. Another risk is that levelling out mating preferences could lead to more marriages of equals, which could in turn entrench economic inequality.

Given the current rate of change, it will be some time before Josh and Mia get together: we have at least another years to wait before gender parity is achieved. Computing and artificial intelligence. Algorithms associating appearance and criminality have a dark past. Gentle medicine could radically transform medical practice.

Childhood and adolescence. For , being carefree is intrinsic to a well-lived life. Meaning and the good life. Sooner or later we all face death. Will a sense of meaning help us? Kristopher Nielsen. Men want beauty, women want wealth, and other unscientific tosh. Gender and identity Human evolution Love and friendship. Aeon is not-for-profit and free for everyone Make a donation. Get Aeon straight to your inbox our newsletter.

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