Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Myth about "dirty old men" supported by science

04.12.2008
Middle-aged men want younger women, often touting their intelligence and their high income. This is shown in research at Gothenburg University and Oxford University that studied 400 lonely hearts ads to see how men and women choose partners.

Research in the theory of evolution includes a number of accepted theories about how men and women choose their partners. Among the more established ones is that men place more emphasis on attractive appearance, whereas resources and social status are more important to women.

By examining lonely hearts advertisements, researchers at the University of Gothenburg and the University of Oxford have now tested how valid these presumed preferences are when modern individuals choose partners.

In the study, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, the researchers looked at 400 lonely hearts ads in the Swedish newspapers Göteborgs-Posten and Aftonbladet and on the Websites Spraydate and match.com.

To some extent, the findings support established theories:

· Women, more than men, look for solid resources and social status. As a result men also offer this in their ads, through formulations like 'large house' and 'economically independent.'

· Men in all categories prefer younger partners. Of a total of 97 men who mentioned age in their ads, only three were looking for an older partner - among men aged 40 to 59, only one out of 67.

· Younger women, on the other hand, prefer older men: fully 14 of 16 women aged 20-39 were looking for an older partner. Among women over 60, however, the majority were looking for a younger man.

Another point of departure for the study was that men are more fixated on appearance than women are. This turned out not to be the case.

"When it comes to physical characteristics, it turned out that men and women were the same. Both used words like, 'athletic,' 'beautiful,' 'pretty,' 'tall,' 'handsome,' and 'trim' to the same extent, and this goes both for their descriptions of themselves and for the characteristics they were looking for in a partner," says Jörgen Johnsson at the Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg, one of the researchers behind the study.

"This might indicate that men have learned to respond to women's interest in looks, therefore stressing to the same extent their attractiveness in the ads. The fact that both sexes focus on looks may also be influenced by our times, with the great fixation on appearance in the media."

The study is an elaboration of an undergraduate paper at the Department of Zoology, written by Linda Gustavsson. The associate at the University of Oxford is Tobias Uller.

Contact
Jörgen Johnsson, Department of Zoology, University of Gothenburg:
cell phone: +46 (0)73-7780375
phone: +46 (0) 31-211411 (home)
phone: +46 (0)31-786 3665 (office)
Jorgen.Johnsson@zool.gu.se
Pressofficer: Krister Svahn; krister.svahn@science.gu.se; +46-732 096 339

Krister Svahn | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

High conductive foils enabling large area lighting

29.06.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Designed proteins to treat muscular dystrophy

29.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Climate Fluctuations & Non-equilibrium Statistical Mechanics: An Interdisciplinary Dialog

29.06.2017 | Seminars Workshops

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>