Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 14, Pages 438: Testing Sexual Strategy Theory in Norway

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Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 14, Pages 438: Testing Sexual Strategy Theory in Norway

Behavioral Sciences doi: 10.3390/bs14060438

Authors: Mehmet Mehmetoglu Ilmari Määttänen Matthias Mittner

Choosing a romantic partner for a long-term relationship is one of the most significant decisions one makes during our lifetime. We have inherited an evolved framework from our ancestors that contains traits, as well as preferences for these traits, to solve this task. We use this framework consciously or unconsciously to choose prospective romantic partners. Following this reasoning, sexual strategy theory (SST) has been proposed for predicting which traits women and men prefer in a romantic partner for a long-term relationship. These predictions were empirically tested in the current work based on a sample of 1193 Norwegian adolescents who responded to an online questionnaire. We implemented the study hypotheses, derived from SST, in three statistical models, which were tested using structural equation modeling. In brief, our results revealed that women only valued resources more than men when we controlled for materialistic traits. This finding contrasts with SST’s prediction that women would value resources more than men, independently of other variables. As for the second prediction that men value physical attractiveness more than women, this pattern existed universally and was independent of, for instance, how egalitarian they were. We thus conclude that SST was only partially supported and that variables that may reflect societal circumstances (e.g., wealth, gender, equality) should be considered when examining the mate choice behavior of women and men. The theoretical and practical implications of the study are also discussed.

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