(This is the reading and writing 2 on the list. This article might make you think about common behaviors in uncommon ways. Whether you are being male or female, this article may also give you some advantages and insights in attracting mates. )
Here is the study conducted by Buss (1988).
Buss, D.M. (1988). The evolution of human intrasexual competition: Tactics of mate attraction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 54, 661-628.
The main idea of the study is this. In humans,
- Female Investment > Male Investment (read my other articles that explain WHY this is the case)
- Males and Females are predisposed to choose mates who would increase their genetic fitness (Intersexual mate choice)
- Females biologically prefer Males with Resources (Wealth), characteristics that signal potential resources, and higher parental investment, etc.
- Males biologically prefer Females with higher reproductive values and fertility (beauty, health, youth, certain bodily features, etc.)
- Intrasexual Competition
- Males compete with other males for access to best quality females
- Females compete with other females for access to best quality males
- Intersexual Signaling
- Males use different methods in courting, and impressing potential quality females.
- Females use different methods in courting, and impressing potential quality males.
The article examined these last two phenomenon and 3 different studies with different samples. In general, they found that males heavily use techniques to show off their wealth and physical fitness in courting while females use techniques such as showing off their beauty.
Preliminary Study – Get a list of different specific acts men and women use in making themselves look more attractive to members of opposite sex. Judges categorize and agreed different criteria of the list. The results are 23 tactics. Look at the list in the appendix if you are interested.
Study 1– Using a list of 101 acts in preliminary study, subjects were asked how often their closest friends who are of same sex used these methods.
Study2– Newlywed couples who had been married for less than a year were invited into the lab and asked how often they used these acts when they were dating with their spouses or when they first met their spouses.
Study3– Participants were asked how often they feel that the acts were EFFECTIVE in courting or attracting the opposite mates.
Findings– Some specific sex differences were found in study 1 but not 2 or found in study 2 but not 1. However, in general, the findings showed that the effective and the frequency of employing these tactics were different between males and females in either competing with same sex or impressing other sex.
Sex difference exists. Men used acts that signal their strength, wealth and resources and their willingness to invest all these in offspring and women while women used acts that show off their beauty. Results in study 1 and 2 showed that men tactics in displaying resources and bragging about resources were used more frequently and were more effective in impressing their spouse (study 2). Women on the other hand, showed that their tactics in grooming, wearing nice clothes and jewelries were effective and used more frequently.
In study 3, the results showed that male display of resources is more effective than female resource display, and female acts of enhancing and maintaining beauty (greater reproductive values) yield higher effectiveness. However, the 20 most effective acts chosen by both males and females were very similar. In previous studies, Buss and other colleagues found that both men and women essentially prefer mates who are kind and understanding.
Anyway, here are 20 most effective male and female acts reported in the study.
20 Most Effective Male Acts in Courtship
- He displayed a good sense of humor
- He was sympathetic to her troubles.
- He showed good manners.
- He kept himself well-groomed.
- He made an effort to spend a lot of time with a particular woman.
- He offered to help her.
- He showered daily.
- He kept physically fit to create a healthy appearance.
- He exercised.
- He wore attractive outfits.
- He washed his hair every day.
- He wore stylish, fashionable clothes.
- He went on a diet to improve his figure.
- He smiled a lot at women.
- He gave encouraging glances to girls.
- He bought a woman dinner at a nice restaurant.
- He participated in extracurricular activities to meet girls.
- He touched her.
- He made up jokes to make women laugh.
- He expressed strong opinions.
20 Most Effective Male Acts in Courtship
- She displayed a good sense of humor.
- She kept herself well-groom ed.
- She was sympathetic to his troubles.
- She showed good manners.
- She showered daily.
- She kept physically fit to create a healthy appearance.
- She made up jokes to make men laugh.
- She made an effort to spend a lot of time with a particular man.
- She wore stylish, fashionable clothes.
- She offered to help him.
- She wore attractive outfits.
- She exercised.
- She participated in extracurricular activities to meet guys.
- She smiled a lot at men.
- She groomed her hair carefully.
- She bought a man dinner at a nice restaurant.
- She wore sexy clothes.
- She gave encouraging glances to guys.
- She went to parties to meet guys.
- She told him things he wanted to hear.
Hope you enjoyed the article.