Thursday, 14 February 2008

St. Valentines Day debriefing.

I suppose one does feel obliged to publish a themed 14th February post, especially if a rather poor double entendre can be built into the headline.

Of slightly more interest though are the results of a study undertaken by researchers at the Northwestern University in Chicago.

They have found evidence that challenges the traditional view that runs through survey results over many decades which suggests that when it comes to romantic attraction men primarily are motivated by good looks and women by earning power.

Through an in depth study of speed dating events the researchers concluded that that irrespective of whether you're a man or a woman, being attractive is just as good for your romantic prospects as is, to a lesser extent, being a good earner.

When asked to complete an initial questionnaire the participants in the study still held to the traditional view however their actions and preferences studied during the speed dating events told a different story.

As Paul Eastwick, the lead author of the study explained

"True to the stereotypes, the initial self-reports of male participants indicated that they cared more than women about a romantic partner's physical attractiveness, and the women in the study stated more than men that earning power was an aphrodisiac,"

“However good looks was the primary stimulus of attraction for both men and women, and a person with good earning prospects or ambition tended to be liked as well,"

The speed-dating methodology allowed the researchers to move beyond the abstract world of romantic ideals to see how people actually related to and rated people regarding physical attractiveness, ambition and earning power.

As Paul Eastwick noted

"If you were to tell me that you prefer physically attractive romantic partners, I would expect to see that you indeed are more attracted to physically attractive partners. But our participants didn't pursue their ideal in this way. This leads us to question whether people know what they initially value in a romantic partner."

Or put another way once all the playing to type is over perhaps everyone wants the same thing. A ridiculously attractive partner with an obscene amount of money. Or is that an attractive and obscene partner with a ridiculous amount of money?

None of this should really come as a huge surprise though and it’s rather reassuring, that irrespective of gender, we are all as shallow and acquisitive as each other.

Happy St.Valentines

4 comments:

jmb said...

I see I would be bucking the trend here since I married a man who was already going bald, although not bad looking and earned half what I did at the time (he was a post doctoral fellow). He ended up as an academic and although well paid did not have great earning power. But he loved his work, both teaching and research and that was worth the sacrifice of earning power. A very happy camper and worth a great deal, just not money.

Happy Valentine's Day Grendel.

If I'd known my remarks were going into the testimonials I would have said something more intelligent, well possibly. Anyway keep mixing it up. You and Jams, what will it be next? Always a pleasure to check and see.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Or is that an attractive and obscene partner with a ridiculous amount of money?

How about an attractive and obscene partner with a small amount of money and the desire to bed raqther than shop?

Liz said...

I don't believe that about the earning power being important! That's rubbish. A nice bum now ...

CalumCarr said...

A variation on my comment at jmb suffices.

Young fatso had a day like any other.

What is Valentine's Day anyway?

Love?! Money?! Attractive?! Bed?!

Think I've missed something along the way.