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.