Dads or cads? Women’s strategic decisions in the mating game

Aitken, Sue and Lyons, Minna and Jonason, Peter K. (2013) Dads or cads? Women’s strategic decisions in the mating game. Personality and Individual Differences, 55 (2). pp. 118-122. ISSN 0191-8869

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We report the findings of two studies (N = 142; N = 28) investigating women’s preference for men in short- and long-term mating scenarios and perceptions of honesty of dating adverts written by men high or low in Machiavellianism. Overall, men low on Machiavellianism (viz., dads), were preferred as long-term mates; and men high on Machiavellianism (viz., cads) as short-term mates. Fertile women preferred cads for a short-term relationship and dads as a long-term partner. Higher ratings were given to all adverts when females were fertile, suggesting generally higher levels of desire for a partner when the possibility of conception is highest. In contrast to previous work suggesting traits like Machiavellianism may facilitate a deceptive or exploitative mating strategy in men, the present results suggest (1) women are attuned to differences in men’s personality as a function of fertility and (2) affirms that women prefer cads for short-term mating and dads for long-term mating.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Machiavellianism; Mate choice; Dating advertisements; Fertility
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > Psychology
Depositing User: Users 3 not found.
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2014 15:36
Last Modified: 19 Mar 2014 16:27

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