Photo: cote on flickr
Gender equality might be key to doing away with evolutionary stereotypes, like sugar daddies and trophy wives, according to a new study. It may even change the way we spend. Psychologists Marcel Zetner and Klaudia Mitura write that women have always been thought of as seeking wealth to ensure their reproductive success, while men wanted “access to fertile females,” ideally young ones, to procreate.
But in asking over 3,000 people from 10 countries (South Korea, Mexico, Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Finland, the Philippines, German, the U.S.) what they seek in a mate, the psychologists found that the desire for “sex-typed values” leveled off when men and women were on the same footing.
Going off a 1989 study that analysed evolutionary mate traits, the psychologists asked respondents to reveal whether they were on the hunt for domestic skills, like housekeeping and the ability to whip up a mean meal, or “proxies of earning potential,” like social status, education and intelligence.
Turns out, the domestic skills weren’t as important in “gender-egalitarian nations” among men, and women weren’t all that interested in how much money a man was earning. Even age became a non-issue.
“This finding raises the intriguing possibility that gender differentiation may be bound to erode across a broad range of psychologicial attributes in societies where women and men are treated equally,” wrote the authors.
That’s major news for the dating world and for the way we spend money. As BuzzFeed’s Anna North points out, knowing age is just a number might make women less inclined to turn to costly cosmetic procedures in the quest for idealised beauty. Older men might grow wary of lavishing 20-year-olds with fancy dinners when they meet a like-minded career woman who’s not afraid to split the tab, or cook at home.
These shifts aren’t likely to happen overnight, but as we adapt the new culture norms, we may begin to see a marked difference in who dates whom, and what we value in a long-term mate.
(H/T to Buzzfeed Shift)
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