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The following research is a study of gender differences in selecting romantic partners. The goal of the study was to determine if males and females place different values on characteristics of the opposite sex, while selecting a romantic partner. To research this situation, surveys were distributed at random to both males and females. The survey asked these people to rank features they felt influenced their decision in selecting romantic partners. Through analysis of the surveys, it has discovered that men and women are more similar then expected. On average, both men and women responded that they put more weight in personality traits then they do in physical traits.
From person to person, one thing that seems to differ the most is values. Where one person may put a great deal of importance, another might not put any. Such is the case in which people choose romantic partners. An attribute one person may find very attractive or important, another might not be interested in at all. Do values differ between sexes? Many people would say yes, while others may refute this. The issue that this study is concerned with is whether males assign greater weight to physical attributes in selecting romantic partners, while females assign greater weight to personality features.
An article in the Journal of College Student Development reported that research found that African American men favored physical characteristics, while African American women favored "Social stratification variables". Research published in the journal, Personality and Individual Differences showed that men reported to find themselves attracted to physical traits, while women found themselves drawn to commitment and intimacy. An article in the journal of Evolution and Human Behavior, women reported to use non-physical traits to form a pool of potential partners. Another article published by the same journal reported that characteristics at which males and females use to judge potential partners depend on how long the relationship is intended to last. Criteria used for a short-term relationship may differ from that of a long-term relationship.
Based on prior research, the research conducted in this study hopes to prove the hypothesis that males place greater weight in physical characteristics while females place more weight in personality. It is believed that the major force that attracts a male to a romantic partner is their physical appearance, while females focus on areas such as cleanliness and ambition. The goal of understanding this relationship is to improve communication. By understanding what drives each sex to choose a romantic partner, communication between the sexes can be improved. Improved communication leads to a more open forum and healthier relationships between the sexes.
The sole source of information for this study was collected through the use of a survey. The survey was created specifically for this study and the questions were developed to be unbiased to sex and attractive. The survey listed 25 traits of both physical and non-physical nature. Participants in the survey were then asked to rank the characteristics in terms on importance on a Likert scale of 1 to 5. 5 being very important and 1 being not important at all. The objective of having people rank these traits was to important and which traits they found unattractive or unimportant. Athletic body, sense of humor, financial status, physically active, independence, and trustworthy are examples of traits that participants were asked to rank. The surveys were calculated by adding together all the scores that a person assigned to each appearance trait. The same was done for the personality traits. This created, for each participant, a personality score and an appearance score. By calculating the rankings assigned to each trait, it could be determined if a person favored physical traits over non-physical traits, or visa-versa. The survey also requested the participants age, sex, and sexual preference. The survey was handed out randomly to people in Syracuse University dorms, dining halls and lecture halls. 19 females and 25 males participated in the study. Their ages ranged from 17 years old to 24 years old, with the average female being 18.2 years old and the average male being 18.9 years old.
Contrary to the hypothesis, the results of the survey showed that males and females answered the survey questions very similarly. Both males and females favor personality traits over
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Human sexuality, Social psychology, Biology of gender, Sex, Sexual dimorphism, Physical attractiveness, Sex differences in humans, Mating preferences, Dark triad
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