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Still, he wasn’t her usual ‘type’ – the type that was much younger than her, plus athletic and handsome to boot.Josh, meanwhile, had been dreaming of a cashed-up woman with high ambitions, status and education, ideally with a Ph D (or two). It was the norm, after all, for men to be the ones to ‘marry up’.Women, meanwhile, are more likely to prioritize money and status over youth and beauty. Many evolutionary psychologists put this trend down to the power of innate biological drives.Their argument is that women have a primeval urge to hang on to wealthy men to provide for their children during the long period of pregnancy and childrearing.To be fair, evolutionary psychologists acknowledge that cultural factors and local customs can affect how people choose their partners.
As with Josh and Mia, Finnish men are now more likely than Finnish women to select partners based on their high level of education.
“Our evolved psychology of mating, after all, plays out in the modern world because it is the only mating psychology we mortals possess.” (There’s little historical or intercultural research on LGBT mate preferences; such questions are clearly important, but sadly there isn’t yet sufficient data to examine them properly.)However, there has been a tectonic shift in gender roles over the past 50 years.
As recently as the 1980s, female flight attendants in the United States could be fired if they got married, and women’s right to vote wasn’t universally enforced in Switzerland until 1990.
Of course, sexism varies within each society, and a nation’s overall level of gender-equality doesn’t necessarily translate to gender-equal attitudes among individuals.
But if mating preferences are biologically predetermined, individual sexism shouldn’t have an impact.