Dating mate selection
There are exceptions to the similarity-attraction principle, however. Women at all ages tend to be attracted to men who are slightly older than themselves, and men shift their preferences throughout the lifespan, such that teenagers find older women most attractive, men in their twenties are most attracted to women their own age, and older men are most attracted to women who are younger than themselves (Kenrick et al. Besides this, women tend to emphasize status-linked characteristics in a partner, whereas men do not (Sadalla, Kenrick, and Vershure 1987). Although symmetry is attractive in both men and women, small noses and relatively smaller jaws are relatively more attractive in women, and medium noses and large jaws are attractive in men (Cunningham, Druen, and Barbee 1997). "mate assortment in dating and married couples." personality and individual differences 7–221.kenrick, d. A small waist-to-hip ratio is attractive in a woman, but not in a man (Singh 1995). "dominance, prosocial orientation, and female preferences: do nice guys really finish last?
In considering how and why people choose mates, therefore, two points are significant: (1) there are variations as well as universalities across cultures, and (2) there is a distinction between selection of mates for short-term relationships versus long-term relationships. "dominance and heterosexual attraction." journal of personality and social psychology 52(4):30–738.shepher, j. Several theories of mate selection have focused on the psychological responses of the individual to potential mates. An influential early theory focused on reinforcement, emphasizing the observer's affective response to potential mates (Byrne and Clore 1970). Sexual selection favors characters that increase access to a limited supply of opposite-sex gametes.Some sexually selected traits are advantageous because when a male and female encounter each other they increase the likelihood of being deemed an acceptable mate.
If there was no cost to being choosy then mating preferences could arise as pleiotropic by-products of selection on other traits. Choosiness can decrease an individual’s rate of reproduction by lowering the rate at which acceptable mates are found or by selecting for costly mate sampling behavior to ensure one is found.