eCite Digital Repository

Social-economic theory and short-term mate preferences: The effects of gender roles and socioeconomic status


March, E and Grieve, R, Social-economic theory and short-term mate preferences: The effects of gender roles and socioeconomic status, Australian Journal of Psychology, 68, (4) pp. 241-250. ISSN 0004-9530 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Australian Psychological Society

DOI: doi:10.1111/ajpy.12102


Objective Men's and women's mate preferences in long-term relationships have been extensively considered in research. However, men's and women's short-term mate preferences have not received nearly as much attention. In particular, theoretical origins of men's and women's short-term mate preferences have received limited consideration in comparison to long-term relationships. Specifically, although evolutionary origins of short-term mate preferences have been discussed, elements of social-economic theory (i.e., socioeconomic status (SES) and gender roles) have not yet been explored. The current study sought to address the gap in the literature concerning short-term mate preferences and social-economic theory.

Method Seven hundred eighty-one participants were recruited to complete a questionnaire that included the mate budget paradigm.

Results: For men, results showed significant independent effects of SES and gender roles on a short-term mate's physical attractiveness scores, but no significant interaction. Results also showed no significant main effect of SES and gender roles on short-term mate's social level scores, although there was a significant interaction between a masculine gender role and medium and high SES. For women, there were no independent or interactive effects of SES and gender roles on physical attractiveness and social level scores.

Discussion: Results were interpreted in relation to both evolutionary and social-economic theories, specifically discussing strategic pluralism and sexual strategies theories. Results of the study highlight the need for increased awareness of independent and interactional effects of social-economic theory elements on men's and women's short-term mate preferences, and further exploration of relationships outside the dichotomy of long and short term.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:evolutionary theory, gender roles, interpersonal processes and relationships, short-term mate, social-economic theory, socioeconomic status
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Social and personality psychology
Research Field:Social psychology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Grieve, R (Dr Rachel Grieve)
ID Code:110107
Year Published:2016 (online first 2015)
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2016-07-13
Last Modified:2017-11-03

Repository Staff Only: item control page