Cultural differences in mate preference

Zhang, Lingshan (2021) Cultural differences in mate preference. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Although there is a large literature on sex differences in human mate preferences, this literature has focused largely on mate preferences in western cultures. In particular, there have been very few studies comparing mate preferences in Eastern and Western cultures. The studies reported in this thesis sought to address this issue. The first empirical chapter (Chapter 2) reports results from a Registered Report that compared sex differences in preferences for physical attractiveness and status in samples of Chinese and UK students. Consistent with previous work, preferences for physical attractiveness were stronger in men than in women, and preferences for status were stronger in women than men. This latter sex difference was more pronounced in Chinese than UK participants, however. The second empirical chapter (Chapter 3) reports results from a large-study that attempted to replicate the influential finding that mate-preference sex differences are smaller in countries with greater gender equality. Although robust sex differences in mate preferences were observed, and the magnitude of these sex differences differed among countries, there was little evidence that country-level differences in gender equality predicted the magnitude of mate-preference sex differences. Chapters 2 and 3 used trait-rating and trait-taking tasks to assess mate preferences. By contrast with this approach, the study reported in the final empirical chapter (Chapter 4) compared data-driven models of human face preferences to compare the information Chinese and UK participants used to assess the facial attractiveness of potential mates. This comparison revealed subtle differences in the information used by Chinese and UK participants. Collectively, these findings show evidence for robust sex and cultural differences in human mate preferences. The causes of these cultural differences remain unclear, however.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Sex difference, mate preference, cultural difference.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Supervisor's Name: Jones, Professor Benedict
Date of Award: 2021
Depositing User: Ms Lingshan Zhang
Unique ID: glathesis:2021-82098
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Apr 2021 07:57
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2021 08:03
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.82098
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