Women don’t see men with flashy cars and bling as serious fatherhood material
Flashy men are not fooling anyone. Least of all, women.
Men who drive fast cars and like to live large are regarded as being more interested in short-term hook-ups or affairs than marriage. That’s according to a study by Daniel Kruger, a faculty associate at the University of Michigan and Jessica Kruger, a clinical assistant professor at the University at Buffalo in New York, and published in the academic journal Evolutionary Psychological Science.
Both men and women rated the man with the flashy car as being more interested in brief sexual relationships and gave him low marks as a potential family man.
In the study, two groups of undergraduate students rated two fictional men on their perceived dating and parenting skills, interest in relationships and attractiveness to others. Both men had the same budget, but frugal “Dan” spent his $20,000 on a car for reliability, while flashy “Dave” spent $15,000 on his car and used $5,000 to pimp his ride with larger wheels, a paint job and a sound system.
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Men and women rated the man with the flashier car as being more interested in brief sexual relationships and gave him low marks as a potential life partner or family man. The frugal guy—who didn’t feel the need to paint his car and add more bells and whistles—received top marks as a potential life partner, parent and provider by both genders, the study found.
“Compared to women, men have a greater tendency to conspicuously display their wealth,” the researchers wrote. “This is consistent with their typical role as providers and is thought to be a way for them to advertise their intentions about a relationship. Across cultures, a woman’s preference for a certain partner at a specific time reflects the type of partnership she is considering.”
Wealthy men and women look for different things
Wealthy men and women have different priorities when it comes to choosing a mate, previous research concluded. Men with higher incomes showed stronger preferences for women with slender bodies, while women with higher incomes preferred men who had a steady income or made similar money, according to a 2016 survey of 28,000 men and women aged between 18 and 75.
Men with higher incomes showed stronger preferences for women with slender bodies, while wealthy women preferred men with a steady income.
The study was conducted by researchers at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., and was published in “Personality and Individual Differences.” Women felt it was more important that their partner made at least as much money as they did (46% versus 24% of men) and had a successful career (61% versus 33% of men). Men favored a fit body (80% versus 58% of women).
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And men with more education also had stronger preferences for female partners who were “good looking” and slender, whereas this was not a concern for women. Some 95% of men with an advanced degree said it was “essential” that their partner was “good looking” versus 77% of those with a high school education or less, that study found.
Slender bodies are associated with youth as the body’s metabolism slows as one grows older and, as such, could represent fertility for men, while women pay attention to things that enhance their security and survival, and that of their family. Cultural factors, of course, can greatly influence the extent of these preferences, the researchers theorized.
Quentin Fottrell is MarketWatch's personal-finance editor and The Moneyist columnist for MarketWatch. You can follow him on Twitter @quantanamo.
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