Wanting or having children predicts age preferences in online dating

Kramer, Robin S. S. and Jones, Alex L. (2021) Wanting or having children predicts age preferences in online dating. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences . ISSN 2330-2925

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1037/ebs0000274

Wanting or having children predicts age preferences in online dating
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When dating, women seek men slightly older than themselves while men typically prefer younger women. Such patterns reflect differences in parental investment and age-related fertility, which are both concerned with maximizing reproductive outcomes. Using large samples of online daters, we considered whether having or wanting children was associated with the perceived importance of age as a matching criterion when dating (Study 1; N = 119,361), as well as how these two factors related to the preferred age of a match (Study 2; N = 486,382). Men without children (or those who wanted children) rated age as more important than those with children (or those who did not want children), and also selected a preferred age range that incorporated younger women. In contrast, women’s preferences showed little association with having or wanting children. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that age preferences may depend on factors in addition to those previously investigated, and that the relationships with the number of current children and the desire to have children are consistent with evolutionary predictions.

Keywords:age preferences, mate selection, parental investment, having children, wanting children
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C800 Psychology
C Biological Sciences > C182 Evolution
C Biological Sciences > C890 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Psychology
ID Code:46503
Deposited On:16 Sep 2021 11:39

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