Homogamy preferences for cognitive sex-typicality in women
Anthropologie: International Journal of the Science of Ma, v. 50, n. 1, p. 71-81, 2012.
Varella, Marco Antonio Correa
Martins, Raul Aragao
Pereira, Kamila Janaina
Homogamy has been suggested as crucial for human mate preferences and mate choice. People are attracted to and choose romantic partners that are similar to them in socio-demographic, physical, and psychological traits. However, only a few studies have shown homogamy in preferences for evolved sex-typical traits. Here, we have investigated male and female preferences for the level of cognitive masculinity-femininity (MF). We tested whether self-reported MF positively correlates with preferences for MF. One hundred men and one hundred women from Brazil filled in questionnaires on their own level of cognitive MF and preferred level of cognitive MF in their ideal partner. Half of the respondents were asked to indicate their preferences for long-term, and the other half for short-term relationships. We found a positive correlation between self-ascribed and preferred level of cognitive MF in women (P = 0.002), but no significant correlation in men (P = 0.309). There was no significant effect of the temporal context of the relationship, but there was a positive correlation between self-ascribed and preferred level of cognitive MF only in women answering about long-term partner. By subtracting the preferred from the selfascribed level of cognitive MF, we created a self-similarity index. We found that women desire potential mates more self-similar and more masculine than men (P < 0.001) and that in men there is greater variation in the self-similarity index than in women. Our results thus add to previous evidence on the role of homogamy in human mating, by showing preferences for self-similarity also in cognitive MF for women, especially for long-term partner preferences. Future studies should cross-culturally test whether the higher self-similar preference found in women is universal.