More than 90% of the world’s population marry at some point in their lives. This is why knowing what the forces of attraction are between men and women as well as the concept of the mating game has prompted so many studies. Over the years, these studies have produced answers and interesting hypotheses. It has been well-understood how men play the mating game: they pursue women. But it remains less clear what psychological ploys and tricks women may be using to deceive or attract men.
Women’s Sexual Exploitative Strategies
A team of psychologists from Brunel University London has, for the first time, tested the potential for women to use “predatory game-playing tactics.” This study, which appeared in the medical platform Medical Xpress details that women are also like men in the sense that they can pick up cues when a man may be easy to manipulate, seduce, deceive, or pressured into sex. They can identify these cues but the difference is that they do not find these attractive.
In their study titled “He looks ‘easy’ and she’s not into it: Sexual exploitation cues and attraction,” the authors said that the nature and presence of women’s sexual exploitative strategies have not been tested. So, they asked 151 women (83% are white, mean age 22) to rate 110 photos of men that display different levels of sexual exploitability cues. They then answered the Components of Mate Value Survey as well as the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory. The survey was mean to know how participants find men attractive in the short term (casual sex) relationship or long term (committed) relationship.
All 110 photos of men were coded with exploitability cues, like reckless, immature, intoxicated, sleepy, young, and shy.
The result shows that just like men, women also use cues of manipulability and incapacitation to infer sexual exploitability. Yet, unlike men, these cues were linked to short-term attractiveness. To be more particular, the team referred to cues of genetic fitness, such as facial attractiveness and intelligence.
Dr. Lora Adair, a lecturer in psychology at Brunel University London, said that previous studies focused more on women as victims of sexual exploitation and men as perpetrators. However, they found that women can also determine men’s sexual exploitability based on signs, such as if they are likely a pushover or are drunk. From taking off their rings, lying about their age, job, or pay, and making the most of their appearance, both male and female populations generally have strategies to get the other person “into bed” using false impressions.
Differences Between Men and Women in Relationships
The evolutionary psychologist went on to say that men and women often are usually after different things when they are in a relationship. Some use lies or tricks to get the other person to do what they want. For instance, men may pretend to be “in love” with a person who prefers commitment first before sex. On the other hand, women may use cheats and tricks to trap a man who is already taken.
Dr. Adair cited how a woman may con or pressure a genetically “fit” and attractive married man into sex. Such a move is exploitative and the woman is at an evolutionary advantage. The man may lose the opportunity to chase the person he chooses or face a violent response from his jealous partner. In the natural and social sciences, evolutionary psychology is the study of behavior, feeling, and thought viewed through the lens of evolutionary biology.
The team found no evidence of exploitative or game-playing strategies on the part of women in selecting a partner. What is clear is that women are mostly attracted to interest and good health. The women were also interested in men who found them interesting. To women, men who look “easy” are not sexy but they will be attracted to men who also reciprocate their interest.
Database company Statista surveyed millenials in Italy to gather their opinions on characteristics that make a person attractive. Based on the results, about 81% of the respondents consider personality as the most important factor while 65% said they are attracted to the other person’s intelligence. Less than 1% of the respondents said that wealth is an important factor.
From a survey involving a thousand women, 48% said they prefer a romantic man. This is according to men’s online magazine Mantelligence. Furthermore, 93% of women prefer to be asked out on a date while 6% said they prefer to be the one asking the man out.
Of 2,236 American men and women surveyed, 25% of the women said they prefer a man who lives alone while 9% are willing to date a guy who is living with roommates. Of another 2,000 women surveyed, 66% of them want a man who makes them feel safe, 62% want a man who trusts them, 50% prefer a man who says “I love you” when he feels it, 47% prefer a man who sees her as his equal, 39% prefer a man who reminds her that she is beautiful, 38% want a man who doesn’t forget anniversaries or birthdays, 33% said they prefer someone who is not insecure or needy, 31% prefer a man who respects her privacy, 25% want a man who makes an effort to get to know her friends, and 23% want a man who does not check out other women.
In a 2016 study by the Static Brain Research Institute, 11% of women said they find a man’s eyes attractive, 39% said it’s the man’s butt, 13% said they admire a man with a flat stomach, and 3% are attracted to a man’s neck. The majority (97%) of women also believe that it is important that their partner has a steady income while 69% said it is important that the man has a will to make a lot of money.
Women are more in touch with a wider range of feelings compared to men. This is probably why they can also pick up cues on the man's attitude. The study of Dr. Adair and the team gives people new insight into relationships and human behavior. It can also pave the way for further research on the pair-bond duration and a deeper understanding of the mating system in human society.