The Roles of Altruism, Heroism, and Physical Attractiveness in Female Mate Choice

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Description: The role of prosocial behaviour in female mate choice has been extensively explored, focusing on the desirability of altruism in potential mates, as well as altruism being a mating signal. However, little research has focused on the desirability of heroism and altruism in potential partners. Furthermore, the synergistic effect of attractiveness on the desirability of prosocial traits has only recently been explored, and to our knowledge, has not explored in relation to the desirability of heroism in a romantic partner. We explored the effect of prosociality and attractiveness on female desirability ratings (n=198), and whether desirability was influenced by whether women were seeking a short-term or long-term relationship. We find that women are attracted to men who display heroism and altruism, and this preference is higher when the male is attractive compared to unattractive. Furthermore, preferences for prosocial traits were higher when seeking a long-term compared to a short-term partner. Our findings add to the literature on prosocial behaviour and mate choice. Data and materials [https://osf.io/a76p8/?view_only=95408822fa9f447bb93ba37ad7bae84b].

License: CC-By Attribution 4.0 International

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