Sex Differences in Mate Preferences Across 45 Countries: A Large-Scale Replication.

Walter K., Conroy-Beam D., Buss D., Asao K., Sorokowska A., Sorokowski P., ...More

Psychological science, vol.31, no.4, pp.408-423, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/0956797620904154
  • Journal Name: Psychological science
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, PASCAL, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, Communication & Mass Media Index, EMBASE, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MEDLINE, Psycinfo, Sociological abstracts, SportDiscus, Violence & Abuse Abstracts, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.408-423
  • Keywords: mate preferences, sex differences, cross-cultural studies, evolutionary psychology, biosocial role theory, open data, preregistered, GAP-PREDICTS-DEGREE, CULTURAL VARIATION, DIFFERENTIATION
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Considerable research has examined human mate preferences across cultures, finding universal sex differences in preferences for attractiveness and resources as well as sources of systematic cultural variation. Two competing perspectives-an evolutionary psychological perspective and a biosocial role perspective-offer alternative explanations for these findings. However, the original data on which each perspective relies are decades old, and the literature is fraught with conflicting methods, analyses, results, and conclusions. Using a new 45-country sample (N = 14,399), we attempted to replicate classic studies and test both the evolutionary and biosocial role perspectives. Support for universal sex differences in preferences remains robust: Men, more than women, prefer attractive, young mates, and women, more than men, prefer older mates with financial prospects. Cross-culturally, both sexes have mates closer to their own ages as gender equality increases. Beyond age of partner, neither pathogen prevalence nor gender equality robustly predicted sex differences or preferences across countries.