Love & Sex
Women have higher standards than men when it comes to choosing a lover - but guys are more likely to rate themselves.
And when it comes to judging someone based on looks, both sexes are guilty.
Victoria University study Predicting romantic interest and decisions in the very early stages of mate selection: standards, accuracy, and sex differences published in an international psychology journal this month, has found when it comes to first impressions, women are more cautious and choosey.
Researchers observed 100 Cantabrians in a blind-dating scenario before asking them to rate each other.
They found women were more picky, and usually underestimated their own attractiveness - while men were more likely to assume the object of their affection was interested.
"No-one really knows why they're more selective, and what's going on in those early stages. What my research suggests is that they have higher standards," said head researcher, Professor Garth Fletcher.
It ties back to evolutionary theory that says women are looking for a man they can invest in psychologically and emotionally, while men were more likely to be focused on the short-term, he said.
Lounging on a seat at Auckland University, law students Robert Gore, 18, and Feli Trounson, 20, agreed that guys' standards were generally lower.
"They are constantly trying to find new ways to get laid, that's the main purpose in life for some of my mates," Gore said. "They seem to have a higher sex drive, but lower standards. And if the girl doesn't like them that's not a dealbreaker, they just keep going.
"They'll be like ‘She doesn't love me, but I'm going to chase after her anyway.'
"Usually guys are unsure about that sort of stuff, but they keep it to themselves."
In town for the What We Do in the Shadows film premiere, director Taika Waititi said Kiwi women were definitely more discerning.
"I'd say New Zealand men seem more desperate. If I end up somewhere like The Viaduct, it's swarming with them.
"With New Zealand women I think you've got to work a little bit harder - it's not a bad thing. In the States it's a real mix because there's such a dating culture, they've got all these rules about dating. You can date more than one person because you're not ‘going out'.
"Here you meet someone at a party and you hook up and that's it, you're together."
Down the road at South Pacific Pictures, Shortland Street actor Cameron Jones (ambulance officer Dallas Adams) thought women were choosier because they were eyeing up Mr Right.
"They're always trying to search for that Prince Charming, so they're going to be a lot pickier than guys who are just thinking short-term. That's not a misogynistic thing, you can't deny that guys are going out there to find a mate. It's the primal instinct."
Men's arrogance made sense when in an evolutionary context, he said. "Of course they're going to bolster themselves up in terms of thinking she's interested, because it's that alpha-male thing. The only difference is that we've got technology and clothes on, but at the end of the day we're cavemen you know."
Co-star Kerry-Lee Dewing said women were more calculating upon a first meeting. "They're considering a lot more factors than men. Maybe women are a bit more logical, and a bit more cautious."
She thought men might sometimes get the wrong impression because women felt too mean to let them down gently. "A guy comes out of it thinking ‘Oh, she really likes me,' but we're just being polite."
Sex differences aside though, at least initially, we're all as shallow as each other.
"Men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus," Fletcher says.
"Both men and women are mainly focused on attractiveness in the very early stages. If you can get over that first hurdle, both are prepared to go further - they are in the mating market."
- Sunday Star Times
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