Financial Stability and Health in Determining Relationship Commitment
Western Washington University
This study is interesting in determining which characteristics in a male potential partner a female values more when looking at financial stability and health when considering that partner as a contender in a committed romantic relationship. With a sample of 56 single heterosexual females and 4 single bisexual females all with a mean age of 20, a 2x2 factorial design study was conducted on relationship commitment with financial stability and health in mind. The study found that females looked at health more in the consideration of a male as a life-long partner and ...view middle of the document...
Two theories in particular are aimed at deciphering, through the evolutionary perspective, the attributes women look for in a male potential life-time partner.
Differential parental investment model. Stemming from the evolutionary prospective proposed by Darwin ( 1871), the differential parental investment model attempts to explain sexual selection of males by females by stating that females will more often than not choose a male who appears to have the reproductive abilities to produce a strong and healthy child (Trivers, 1972). In addition to a man’s reproductive abilities, a woman will look for a long-term mate who will be devoted to his child and a mate who has parenting skills that are compatible with hers (Trivers, 1972). This theory suggest that when looking at long-term partners, women will be more prone to choosing a mate who has both access to resources in order to provide and invest in the life of his offspring as well as his ability to produce healthy offspring to ensure the woman’s genes will be carried on. For our study, this theory is useful in suggesting that women will look for a long-term partner who is financially stable, in that he has a prolonged career that will provide the resources necessary to fulfill the needs of both himself and his family, over a person who is healthy, as they can provide strong offspring, but will not necessarily invest in that offspring’s prolonged survival.
Sexual Strategies Theory. Derived from the differential parental investment model (Trivers, 1972), this theory postulates that when selecting a long-term mate, females look for males who have more access to resources and finance because more access to resources means a better ability to provide for one’s offspring ( Buss & Schmitt, 1993). This theory implies that when engaging in the mate selection process, females will choose a male who is more financially stable as he will have more capabilities in providing for his offspring’s survival in life. For our study, this theory is useful in implying that women will look for a mate who is financially stable and better able to provide for himself and his family than a mate who is financially unstable and not able to provide for his family.
After considering the theories above, we have a clearer understanding of the implications of other research that look at the female’s willingness to commit to a potential partner based off of a male’s characteristics. Most of the research on relationship commitment has dealt with health and financial stability when looking for a life-time partner to start a romantic committed relationship. Tybur and Gangestad (2011) looked at health as a consideration in the selection of a male for a life-time partner. They defined health characteristics as having good eating habits, an active lifestyle, and no genetic predispositions to heart disease. The results of their study showed that women should choose a man who is healthy over a man who is unhealthy because...