Modern-Day Female Preferences for Resources and Provisioning by Long-Term Mates

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Several studies have documented women’s evolved psychological preference for mates who provide resources and provisioning, but few have examined specific preferences for what defines “resources” in the modern day. In this study, we examined specific types of modern-day resources women prefer given their age and self-perceived mate value. Specifically, we considered women’s preferences for the following: (a) certain types of gifts from long-term mates, (b) mate possessions of certain traits/materials related to resource acquisition, and (c) acts of service and/or provisioning by long-term mates. We found that younger women and those with higher self-rated mate value placed more importance on long-term mates who provide emotional support, romantic gifts, and show signs of wealth potential, whereas older women placed greater importance on receiving domestic help and gifts that are of financial assistance. Unmarried women, those not in committed relationships, and women without children were more likely to desire mates who gave them romantic gifts, showed wealth potential, and provided emotional support than did married women, women in relationships, and women with children. These findings are interpreted using an evolutionary framework and further elucidate what constitutes women’s preferences for resources and provisioning from long-term mates as defined in modern times.

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