A new study purports to show that promiscuous dudes and friendly ladies are the best judges of their own attractiveness. But the research raises a lot of questions.
According to LiveScience, researchers in Germany put about 400 men and women through a speed-dating scenario. They had them fill out questionnaires beforehand, and afterward, asked them how many of their "dates" they thought would like to see them again. Men whose questionnaires revealed "unrestricted sociosexuality" (aka promiscuity) were better than average at predicting how many ladies would want to date them again — though they still weren't that good at it. Meanwhile, women who were "agreeable" — trusting, warm, and cooperative — were best at judging how many dudes were into them. LiveScience sums up the results thus:
Men who hew closest to stereotypically male patterns of dating — a desire to play the field and have more no-strings-attached sex — are better at judging how attractive they are to potential dates than are men who prefer a quieter dating lifestyle. Similarly, women who conform to the traditional female dating personality of warmth and trust are better at judging their own appeal than the less-stereotypical ladies.
Is warmth really the "traditional female dating personality?" And do gender stereotypes really have all that much bearing on these findings? This analysis feels more apt:
Promiscuous men are more likely to put themselves out there than shy guys, thus interacting with more women and developing a better understanding of what the other sex wants. Meanwhile, warm, trusting women may attract more flirtation than their aloof counterparts, increasing their experience with men's likes and dislikes.
It stands to reason that people who are outgoing — or who have lots of partners — would have a better idea of who's into them and who isn't. It's worth noting, though, that the personality data were based on self-reports, which may have skewed the results. For instance, maybe guys who say they've had a lot of partners are especially confident, and maybe confident dudes are better judges of their own hotness than more self-effacing ones. Having subjects evaluated professionally — or even letting dates rate their personalities — might have been more conclusive than leaving them to judge themselves. All that said, none of the study's methodological limitations is as annoying as this:
Knowing your own hotness is important in dating and mating, wrote study researcher Mitja Back of the University of Mainz in Germany. A schlub living in his mom's basement may be wasting his time pursuing Angelina Jolie, while a smart, accomplished go-getter may sell himself short in the romantic realm by hooking up with a woman not his social equal. From an evolutionary perspective, the best way to pass your genes on is to reproduce with the highest-quality mate you can find without wasting your time chasing after people out of your league.
So guys, time to de-restrict that sociosexuality — you need to implant your seed in a lady who's your social equal. Unless you're a schlub, of course — in that case, you're out of luck.
How Hot Are You? Promiscuous Men And Warm Women Know Best [LiveScience, via Fox News]