Rules of attraction are now changing for women as a function of their economic independence. Before, women will look for a man who can supply the resources and support she needs to raise a child, while men looked for women who appears capable of reproducing successfully (Aronson et al, 2019). Additionally, it’s expected for men to respond to the physical appearance of women according to their age and health, and women respond to the economic and career achievements to support offspring’s.
However, with women now being more or just as educated as men, they have become more financially independent in today’s society, causing a decrease in the feeling of needing a spouse for financial security and stability. Instead, Aronson explains that relationships are now building off other factors, areas, and qualities which are contributing to women’s decisions on engaging in such partnerships, such as appearance, genetics, personality, and interests. For example, opinions and personality is now more of an attraction to women where the more similar someone’s opinion and personality characteristics is to theirs, the more the woman will like that person (Aronson et al, 2019). Another determinant when women are choosing their mate is the likelihood of sharing the same interests and experiences. This occurs because their interaction with others tends to be more enjoyable, making them feel more confident in their own interests. Furthermore, just like men, women are also now starting to look for men who are physically attractive. In the article, The importance to males and females of physical attractiveness, earning potential, and expressiveness in initial attraction, the authors explained that physical attractiveness had the greatest effect on attraction with males and females being similarly affected, contrary to evolution theory and sex role stereotypes (Sprecher, 1989).
I believe rules of attraction are both biological imperatives and cultural constructions. In some countries, spouses are chosen by one’s parents, who focuses more on the other spouses’ family, status, and economic resources where the bride and groom don’t meet or speak until the arranged wedding. For example, Hindu doctrine considers the virginity of a bride-to-be the most essential qualification for marriage, encouraging early marriages arranged by parents while also prohibiting divorce, inter-caste marriage, and widow remarriage and condone polygyny (Allendorf, 2013). Finally, happiness plays a major role when selecting a spouse and contributes to how romantic relationships continue. Researchers discovered that there is an association between two genes as it directly relates to happiness and love, where the gene is coding serotonin distribution in the brain cells and therefore leads to mood regulation, controlling one’s happiness (Dfarhud et al, 2014). All of the activities are managed by the brain, such as thoughts, feelings, learning, and love.
Sprecher, S. (1989). The importance to males and females of physical attractiveness, earning potential, and expressiveness in initial attraction. Sex Roles, 21(1), pg 591-607. Doi:10.1007/BF00289173
Allendorf, K. (2013). Determinants of marital quality in an arranged marriage society. Social Science Research, 42(1), pg 59-70. Doi: 10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.09.002
Aronson, E., Wilson, T.D., Akert, R.M., & Sommers, S.R. (Eds.). (2019). Social psychology (10th ed). Boston, MA: Pearson. Chapter 10.
Dfarhud, D., Malmir, M., & Khanahmadi, M. (2014). Happiness and health: The biological factors, systematic review article. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 43(11), pg 1468-1477.