groups and as a function of level of educational achievement can be obtained

Groups and as a function of level of educational

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1098 DEVENDRA SINGH 18-24 Yrs 1.0 25-35 Yrs 0.7 1 o Low Income . Medium Income V High Income 36-69 Yrs 1.0 WHR of Target Figure Figure 6. Mean ratings for willingness to date and engage in short- term romantic relationships with target figures by women of various ages. ures. Raters with higher educational achievement, on the other hand, exhibited higher preference only when target figures had high WHR as well as high income. Finally, the rater's family income (below $60,000 versus above $60,000) interacted with target figure's income and WHR, but only for coffee and con- versation, F(4, 580) = 3.12, p < .05, and for dating, F(4, 580) = 4.47, p < .001. Examination of Figure 7 shows that raters with a lower family income expressed more willingness than those with a higher family income to prefer targets that had higher WHRs and higher income levels. It should be stressed that a rater's financial status was defined on the basis of their family rather than their personal income. It is quite possible that women who independently control high or low material resources attend to different personal characteris- tics of a potential mate. Discussion In summary, the desirability of target figures for various rela- tionships was jointly determined by WHRs and financial status. Target figures with higher WHRs and higher financial status were rated as more desirable for all degrees of relationship. Rat- ings of the target figure with a low WHR in the feminine range remained lower than other target figures even when the figure was presented with high financial status. Two limitations of the present study should be pointed out. First, only a single order of presentation of target figures was used. Therefore, the possibil- ity of order effects cannot be ruled out. Second, financial status of the target figures was defined on the basis of both occupation type and income to make the present study comparable to pre- vious studies investigating the role of income on women's mate choice (Townsend, 1989; Townsend & Levy, 1990). However, the target figure with high income was described as "innovative businessman," therefore, it is not clear whether preference for that target figure was due to income or that he was perceived as more intelligent and creative than the medium and low income target figures. While the data do not permit the evaluation of this possibility, raters' preferences were not solely based on target figure's income or perceived intelligence; the size of WHR moderated the preference. For example, innovative business- man was assigned a mean rating of 2.39 for choice for marriage if it had .7 WHR, but higher ratings if depicting higher WHR (3.83 for .9 WHR; 4.04 for 1.0 WHR). Thus, it is quite reason- able to infer that a high financial status does increase male de- sirability, but it does not compensate for a low WHR. Men need to be attractive as well as have a high financial status to be max- imally desirable to women for all degrees of relationships. It seems, as predicted by Buss and
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  • Biology, Physical attractiveness, WHR, Deyendra Singh, N9

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