In eight of them, men rotated among women while women remained seated (in the manner of universally observed speed-dating format), and in the other seven, women rotated among men while men remained seated.Everything else was held constant between the two conditions. In the traditional “men rotate, women sit” arrangement, men were significantly less selective in their mate choice; they checked “yes” for a larger number of women than women did for men, and they experienced greater sexual attraction and romantic chemistry with the women than women did with men.Hence the “coy” female, and the sexually aggressive male, in every human society ever found (as well as in most other mammalian species). Finkel and Paul Eastwick of Northwestern University have overturned this long-standing consensus in evolutionary psychology and shown that, under some circumstances, women can be just as aggressive as men, or men can be just as coy as women, in mate selection.Finkel and Eastwick, known to blog readers as The Attractionologists, employ the popular speed-dating format in their study of mate selection, as do many experimental psychologists today.One of the most fundamental principles of evolutionary psychology is that women are much more selective than men in their mate choice.
In the speed-dating events (both commercial and scientific), all the women remain seated at their respective tables, while men go around the room to meet each woman at her table at the beginning of their brief “date.” According to one executive of a speed-dating service quoted in Finkel and Eastwick’s article, this is a practical decision.
That has always been the case, without exception, and that is why the sex differences in mate selectivity are deeply genetically encoded in male and female human nature, which is why it is culturally universal.
How can evolutionary psychology account for Finkel and Eastwick’s novel findings?
(Note: Fish are much smarter than we usually give them credit for, so I'm cringing a little at my own use of the term "hard-wired" here...don't take it too literal).
Things do change sometimes in Guppy-world, however.
The mere act of physically approaching their potential romantic partner, behavior far more typical of men than women, makes people more confident and increases their attraction to their potential partner.