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Positive and negative preferences in human mate selection

  • Nicolas Gérard Vaillant

    (LEM - Lille - Economie et Management - Université de Lille, Sciences et Technologies - Fédération Universitaire et Polytechnique de Lille - Université de Lille, Sciences Humaines et Sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • François-Charles Wolff

    (LEMNA - Laboratoire d'économie et de management de Nantes Atlantique - UN - Université de Nantes)

This paper focuses on preferences for specific characteristics in a potential partner using data from 1993 to 1999 provided by a French marriage bureau. We perform an econometric analysis of the various traits either sought or rejected in a potential partner, respectively by men and women. Our results are consistent with investment in marriage. On the one hand, men tend to reject vulgar and unfaithful women, meaning that they are likely to suffer serious fitness costs from infidelity. On the other hand, women dread meeting potential partners who are alcoholic, selfish or violent.

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Date of creation: 09 Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-00455160
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