Women are more likely to find men attractive if they think they have a bulging wallet, a new study has found – but for men it’s still all about the looks.
The study suggests that women are four times as sensitive to salary when considering a male partner as men are when choosing a female partner.
The study, published in Evolution and Human Behaviour, used photos of men and women alongside information on the subject’s annual salary to see how it influenced their attractiveness ratings on groups in America, China, and Europe.
John Speakman, one of the authors, said: ‘A man can move himself two points higher on the attractiveness scale we used if his salary increases by a factor of ten.
‘For a female to achieve the same two-point effect her salary would need to increase by 10,000 times.’
It has long been thought that females should be more sensitive to how much money a man earns because of the need for resources that can be invested in their children, whereas men care more about youthful looks because of the need for a fertile partner.
Mr Speakman told The Times that if men want to attract women with such techniques they should splash the cash around them.
He said: ‘This potentially explains a previous study that showed men give more money to charity when women are watching them than when other males are watching.’
Although several studies in the past have considered whether women care about the salary of a partner, there has been no study comparing men and women in this area until now.