SAGE Journal Articles

Click on the following links. Please note these will open in a new window.

Article 1: Farrelly, D., Clemson, P., & Guthrie, M. (2016). Are women’s mate preferences for altruism also influenced by physical attractiveness? Evolutionary Psychology, 14(1), 1–6.

Learning Objective: Understanding the complex role of altruism in female mate choice. Understanding the interaction of factors that influence mate choice.

Summary: Altruism is known as one of the traits that plays a role in mate choice, especially in women. The authors researched under what conditions altruism affects mate choice and how it interacts with attractiveness. Women prefer altruism, especially when it comes to long-term relationships, and attractive men who are also altruistic are perceived as very desirable.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Why is altruism a desirable trait in potential partners?
  2. What is the role of altruism in choosing a partner for a short-term relationship?
  3. What does it mean that altruism can have an additive effect to other qualities concerning mate choice?


Article 2: Bleske-Rechek, A., VandenHeuvel, B., & Vander Wyst, M. (2009). Age variation in mating strategies and mate preferences: Beliefs versus reality. Evolutionary Psychology, 7(2), 179–205.

Learning Objective: Understanding the temporal aspect of mating strategies and preference

Summary: The authors have researched how mating desires change over time (in emerging adulthood) and what some beliefs are about mating desires and their course over time. They’ve registered that most people really believe that mating desires change significantly over time, but that in reality, the change is not at all large.

Questions to Consider:

  1. Why did the researchers study this particular age—emerging adulthood?
  2. According to this study, what is the difference about beliefs and reality concerning the temporal aspect of mating desires?
  3. In your opinion, are mate preference stable, or do you think they change over time? Elaborate.

Article 3: Schmitt, D. P., & Shackelford, T. K. (2008). Big five traits related to short-term mating: From personality to promiscuity across 46 nations. Evolutionary Psychology, 6, 246–282.

Learning Objective: Understanding the influence of personality and culture on short-term mating

Summary: Authors have registered the connection between high extraversion and low agreeableness and conscientiousness with tendencies toward short-term mating. The multinational character of the research also provided insight into the characteristics of a nation and short-term mating.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What are the personality correlates of short-term mating?
  2. How does nationality affect tendency toward short-term mating?
  3. How does sex moderate the relationship between personality and short-term mating?