Class Year


Access Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Science, Technology, and Society Program

First Advisor

Robert McAulay

Second Advisor

Janet Gray


This thesis examines how evolutionary psychologists study human mating preferences and strategies: the theories they test, the methods they use, and how they analyze their findings. Women’s long-term mate preferences for high status, tall, investing men with resources and men’s long-term mate preferences for young, beautiful women are discussed and critiqued. Evolutionary psychologists’ focus on and exaggeration of sex differences as well as the controversial nature of their claims illustrate the need for a multitude of perspectives in the scientific study of human mating. Two models for study are compared: the male competition, female choice (MCFC) model and the mutual mate choice (MMC) model. An MMC perspective may be important in correcting the overemphasis on sex differences in evolutionary psychology’s study of mating preferences and strategies.