EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium
Volume 8, Special Issue 3, 2016
Is Chastity an Obsolete Virtue? Contrasting Cues of Chastity and Parental Investment for Mate Evaluation
Honey, P. L., & Fillion, C.
Sex and gender differences in mate preferences have been studied cross-culturally, and across time. While there are robust effects for some trait preferences, such as attractiveness or resources, effects are less consistent for other traits including chastity. Although chastity has been suggested as a proxy cue for the absence of parental investment, and thus should be preferred in potential long-term mates – especially by males, it may also be a cue that diminishes in utility as societies change over time. For our study we created mock online dating profiles to isolate cues of chastity and parental investment in order to test whether university students would be more affected by a potential partner’s sexual experience, or by evidence that a potential partner was already investing in a child. Our results support predictions made by parental investment theory. Results revealed that chastity is a poor predictor of mate choice when contrasted with cues of parental investment. Further, while there are gender differences in willingness to engage in mating opportunities, profiles of men and women were evaluated similarly with respect to cues of parental investment and chastity.
How to cite this article:
Honey, P. L., & Fillion, C. (2017). Is chastity an obsolete virtue? Contrasting cues of chastity and parental investment for mate evaluation. The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 8, Sp. Iss. (3), 77-91.