I’ll have what she’s having! Women prefer men who have been ‘road-tested’ in previous relationships – but not too many
•Australian scientists say that women take part in ‘mate copying
•Their study showed that females preferred men who had ex-girlfriends
•Researchers found optimum number of previous partners was one or two
•Men with no old flames were less desirable especially with younger women
•But males with five previous partners were found to be the least appealing
What’s the best way for single men to?
According to one study the answer turns out to be a bit of a catch-22 – women prefer men who have had previous relationships, but having too many partners is detrimental.
In fact, Australian researchers found that having too many partners was less desirable than someone who had none at all.
The study was published in the journal Human Nature and is somewhat amusingly titled ‘I want what she’s having
In it, Ryan Anderson and Michele Surbey of James Cook University in Queensland, Australia looked at how human mating compared to the rest of the animal kingdom.
They noted how non-human animals prefer males that have had had previous association with other females, a phenomenon known as ‘mate copying.
The researchers investigated ‘whether humans also exhibit mate copying’, and if women preferred experienced men.
In the study, 123 female university students rated men pictured alone or with one, two or five women represented by silhouettes.
The silhouettes, or lack thereof, represented how many relationships they had had in the last four years.
The findings showed that women preferred men who had one or two previous partners, as opposed to those who’d had none.Men with five previous partners, however, were the least desirable.
‘Maybe that’s an indication that he’s promiscuous or unable or unwilling to commit, maybe he’s a bit flaky – for whatever reason, he just can’t hold down relationship so that was seen as a huge turn-off,’ the researchers told ABC.
And age was also a factor – younger women were more likely to ‘mate copy’ than older women.
‘Our results suggest that women do not always make mate choices independent of one another [and] there appears to be a significant desirability advantage for men who have been previously
selected as a romantic partner,’ the authors added.
‘Humans are nothing more than a really pretentious species of animal,’ Anderson added.