According to social scientists, men do definitely go for women with looks.
Researchers led by Peter M. Todd, of the cognitive science program at Indiana University, Bloomington reported their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
According to them, humans are similar to most other mammals. They followed Darwin's principle of choosy females and competitive males, even if they did profess something different.
The study which involved 26 men and 20 women in Munich, Germany, involved speed dating - short meetings of three to seven minutes in which people chat, then move on to meet another dater. Later, participants select the people they'd like to meet again, and dates can be arranged between pairs who select one another.
According to Todd, speed dating is a good means of letting researchers understand mate choices.
In the study, participants were asked before the session to fill out a questionnaire about what they were looking for in a mate. This included categories such as wealth and status, family commitment, physical appearance, healthiness and attractiveness.
After the session, the researchers compared what the participants said they were looking for with the people they actually chose to ask for another date.
The researchers learnt that men's choices had no relation, in most cases to what they had 'desired' before the session. Instead, they appeared to base their decisions mostly on the women's visible attributes.
Yet, with due credit to them, the men appeared to be much less choosy than the women. They tended to select nearly every woman above a certain minimum attractiveness threshold, the scientists found.
Like men, women's actual choices did not reflect their previous claims. In addition, they made more discriminating choices about looks.
The scientists observed that women were aware of the importance of their own attractiveness to men. Quite practically, they adjusted their expectations to select the more desirable guys.
Says Todd: "Women made offers to men who had overall qualities that were on a par with the women's self-rated attractiveness." He agrees that the women did not "greatly overshoot their attractiveness." He pins this down to the fact that " part of the goal for women is to choose men who would stay with them."
"They didn't go lower. They knew what they could get and aimed for that level", he adds.
The scientists concluded that the women's attractiveness influenced the choices of both the men and the women."Just because people say they're looking for a particular set of characteristics in a mate, someone like themselves, doesn't mean that is what they'll end up choosing," Todd summarized.