This Week on DAYTIME: New Speed Dating Study Finds Women Aren’t Any Choosier Than Men

August 31, 2009

Be sure to tune in to Daytime on Tuesday, September 1 when I’ll be talking about a new study that found that women aren’t necessarily pickier than men

Are women choosier than guys?

This Tuesday on Daytime, I’ll talk about a new speed dating study that found women aren’t quite as selective as we’d thought. (Certainly not news to anyone who’s found herself in a bar licking salt off a stranger’s forearm. Or, uh, stomach. )

Scientists have long believed that women are choosier when it comes to finding a mate due to evolutionary reasons — we’re the ones who risk pregnancy, stretch marks, motherhood and possible poverty (not to mention NEVER going to the bathroom alone again. Ever.) — and if we don’t choose wisely, we might end up with a dud for a father. Or worse, a deadbeat with bad genes.

But a new speed dating study from Northwestern University found that women may not be as choosy as we’d thought. In fact, researchers believe that the pickiest daters (or maters) are influenced more by social conditioning than basic biology.

In the usual speed dating scenario, women sit at numbered tables and men rotate around to “date” each different woman. In this scenario, women usually select a few men they’d like to date, while men check practically everybody on the list — using more of an elimination strategy for handful of women they’d never date — and including everybody else in the restaurant as a potential love interest.

Is this because men are wild horndogs who will sleep with anything that moves? Actually, no.

The researchers studied 350 undergrads at controlled speed dating events. Half the time, the events ran as usual — with men rotating through tables where women were seated. But the other half of the time, it was the women who rotated, while the men remained seated.

The results?

Those who were seated (approached) were far pickier than those who rotated (made the approach) whether they were men or women.

Not only that, both men and women rotating around the room were significantly more likely to be interested in a partner, the study found, (as opposed to when they were seated.)

According to Eli Finkel, associate professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern and co-investigator of the study, “The mere act of physically approaching a potential partner, versus being approached, seemed to increase desire for that partner.”

That’s right, the mere act of approaching someone means you’re more invested. Whether it’s your choice to approach them or not.



Lisa appears every week on Daytime, check your local TV listings for times and stations.

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Dating Coach and Relationships Expert Lisa Daily is the bestselling author of two dating books, Stop Getting Dumped!, How to Date Like a Grownup and the totally funny novel Fifteen Minutes of Shame. You???ve seen her everywhere from Entertainment Tonight to the HITCH movie DVD.

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