Driving a hard bargain: sex ratio and male marriage success in a historical US population

Pollet, Thomas and Nettle, Daniel (2008) Driving a hard bargain: sex ratio and male marriage success in a historical US population. Biology Letters, 4 (1). pp. 31-33. ISSN 1744-9561

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2007.0543


Evolutionary psychologists have documented a widespread female preference for men of high status and resources, and evidence from several populations suggests that this preference has real effects on marriage success. Here, we show that in the US population of 1910, socioeconomic status (SES) had a positive effect on men's chances of marrying. We also test a further prediction from the biological markets theory, namely that where the local sex ratio produces an oversupply of men, women will be able to drive a harder bargain. As the sex ratio of the states increases, the effect of SES on marriage success becomes stronger, indicating increased competition between men and an increased ability to choose on the part of women.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: evolutionary psychology, marriage, sex ratio, biological markets, socioeconomic status
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2017 11:28
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 16:28
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/32061

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