Choosing a mate in Romania: a cognitive evolutionary psychological investigation of personal advertisements market
Alina S. RUSU, Aurora BENCIC
Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Evolutionary psychologists generally combine sexual selection theory and empirical research to identify mating strategies in humans. The theory behind the current literature on human mating is the theory of parental investment (Trivers, 1972), which states that during mate search, given the asymmetry in parental investment of the two sexes, females should focus on attributes reflecting resources, whereas males should focus on indicators of health and fertility. Our study is an investigation of mating strategies reflected by the Romanian market of personal advertisements. We performed the content analysis of 400 personal advertisements placed online by heterosexual Romanian advertisers. Our findings are in agreement with Trivers’s predictions and with other similar studies. Thus, Romanian men offered resources and were more interested in younger partners and in attributes signaling health and fertility. Romanian women were significantly more interested than men in older partners and in attributes reflecting wealth of the sought partners. Romanian women appear to be well attuned to their market value, whereas men overestimate themselves. Our study is, to our knowledge, the first one to investigate the Romanian advertisements market from an evolutionary psychological perspective, with a potential impact on the cognitive-behavioral therapy of couples and families.
Key words: parental investment theory, market value, mating strategies, mating preferences.