Kennesaw State University
I will investigate whether finding a mate closer in mate value could be achieved with greater success through online dating than through other traditional forms of dating. There can be significant implications when individuals chose mates that are not close to their own mate value. The study includes 60 single participants with equal numbers of men and women, between the age of 20–50 years of age from the United States. These participants are randomly assigned to either an online group or speed dating group. At the beginning of the study the participants rated their own mate value and then of the “best” date they meet during the study using the Mate Value Inventory (MVI; Kirsner, Figueredo, & Jacobs, 2003); these data will be compared to see if the participants in the online dating group found mates closer in mate value to their own. I expect to find that participants in the online group would be more likely to find mates closer in mate value to their own based on the fact that there is a larger number of individuals in which to chose from. The implication of individuals finding a mate closer in mate value to their own could mean that the couple stay together longer which could lead to more resources for their children which could lead to stronger offspring.
Finding a Mate Closer to Your Mate Value: Online Versus Traditional Forums Mate value is a measure of one’s desirability as a mate. Mate value reflects genetic fitness that an individual can pass on to future offspring (Kirsner, Figueredo, & Jacobs, 2003). Miller (as cited in Kirsner et al., 2002) describes genetic fitness as relying on traits selected for through evolution. These traits include providing for offspring so they are able to pass their genes into the next generation. Mate value cannot be rated by any outward observations, but rated through observable indicators and can be determined by one’s desirability as a mating partner. When a person is highly desirable, they can command higher standards from a mate. When a person has less desirability, they cannot be as demanding of high mate value in a partner. Desirable characteristics for men to posses are based on financial wealth, intelligence, work ethic, and humor. Men’s standards for women are purely based on physical attractiveness (Buss, Shakelford, Kirkpatrick, & Larsen, 2001). When individual’s look for a mate, they have historically made tradeoffs for any shortcomings in their genetic fitness; these individuals might make a tradeoff for a less attractive mate who has more money (Kirsner et al., 2003). Matching on mate value is important because evolutionarily, the shorter the relationship with a mate, the more there is a chance that you might have children with lower mate value themselves. The offspring of a couple who have spent a short time together cannot only lead to children with lower mate values, but also those children will be of poorer quality due to lack of resources from the missing parent, such as less protection from danger, less financial support, and less parental guidance. A second very important reason to match on mate value is the fact that when you obtain a mate closer to your mate value, that individual is less likely to leave you. If a mate happened to settle for you and they were of a higher mate value than you, then they are likely to trade you for an individual who has a higher mate value that is closer to their own. Before computers and online dating sites, single individuals met prospective mates through work, in bars, or through connections with mutual friends (Sautter, Tippett, & Morgan, 2010, p.558,). There was a time when you were limited geographically to your surrounding town’s population of single, available individuals. In several scenes in Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O’Hara was being entertained by the...