Women's Short-Term Mating

Attraction is a significant predictor of relationships and romantic relationships. Studies consistently document the importance of physical attractiveness in predicting romantic couples. Thus, a woman's physical attractiveness is essential to her overall mate value. Women's decision-making mechanisms should incorporate information about their attractiveness into estimates of men's expected sexual preference, which in turn influences their pursuit of a mate in a short time.

Evidence of Short-Term Mating in Females

A repeated claim that evolutionary explanations for human sex differences are certainly false if researchers can show that females are interested in short-term mating, especially when they appear to be as interested as the males. The discovery that females are highly interested in short-term mating does not surprise evolutionary psychologists.

They have been predicting and validating women's short-term mating trends for decades. It is wrong that evolutionary psychologists expect all women to be monogamous and all men to be downright promiscuous or researchers to expect humans to behave in stereotypes of "shy women and enthusiastic men."

First, more than 20 years of experimental evidence has been accumulated by evolutionary psychologists confirming that women are, most likely, "engineered" to mate for short periods. Women possess highly evolved short-term mating strategies, a fundamental feature of evolutionary psychology since the early 1990s. Evolutionary psychologists were among the earliest psychologists. The first refers to short-term female mating as an adaptive reproductive strategy.

Women's Short-Term Mating Theories

It includes −

Flirting Theory

The standard evolutionary explanation for women's short-term relationships, at least for those who have had a long-term partner, is that Side-by-side infidelity can be a good strategy because it offers the chance to mate with someone who is more physically attractive than your usual partner, this dependable and caring guy. To test this idea, the researchers tested whether women would prefer more attractive men as romantic partners during their fertile period each month, the only time in the world.

Best they can get these sexy genes onto their children. A related possibility is that women are not necessarily looking for better genes than those provided by their long-term partners, just different genes. This strategy would make sense in times of uncertainty when it is difficult to predict which genes will offer the best chance of success for the progeny. In these cases, a woman's best strategy may be to hedge her bets and seek out multiple fathers for her child, hoping that one will get the right trick. Women can use short-term relationships to find a better life partner.

Single Player Strategy

Some critics wonder if females have a distinct short-term mating strategy. Instead, they suggest that all efforts to bond couples are essentially the same whether the relationship is long-term or short-lived. This implies that most short-term relationships are simply ones that never reach the threshold of attachment to become permanent. Of course, short-term relationships have experienced fewer ups and downs.

In other words, all relationships start the same and only begin to differ as the couple gets to know each other. Women prioritize their partner's physical attractiveness at the start of a relationship because it is immediately noticeable. However, as the couple grew closer, their priorities shifted to caring, funny, and trustworthy traits.

Change of Partners' Hypothesis

A long-standing theory in evolutionary psychology is that women seek to copulate out-of-pair (unfaithful) to obtain resources from another man or to obtain genes good from him for a potential child. While a woman's short-term mating strategy may always involve gaining additional resources, other clues explain women's infidelity—exchange" for a better partner. Women cheat if they think their relationship is falling apart. Moreover, the women are nurturing companions to help.

Mate Manipulation Hypothesis

Another advantage is the ability to manipulate her partner. A woman who has an affair may be able to get retribution on her husband for his infidelity, thus discouraging him from future infidelities. However, a woman may be able to improve the devotion of her regular companion if he sees clear signs that other men are sincerely interested in her.

Benefits of Women's Short-Term Mating

Women have been found to prefer muscle, strength, fitness, and masculinity - traits related to symmetry, in you their short-term relationships. They also seek stable personality traits (minimum levels of generosity and kindness) and resources. Although the following draws considerable attention to the complexity of women's short-term strategy, it should be recalled that this strategy is not dominant in women's mate selection; it is secondary and selective.

Females have a short-term mating strategy that offers several benefits −

  • Acquire Resources − Women can mate for short periods in exchange for immediate meat, goods, or services. The ancestral females may also engage in short-term mating to conceal the paternity of the offspring ("paternity confusion") and obtain resources from more than one male. Alternatively, short-term mating may have provided protection (a resource) against other males when the primary mate was not present.

  • Genetic Benefits − Short-term mating is likely to result in better fertility. It can also yield dominant or diverse genes from a high-status male, thus giving the offspring a better chance of surviving environmental changes. Furthermore, the "sexy son" hypothesis suggests that the males of these men are beautiful to the offspring in the next generation, thus ensuring favorable heredity.

  • Physical Stature Equals Genetic Fitness − Women's preference for physical traits for short-term partners is consistent with the theory of strategic pluralism that women may seek a genetic match for short-term partners. Women are attracted to effective advertising of men that have local germ-resistance genes.

  • Ovulation and Short-Term Mating Successful − Research has shown that women appreciate these traits even more (including a symmetrical male smell) during ovulation. As a result, muscular and well-proportioned males are more likely to mate successfully in less time than relatively asymmetrical and non-muscled males. They have more sexual partners and desire to be more committed partners.

  • The Companion Change Hypothesis − While preferences for traits associated with high testosterone (muscle, strength, and facial symmetry) tend to support the hypothesis that women seek genetic advantage in short-term mating, Recent research and DNA evidence have cast doubt on this motive and drawn more attention to the "mate switching hypothesis."

Costs to Women of Short-Term Mating

As a result of short-term mating, women may face more severe consequences than men. Women risk losing their attractiveness as long-term partners if they establish a reputation for promiscuity because males value loyalty in future brides. Even in more promiscuous civilizations, such as Sweden and the Ache Indians, women known to be promiscuous suffer reputational damage.

A woman who employs an entirely short-term sexual strategy is more vulnerable to physical and sexual assault because she lacks a long-term mate to provide physical safety. Although women in marriages are subjected to battering and even rape by their husbands, alarming statistics on the incidence of date rape, which has been reported to be as high as 15% in studies of college women, support the contention that women who are not in long-term relationships are also at risk.

The fact that women in the research of short-term and long-term partners despise individuals who are physically, violently, or mentally abusive implies that women are aware of the dangers of abuse. When used wisely to avoid potentially harmful guys, mate preferences can help reduce these dangers. Unmarried women seeking casual sex risk becoming pregnant and having children without an invested male. In ancient times, such youngsters would have been at a far higher risk of sickness, injury, and death. Some women commit infanticide in the absence of a partner.

In Canada, for example, single mothers delivered just 12% of babies born between 1977 and 1983, yet committed more than half of the sixty-four maternal infanticides. Infanticide rates among unmarried mothers are more excellent throughout cultures, including among the Baganda of Africa. However, even infanticide does not eliminate the significant expenses of nine months of gestation, reputational loss, and missed mating chances that women face.


According to the "Sexual Strategy Theory," women can increase their options for long-term relationships by being open to short-term relationships. They can attract the interest of many men and use this more extensive network to gauge long-term partners, or they can turn short-term relationships into long-term relationships. If women use short-term mating to evaluate or achieve long-term relationships, they may favor the same traits in short-term and long-term partners.

Updated on: 12-Apr-2023


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