The Good Life
Do single women prefer men who are already taken? Researchers have debated for years whether men or women are likelier to engage in “mate poaching.” Now there’s evidence that single women are particularly drawn to other people’s partners, according to a report in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.
Single women often complain that all the good men are taken. Psychologists wondered if this perception is really based on the fact that taken men are perceived as good.
In the experiment both men and women were shown a photo of an attractive person of the opposite sex. Half of the subjects were told that their match was already romantically involved with someone else, while the other half were told that their match was unattached. Then they were asked how interested they were.
For the men and the women who were already in relationships, it didn’t make a difference whether their match was available or attached. Not so for single women. When the man was described as unattached, 59 percent of the single women were interested in pursuing him. When that same man was described as being in a committed relationship, 90 percent were interested.
Researchers say this may be because an attached man has demonstrated his ability to commit and he has already been ‘‘pre-screened” by another woman. Or it may be their interest in unavailable guys is what is keeping them single in the first place?