"Men's preference for intelligence in short-term mates drops off the scale," Schmitt says."If you look at what men want in a short-term mating partner, a sexual partner as opposed to a marriage partner, they prefer below-average intelligence." These different desires hold true regardless of whether women or men are married or single, heterosexual or homosexual. Schmitt's findings also support basic differences between men and women in what they want in a marriage partner.Women look for men who are symmetrical, who are high in social dominance.This doesn't mean all women will be short-term maters. Both can choose short-term or long-term sex strategies. Paradoxically, both men and women are also programmed to mate for life.We can use reason in our sex lives." Just because men and women are programmed for promiscuity doesn't make it impossible -- or unnatural -- to have faithful, monogamous, long-term relationships.
"The main difference is in short-term mating strategies, or how men and women go about being promiscuous." "We don't say men and women always opt for short-term strategies," Schmitt says.Men, she says, already know that they need to appear fit and socially powerful to attract a mate. "Men are looking for youth and beauty in the short term -- women really do know this," Fisher says. It is remarkable how the makeup and clothing industry constantly plays on this.Makeup makes the face clearer, the eyes bigger, the lips more baby-like red, the hair the sweet light color of youth."These differences aren't as conspicuous as those for short-term desires, but they are still quite distinct," Schmitt says."Long term, men prefer youth and physical attractiveness while women prefer men who are somewhat older, intelligent, and ambitious.But when they opt to do so, they show these desires." Another big difference: Men are ready to say "yes" to sex much more quickly than women.They say they'd need to know a person only a relatively short time before consenting to sex."What we found is that when men opt for short-term mating, they pursue larger numbers of partners than women," Schmitt says."When women go short-term mating, they don't go for large numbers. They look for physically attractive men who have masculine facial features.Or as my college roomie used to say, 'God will throw a sexy woman in your path every six months.' So don't fan any coals that come your way. One member of a relationship has to switch strategies. "People abandon their long-term sex strategy in favor of a short-term strategy because of lust," Williams says. I think the most dangerous thing is to fall in love." The least dangerous kind of an affair, he says, is the kind of one-night stands that happen at a convention or a conference where people part and never meet again.The most dangerous are secret, longstanding affairs that go on for years with fantasies and hopes and dreams of building a relationship. Williams thinks his answer will surprise most men -- and few women.