Similarly, women report that they desire men who are tender, gentle, sensitive (Nevid, 1984), kind, and understanding (Buss and Barnes, 1986). A man, who looks too mature and too powerful, then may not arouse the woman’s warm and care-giving feelings and may not elicit as much attraction as a man who can stimulate nurturing responses (Cunningham, 1989). Additionally, there have been studies that appear inconsistent with the idea that females found males with features suggesting maturing and dominance attractive.
In that, McArthur and Apaton (1984) found some facial features (neonate) that elicit feelings of nurturance and care giving may increase. Also, Beck, Ward-Hull and McClear (1976) reported that women preferred male silhouettes with, chest that were slightly larger than average, but women did not prefer men with the largest and most powerful-appearing silhouettes. In contrast to the evolutionary psychological perspectives on mate selection, conflict theorist Marx and Engels, conceptualized mate-selection, as a market in which economic considerations was the sole factor in determining the ideal mate.
In the past, capitalism was the order of the day in Western societies and as such, marriage was a business deal. In that, there were advantages of marrying a rich man or a rich woman, of marrying a man of position or the daughter of a minister; getting a housewife or a breadwinner and so forth ( Krupskaia, 1959). As a result of this women who were subordinates of men and were unemployed had little choice in the matter of whom they were going to marry. This was because privileged parents chose the prospective mates for them even though girls had balls held for them in which potential mates were arranged before them.
Clearly the psychological qualities such as love that women desired in a prospective mate were missing. The impact of capitalism on mate selection was present in slave societies of the Caribbean. In that, economic strength would not have been a criterion for which attractive male slaves would have to meet so that they could be considered attractive. This was because the slave owners actually provided fro the need of the slave. Hence, other psychological traits such as love and physical prowess must have been the qualities that female slaves look for in the ideal mate.
However, with the onset of the age of revolutions and the gradual change in the traditional status of women – women now employed and educated – mate selection ceased to function as a market in regard to monetary criteria. Other psychological traits were now introduced to the criteria that were set by the women. Studies conducted in different countries of the Soviet regime revealed this shift from physical or economic prowess to essentially intellectual strength. In that, occupation, financial status and nationality of the future spouse were considered to be highly unimportant by women (Fisher 19 ) .
In addition, a poll of female student in Vilnius State University in the fall of 1973 found the trait considered to be most important in a future husband to intelligentnost’, or, essentially “being culture. ” The second most important trait was that a future husband has a caring attitude toward his family and children. Other traits mentioned were belief in self, love of work, sobriety, sense of humor, and a striving for all-round protection. However, this shift observed in the criteria outlined by women of the Soviet Union did not come as quickly for women in the Caribbean.
After the abolition of slavery, female ex-slaves found themselves in the home and dependent on males for economic support for herself as well as for her offspring. Thus, the power and, prestige which were attached to males who had access to material goods were the most important criteria women would look for in their potential mate. Other psychological traits such as being mannerable and respectful to the female’s parents, and being religious were ranked as secondary traits.
However, as the liberalization movement gathered momentum in the Caribbean, women were observed entering the working world, and seizing educational opportunities. Today, women outnumber men in the ratio 11:1 at the University of the West Indies and are commanding wages that match their qualification. Together these factors influence the qualities that women are looking for in Mr. Right. As such, Caribbean women from these educational backgrounds like their soviet counterparts consider the traits of being intelligent, educated, someone who is on par with them as the most important ones.
Traits such as being kind, understanding, gentle, confident, sensitive, honest, having a sense of humor, ambitious, rich and being spiritual were among the qualities that a sample of female students from the University of the West Indies looked for in Mr. Right, in the fall of 2003. In light of these finding, this study seeks to identify the particular traits or characteristics that female considers essential in selecting Mr. Right and hypothesize that these traits that define Mr. Right will be dependent on the female’s age and socio-economic status.