Document Type

Social Sciences


This study investigates undergraduate students’ partner preferences and selection at Pepperdine University by examining the traits desired of those seeking a potential partner and the expectations one has for them. Results from the survey responses support previous research in this area and indicate males’ preference for dominant feminine traits, including physical attractiveness, and females’ preference for dominant masculine traits, such as high earning potential. While the majority of males and females desired a more egalitarian relationship, males were more likely to want their partners to be a follower and females were more likely to desire their partners to assume the leadership position in the relationship. The evolutionary and social structural approaches toward mate selection are useful in understanding these similarities and differences between males and females. These gender differences within relationships supported by the results of this study illustrate the conventional and traditional model that persists throughout society. Despite movement toward more egalitarian relationships in terms of division of labor, these findings show that this equality seems too idealistic. Future research of this topic is encouraged to further comprehend the motivations behind partner selection, especially at Pepperdine University.