Youth in China seeking mates have grown less interested in virginity or good genes and more interested in mates with financial prospects, U.S. researchers say.
Study leader David Buss of The University of Texas at Austin and a team of researchers found that those saying good earning capacity was important for a future mate increased from 33 percent in 1983 to 89 percent in 2008.
The study used data from 1983 International Mate Selection Project, in which 500 men and women in China ranked a set of qualities they seek in a sexual partner such as chastity, attractiveness or good health. To measure the shift in cultural mate preferences over the span of 25 years, the researchers compared the old data to new data collected in 2008 in which 1,060 Chinese men and women ranked categories of characteristics they seek in a partner.
The researchers theorize the elevated importance on the "good earning capacity" signals a cultural shift in values that correspond to China's higher standard of living, Buss says.
Although both genders rate good financial prospects higher on the 3-point scale of importance since 1983, more women than men placed greater value on qualities linked with traits such as "social status,""ambition and industriousness."
The findings are published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.