The Role of Intelligence in Mating: an Investigation of How Mating Intelligence Relates to Mate Selection and Mating-Relevant Constructs

Stefanie Gisler
T. Joel Wade, Bucknell University


Mating intelligence is a fairly new construct with only limited empirical examination. Yet, previous research has found important implications for the construct’s role in mating behavior. The present study sought to expand the existing body of research on mating intelligence by investigating its relationship with self-esteem, self-perceived attractiveness, and mate selection. A sample of 195 participants (83 males and 112 females) completed a survey that incorporated measures of mating intelligence, self-esteem, and self-perceived attractiveness. Additionally, participants were asked to choose between an attractive and unattractive mate to take out on a date. Significant positive relationships between mating intelligence, self-esteem, and self-perceived attractiveness were found for both sexes. For males, mating intelligence predicted self-esteem over and above selfperceived attractiveness. Both males and females with higher mating intelligence were more likely to select the attractive mate to date. Self-perceived attractiveness predicted self-esteem for both sexes, but the relationship was stronger for males.