-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
SATURDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Men who drive Porsches or
flaunt other flashy possessions are usually not the "marrying
kind," a new study suggests.
Researchers from Rice University, the University of Texas-San
Antonio (UTSA) and the University of Minnesota found that
conspicuous spending by men is often driven by the desire to have
uncommitted romantic flings. They also pointed out that although
flashy spending may get a woman's attention, she won't be picking
out china patterns any time soon.
"This research suggests that conspicuous products, such as Porsches, can serve the same function for some men that large and brilliant feathers serve for peacocks," study author Jill Sundie, an assistant professor of marketing at UTSA, said in a news release from Rice University.
Just as peacocks flaunt their brightly colored tails to attract
potential mates, certain men show off flashy products, like
brightly colored sports cars, to draw the attention of women, the
study found. The researchers also indicated that the men who
pursued this strategy were only interested in short-term sexual
relationships with women.
In analyzing more than 1,000 men, researchers revealed that
being in possession of a Porsche or another flashy luxury product
did make a man more desirable to women than owning a non-luxury
item, such as a Honda Civic. The attraction however, ended
While women who did find a man who drove a Porsche more
attractive as a date, she did not find him more desirable as a
marriage partner for a long-term committed relationship, the study
In fact, researchers found that women inferred from men's flashy
spending that they were only interested in uncommitted sex.
"When women considered him for a long-term relationship, owning the sports car held no advantage relative to owning an economy car," study co-author Daniel Beal, an assistant professor of psychology at Rice University, said in the news release. "People may feel that owning flashy things makes them more attractive as a relationship partner, but in truth, many men might be sending women the wrong message."
The study authors suggested that when it comes to attracting
potential dates, women do not share men's conspicuous spending
"Obviously, women also spend plenty of money on expensive things," added Sundie. "But the anticipation of romance doesn't trigger flashy spending as it does with some men."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides
more information on
healthy vs. unhealthy relationships.
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