What men want, however, differs from what women want. According to evolutionary psychology, men and women each evolved their own strategies for seeking sex partners.
The theory that men's and women's sexual desires are hard-wired isn't new. Now a central tenet of evolutionary psychology, the theory holds that our sexual behavior evolved over millennia and is encoded in our brains. If that's true, men's sexual desires should be the same for men everywhere.
Men, she says, already know that they need to appear fit and socially powerful to attract a mate. "Men are looking for youth and beauty in the short term -- women really do know this," Fisher says. It is remarkable how the makeup and clothing industry constantly plays on this.
Makeup makes the face clearer, the eyes bigger, the lips more baby-like red, the hair the sweet light color of youth.
This doesn't mean all women will be short-term maters.Or as my college roomie used to say, 'God will throw a sexy woman in your path every six months.' So don't fan any coals that come your way. One member of a relationship has to switch strategies. "People abandon their long-term sex strategy in favor of a short-term strategy because of lust," Williams says. I think the most dangerous thing is to fall in love." The least dangerous kind of an affair, he says, is the kind of one-night stands that happen at a convention or a conference where people part and never meet again.The most dangerous are secret, longstanding affairs that go on for years with fantasies and hopes and dreams of building a relationship. Williams thinks his answer will surprise most men -- and few women."What we found is that when men opt for short-term mating, they pursue larger numbers of partners than women," Schmitt says."When women go short-term mating, they don't go for large numbers. They look for physically attractive men who have masculine facial features."What we are talking about is that when they go for infidelity or promiscuity, men focus on large numbers and women focus on quality." What really irks Schmitt is that many people interpret this finding to mean that women are designed to be faithful but men are predestined to be promiscuous. Instead, both women and men are fully equipped for one-night stands and lifelong relationships.Schmitt and colleagues asked men and women all over the world about what they wanted from long-term and short-term sexual relationships.The title sums it up: "Universal Sex Differences in the Desire for Sexual Variety: Tests From 52 Nations, 6 Continents, and 13 Islands." "Both men and women show signs of being programmed to be monogamous in a certain way and promiscuous in a certain way," Schmitt tells Web MD."The main difference is in short-term mating strategies, or how men and women go about being promiscuous." "We don't say men and women always opt for short-term strategies," Schmitt says.And the desires of men everywhere in the world should differ in the same ways from those of women. Now there's convincing new evidence that this is so.It comes from the International Sexuality Description Project, led by David P. The projects findings appear in the July 2003 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.