If you’re the kind of lady who absolutely loves it when a guy goes totally nuts and splashes out on fancy dates and all that wining and dining that goes with it, you better head to somewhere with less women around, according to a new study. Researchers say if men detect a shortage of the ladyfolk, they’re more likely to spend spontaneously in order to seem attractive. It’s all about biology!
The study by the University of Minnesota says sex ratio is the key here (for heterosexuals at least) — single adult men versus single adult women — and can make a difference as to whether a man will want to shell out cash and take on debt to attract a female or be more interested in saving for the future.
It’s kind of like, men go into a panic mode and start doing the courtship dance of “Look at all this money I can spend on you” if they there’s a shortage of women, say researchers, which goes back to our evolutionary roots.
According to the study’s author:
“A male-biased sex ratio increases the degree to which men must compete for mates, and given the importance for men of advertising financial resources via spending and consumption, we predicted that shifts in sex ratio would be associated with men’s desire for immediate gains.”
The theory was tested by gathering data such as how many credit cards people owned and how much debt they’re carrying, both behaviors which could point to people impulsively spending their money. Those behaviors were then combined with the sex ratio where subjects lived.
Subjects were also asked to look at a bunch of pictures of nature as well as head shots, and told the images of people were from local dating sites, recent graduates or people on campus. Participants kept track of how many men and women they saw, and then were asked if they’d prefer to get $35 tomorrow or $45 in 33 days.
Men who perhaps didn’t see as many women as they’d like were all about getting the money as soon as possible, but those who seemed okay with the plethora of females were willing to put off getting paid until later.
This might explain why it’s so common to hear in New York City (which is abounding with single women): “How about we just grab some street food and head to $1 PBR night?”
The Number Of Women Around Affects What Men Will Spend On A Date [Business Insider]