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Evol Psychol. 2014 Feb 13;12(1):97-114.

Physical attractiveness, attitudes toward career, and mate preferences among young Chinese women.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.
  • 2Department of Psychology, South China Normal University, China.
  • 3Department of Psychology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
  • 4Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China.


We examined young Chinese women's mate preferences as a function of their self-perceived attractiveness and career attitudes. A total of 264 young Chinese women rated their own attractiveness, reported their attitudes toward career, and rated the importance of 20 mate characteristics. The characteristics encompassed four facets that individuals typically consider when seeking a long-term mate: good-genes indicators, good investment ability indicators, good parenting indicators, and good partner indicators. We found that both self-perceived attractiveness and attitudes toward career were positively associated with the importance attached to several of the characteristics. Moreover, women who had high career focus but low self-perceived attractiveness attached more value to intelligence, ambition, and industriousness than women who had low career focus but high self-perceived attractiveness; women with low career focus but high self-perceived attractiveness attached more value to physical attractiveness in a mate than women with high career focus but low self-perceived attractiveness. We discussed the limitations of our research and directions for future research.

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