Regional and Historical Differences within the United States

Culture can act as a modifier of sex differences even within a single country. Buss, Shackleford, Kirkpatrick, & Larsen (2001) studied mating preferences in several regions (e.g., Michigan, Texas) and across a 67-year time span (1939-1996). The authors report significant regional and historical modifiers of sex differences in mate preferences (e.g., men in Texas valued housekeeping, cooking, and chastity more than those in other states; mutual attraction and love rose in women's estimation from fifth-to first-ranked criterion over time). Although there were differences across generations and across regions, there were also similarities or consistencies. Sex differences that persisted across time were men's higher ranking of good health, good housekeeping, and good looks, and women's higher ranking of ambition/industriousness, good financial prospects, and similar educational background.

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