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Women Like Men Who've Had a Partner or 2

More than those who've had zero: study
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2014 11:55 AM CDT
Women Like Men Who've Had a Partner or 2
A young couple hold their hands as they leave a movie theatre in Beijing, China, Sunday, June 22, 2014.   (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

(Newser) – Men, want to land a girlfriend? Well, first you may need to ... land a girlfriend. Or two. A new study out of Australia finds that women are more likely to find a man desirable if he's already had one or two partners, the country's ABC News reports. "There appears to be a significant desirability advantage for men who have been previously selected as a romantic partner," say the authors—amusingly, their study, published in Human Nature, is titled "I Want What She's Having." The phenomenon is known as "mate copying," and researchers already knew animals practiced it, but wanted to see if it played a role in human mate selection.

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"A man seeking a mate can get a lot of the information he needs just by observing his potential mate, but ... females are not as superficial as males," the lead author explains. They need to assess things like whether their partner will be a good parent or whether he'll stay committed; that's likely why they look for a male who's already been "road-tested" by other females and is thus more likely to have these desirable traits. But don't take it too far, guys: The researchers asked 123 women to rate the desirability of men using photos that noted the number of relationships they've racked up in four years, and "when you go to five, the guy becomes really undesirable." (More on the desirability front: A recent study found that the idea of men having "trophy wives" is largely a myth.)

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