A new study from the University of St. Andrews in the U.K. has found what will come as a surprise to no one: men are more inclined to buy dinner if their date is attractive. But! Before anyone bemoans the shallowness involved, the study found it goes both ways: the more attractive a man is, the more women expect him to pay. So… everybody’s shallow! And a bit sexist!
Apparently participants were all contestants from reality television shows, because the researchers also found that self-described attractive people of both genders are more likely to believe they deserve to be treated. What happens if two entitled, conventionally attractive jerks are out on a date? Who pays? When is the rose ceremony?
Now, we must speculate as to why:
Researchers think it’s because women are more comfortable accepting resources from attractive men. We probably don’t want to be beholden to men that we’re not that into, so we’d rather split the check and get the heck out of there.
Other results of the study confirmed what we already know: we all want to be treated, and women are more likely to expect men to take care of the check. (Does this advantage make you feel any better about all of those statistics on the wage gap?)
There is hope, though. The study was conducted in a way that dramatically influenced results: heterosexual men and women ranked themselves in terms of attractiveness, then were shown pictures of people of the opposite sex and asked to imagine who would pay on the hypothetical date, or if the bill should be split. …Which is to say, major factors of attractiveness–sense of humor, charisma, intelligence–were shut out entirely.
Not that those will get you very far if all you want is a free dinner.