Reinforcing stereotypes one study at a time

From Reuters:
Forget expensive presents or costly jewellery. Wining and dining is the best way for men to woo women, scientists said on Tuesday.
Researchers at Imperial College London developed a mathematical formula and modelled courtship as a sequential game to find the best way to impress the ladies.
Their results show that offering an expensive present signals the man’s serious intentions but he must be wary of being exploited by gold-diggers who will dump him after receiving the gift.
“Guys are less likely to offer expensive gifts to females they don’t have a long-term interest in. And girls won’t be impressed with cheap gifts. By offering expensive but worthless gifts, such as dinner and theatre trips, the male pays no cost if the invitation isn’t accepted,” said Dr Peter Sozou, of University College London (UCL).

Is ‘gold-diggers’ a scientific term? And something tells me that scientists who use a mathematical formula and “a sequential game” to find out how to impress women probably aren’t the best people for relationship advice.
How the hell do people get money for this shit?

Join the Conversation

  • Thomas

    The story doesn’t say anything about the methodology, really, but as far as I can tell, they’ve only modeled it as game theory. Now, of course, doing that requires that the theorists assume the behavioral responses of the actors, rather than test them empirically. This sort of modelling is (1) only good for behavior that carefully thought out and very rational, like market phenomena, and (2) is totally dependent on the assumptions about the actors’ preferences that the researchers make. In short, in modelling dating behavior, this is a useless exercise for analyzing dating, designed only to get headlines. When they do this based on empirical research about dating behavior, let me know.

  • Protagoras

    How could it be a problem that they assume the responses of the actors? Surely all us adults know all about dating. That’s why dates never go badly, and nobody ever complains about misunderstanding or being misunderstood by those they’re interested in. It sounds like a perfectly appropriate methodology to me.

  • stephen

    What ‘serious intentions’ can a man have who showers a lady with expensive but worthless gifts? In the words of the song “Take back your mink, take back your pearls, what made you think I was one of those girls?” These fellows have spent too much time on Game Theory and too little learning good manners.

  • Iguana

    Stephen seems to believe that repeating nonsense over and over again helps to make it believable.
    The truth hurts. Women love to be showered with gifts. Rational men – that is, most men – are going to give those gifts in a way that maximizes their potential for getting laid. It is all very straightfoward. The conclusion is not invalid just because you don’t like it.

  • eponymous

    The truth hurts. Women love to be showered with gifts. Rational men – that is, most men – are going to give those gifts in a way that maximizes their potential for getting laid.
    Iguana thinks by repeating the maxims of male-dominance, he will somehow make them true.
    That’s right, Iguana, all women are whores for diamonds and men are eminently rational and reasonable. I don’t know what kind of shit you’re smoking, but call me if you see any down here, ok?

  • Iguana

    It’s OK eponymous. We know you need to vent your anger at your inability to attract men at something. If it makes you feel better to suggest that DeBeers does not sell blood covered diamonds because women seem to like shiny rocks, go ahead.

  • Ahlana

    Are you so insecure that you have to post on blogs that you fully disagree with in order to feel like you aren’t a small, petty, insignificant person?
    My fiance gave me a $6000 engagement ring and I *made* him take it back. I picked out a ring that was under a thousand dollars and he spent the other $5k on his last semester of college.
    Some women like big expensive jewelry. Some don’t. Some men like expensive presents like jewelry, cars, boats, whatever. Others don’t. Not all men are pigs who use gifts as a way to get in someone’s pants… Some men actually give gifts because they care about the happiness of the person receiving the gift (this is called “love”. Look it up). Radical concept there I know, but hey, some men are better people than you.

  • stephen

    [i]Stephen seems to believe that repeating nonsense over and over again helps to make it believable.[/i]
    Oops, did I do a multiple post? Sorry…

  • stephen

    Iguana, I agree with you that some men shower women with expensive gifts to get them into bed. Also, some women love to be so showered. My point was that it’s bad manners. Of course, if it never happened, there’d be no point in calling it bad manners.
    ps, if I say something three times – it’s true. Yes, it is.

  • CapnKrunk

    Feminsting, you rock. There’s something about gender stereotypes that brings out the worst in otherwise “objective” scientists. This one goes up on me own blog, for sure.

  • susanb

    most women definitely like the jewelry and it does put an impression on women. Men know how to manipulate women.
    sterling silver jewelry