Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Sex

Font Size
A
A
A

Men Want Subordinate Women

Perceived Dominance Matters to Men in Relationships, Say Researchers
By
WebMD Health News

Dec. 15, 2004 -- Men prefer subordinate women for relationships, suggests new research in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior.

The study was conducted by a woman and a man: Stephanie Brown of the University of Michigan and Brian Lewis of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Brown and Lewis studied more than 300 college students, 120 of whom were men. The researchers wanted to see if dominance affected opinions about potential partners.

Dominance had nothing to do with personality. Instead, it focused on rank, power, and status.

Participants were asked to imagine themselves in a workplace setting. They read a description of "Johns" or "Jennifers," who were described either as their assistant, peer, or supervisor. They also saw pictures of the Johns and Jennifers. Photos showed people of similar age and attractiveness.

Next, participants rated how interested they were in spending time outside the office with each fictional colleague. They ranked the Johns' and Jennifers' appeal as an exercise buddy with no romantic strings attached, a one-night stand, a date, and a marriage partner.

When it came to the romantic or sexual options, participants only reviewed imaginary partners of the opposite sex. They were also told that company rules didn't restrict dating or relationships among employees.

Men preferred the women who were described as their assistants. That was especially true for long-term relationships with higher stakes, such as marriage or dating, compared to a one-time fling or a fitness partner.

Women weren't concerned about dominance.

The findings didn't surprise Brown and Lewis. They predicted that "males would be more attracted to a [woman] if she were described as his assistant than if she were described as his coworker or supervisor."

Evolution, not Cupid, might be responsible. Males might reduce paternity questions by partnering with subordinate females, the researchers suggest.

That's theoretical. Participants weren't asked about having babies with John or Jennifer, or which type of partner was more likely to be faithful.

Today on WebMD

couple not communicating
How to tell when you're in one.
couple face to face
Get your love life back on track.
 
couple having an argument
Turn spats into solutions
couple in argument
When to call it quits.
 
Life Cycle of a Penis
Article
HIV Myth Facts
Slideshow
 
How Healthy is Your Sex Life
Quiz
Couple in bed
Video
 
6 Tips For Teens
Article
Close-up of young man
Article
 
screening tests for men
Slideshow
HPV Vaccine Future
Article