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

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

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

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • 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

New Spin on Why Women Are Pickier in Love

It May Be Because Men Typically Initiate Relationships, New Research Says
By Caroline Wilbert
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

June 5, 2009 -- Women tend to be more selective than men when choosing romantic partners. Though scientists have long chalked up women’s pickiness to evolution, new research says the explanation may be simpler. Men typically approach women first, and the act of approaching increases desire. The research has been published in Psychological Science.

Scientists have long held the following theory: Women are more invested in potential offspring -- at the very least, women carry a child for nine months of pregnancy -- and therefore want to choose a good partner.

But a new study suggests the difference in selectivity may be more trivial. Researchers at Northwestern University recruited college students for a speed dating event. There were 15 speed-dating events with 350 participants. Participants went on four-minute “dates” with 12 participants of the opposite sex. For some events, women rotated and therefore did the approaching, while the men sat still. At other events, men did the approaching.

After each “date,” participants answered three questions about their romantic desire for the other person, romantic chemistry for the date, and their level of self-confidence on that date. After the event, study participants reported whether they would or wouldn't like to see each of their speed dates again.

Regardless of gender, those who rotated experienced greater romantic desire, chemistry, and eagerness to see a speed date again compared to those who sat. Those who did the rotating, or approaching, also reported more self-confidence than those who sat still during the speed dates.

"Given that men generally are expected -- and sometimes required -- to approach a potential love interest, the implications are intriguing," Eli Finkel, associate professor of psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern and co-investigator of the study, says in a written statement.

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
HIV Myth Facts
How Healthy is Your Sex Life
Couple in bed
6 Tips For Teens
Close-up of young man
screening tests for men
HPV Vaccine Future