5

According to this quora post:

From an evolutionary standpoint, women are designed to make sure their offspring survive to reproduce. If they mate with a powerful man, their children will be strong/powerful, and they will survive to reproduce.

Are women in general more attracted to powerful men?

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    focused on the actual claim that has nothing to do with the bible in itself. – Sklivvz Mar 28 '17 at 17:18
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    Bonus points if you can show whether men are more attracted to female victors. – PointlessSpike Mar 31 '17 at 7:01
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    Technically your quote doesn't explicitly state that western women are more attracted to victors. I imagine that western women are attracted to victors. I imagine that it's also true Eastern, Southern, and Northern women are as well, evolutionary psychology would assure that. The quote as stated though does not make any claim that non-western women behave differently. It is likely implied giving the terminology of the quote and the source, but it would help to include a quote that directly states that this attraction is somehow different from non-western women. – dsollen Apr 19 '17 at 15:22
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    I'm more skeptical of a claim that there are societies where women aren't more attracted to victors. – Ask About Monica Apr 19 '17 at 16:08
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    @kbelder - if you look at the hero-worship of star athletes, I'd be skeptical of a claim that says men aren't attracted to male victors. – PoloHoleSet Apr 20 '17 at 13:38
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+50

The claim in the question is inherently controversial among experts. "Powerful" is subject to different interpretations. More fundamentally, the whole notion that any human behavior could be "designed" by biological evolution has been rejected by many prominent anthropologists. Nonetheless, there are certainly peer-reviewed studies that could support this claim.

For example here is an article that concludes:

The cumulative weight of the scientific evidence supports the hypothesis that human females have evolved species-typical psychological mate preferences for mates who display cues to resources and resource acquisition. In the field of evolution and human behavior, this is surely one of the most powerfully supported evolutionary hypotheses, having been documented extensively across cultures, age groups, generations, races, ethnic groups, mating systems, tribal groups, and modern industrial societies.

For a summary of some classic research along such lines, see Ellis (1992) or Schmitt (2017). Ellis quotes Gregerson from a decade earlier:

For women the world over, male attractiveness is bound up with social status, or skills, strength, bravery, prowess, and similar qualities.

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    Do any of these sources compare the attraction between women and powerful men to the attraction between ordinary people and powerful people? Powerful people in general seem to attract people with less power, it would be interesting to know whether the women-powerful men attraction is significantly stronger in comparison. – The Raven Queen Apr 21 '17 at 0:22
  • @TheRavenQueen In the sense of a romantic/sexual attraction, it'd seem like women-to-powerful-men is a special case. But in a broader sense of attraction, you're probably right that a lot of folks are attracted to power. – Nat Apr 21 '17 at 1:49
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This is an evolutionary behavior, the answer would be yes 100% but we are fairly removed from natural selection at this point. Here is an article which summarizes a study pertaining to the question https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/head-games/201308/what-women-want-in-men. Here is one analyzing the extent to which we can apply evolutionary principles pertaining to modern day humans http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/54/4/616/ In essence, yes, in general women are more attracted to powerful men, but it's not the only consideration being made.

  • Minor quibble, we are far removed from Natural Selection, but not Evolution. Forms such as genetic drift are still very much at play. – fredsbend Apr 21 '17 at 5:38
  • Technically speaking that is 100% valid, we are derivatives of evolution we are inherently linked – Nik Apr 21 '17 at 6:22
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    I disagree that we are removed from natural selection. The selection pressures may have changed, but they still exist. – Paul Johnson Apr 23 '17 at 9:31
  • highest birthrates are among people worst off, lowest among those who are best off. – Nik Apr 24 '17 at 1:45

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