London, Dec 12 (UNI) Get wealthy if you want to get married-a man's riches, not his looks, are the key factor if he wants to settle down, according to new study.
Although there have been studies that have suggested that women are drawn to men of high status, power and wealth, rather than just looks, a new study by psychologists provides harder evidence of the marriage market in action.
The survey of more than 20,000 American men, based on historical data from the turn of the last century, suggests that when men are in surplus , women become correspondingly more choosy, driving a hard bargain for the richest and most powerful men, with the marriage prospects of low status men being ''drastically reduced''.
''Here we show that if men are abundant, this will influence the market value of their desired traits, that is, women can demand more. This aspect, namely individual decision making as a function of the mating market (local abundance or scarcity), has been relatively neglected within the literature on human mate choice.'' one of the study authors, Mr Thomas Pollet from Newcastle University said.
The research suggests that when men and women are in equal supply, mathematical models predict that men who are married will have a slightly higher socioeconomic status than unmarried men, the Daily Telegraph reported.
''As the sex ratio increases, married men are predicted to need up two or three times the socioeconomic status of unmarried men, '' he added.
To illustrate what they meant by this, they took the example of a 30 year old with a low and a high socioeconomic status.
With equal numbers of men and women, theory predicts that 56 per cent of low status men would be married once, as compared to 60 per cent of high status men.
But when men are plentiful, so there are 11 for every 10 women, only 24 per cent of low status men would be married once, compared with 46 per cent of high status men.
Thus low status men become 2.31 times less likely to marry, whereas high status men are 1.31 times less likely.
And as there are more men, the effect of wealth and power on the probability of marriage became stronger.
''This means that the effects of a male-biased sex ratio fell disproportionately on low-status men, whose probability of marriage was drastically reduced.'' Mr Pollet concluded.