This kind of test does not screen the potential male partner’s actual intention to form a stable couple, and thus exposes the woman to the risk of mating with sexually compatible but opportunistic partners
This particular structure builds on a clear evolutionary rationale. The female biological compatibility test works toward the screening of the possible male partners from the viewpoint of the compatibility of their genetic endowment with the female one , and is carried out through the elaboration of a vast array of diverse signals, from physical aspect to posture, movement, voice pitch, bodily energy, expressive intensity, and haptic feel, with a special sensitivity toward those signals that transmit chemical information, such as smell and taste [64,65], or toward somatic traits associated with masculinity . It is important to emphasize how the compatibility does not refer to characters that conform to a social standard of desirability-it rather prompts a subjective, unexpected, uncalculated response. A woman could then experience a high compatibility with respect to bodily traits that other women do not find attractive at all.
For men, the assessment of the psychological compatibility is a necessary condition to motivate the reduction of sexual variety and the preclusion of short-term relationships, to the benefit of a specific investment in joint child rearing
The male psychological compatibility test instead works toward the screening of possible female partners from the point of view of personality traits, and of their possible psychological conformity with those of the male subject. Here, too, the test contemplates the elaboration of a number of signals of a varying nature, with opposite implications in different subjects. Male subjects could be turned on by psychological similarity or on the contrary by extreme diversity, by the capacity to support and be complicit or by challenge and competition, by spontaneity vs. self-control, by tenderness vs. transgression, by emotional intensity vs. sense of irony, by fragility vs. moral strength, or by camaraderie vs. sophistication, and so on. In a recent thread on Reddit (u/omg1223) where more than 10,000 men told about the key moment in which they understood they wanted to mate with their current partner, in all the answers rated as most meaningful by users, the described situation invariably focused upon the psychological qualities of the woman, and on their conformity to those of the man telling the story, rather than on her physical appearance. Tellingly, whereas in the case of short-term female partners, men value their attractiveness by considering the full range of bodily characteristics, for long-term partners, the attention concentrates upon facial characteristics, and thus on a bodily dimension more directly connected to personality traits . Moreover, the (stated) personality characteristics of females directly influence male assessment of their physical attractiveness . In the evaluation of personality traits, affinity counts in principle more than pro-sociality: For men with psychopathic personality traits, for instance, evidence of a psychopathic female personality may favor the success of the psychological compatibility test .
The evolutionary rationale of this dimorphic configuration of incentives deriving from the functioning of the respective receptive areas is that for women, the assessment of biological compatibility is a necessary condition to motivate the choice of a specific sexual partner, a choice that will rule out access to the alternative genetic endowments of other possible partners. This choice, however, entails very different levels of risk between the woman, who will have to bear the child and rear her/him anyway, and the man, who can spread his genetic endowment across a potentially high number of different partners. The female tie-up may be regarded in this sense, in a context of sperm competition , as a potential guarantee for the man against the possibility of displacement of his own sperm. The choice of the male partner by the woman will then be justified if the genetic endowment of the former signals a high level of compatibility, that is, tends to be based on an implicit assessment of the potential reproductive success of the couple that would be formed. This asymmetry in the allocation of the risks and costs of childbearing, which are mostly placed on the shoulders of the woman, is at the root of the social relevance that is generally associated to the exclusive concession of sexual availability by women but not by men, and thus to the reduction of female sexuality to an object of social exchange , as well as to the existence of ‘sexual double standards’ (strongly contextualized from the socio-cultural viewpoint) as to the social evaluation of out-of-wedlock sexuality in men vs. women . Such investment will be justified if giving up alternative sexual opportunities will be compensated by other kinds of benefits for the man, and in particular by a stable, relationally harmonious union with a female partner, which ensures improved chances of successful parenting, and consequently of successful transmission not only at the genetic but also at the cultural level -that is, of the parents’ values and beliefs, of the historical memory of the family, of ideas and world views, or behavioral norms in a variety of domains, and so on [75,76].