Date of Award

Fall 1-1-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy In Urban Education Degree: Counselor Education


Education And Human Services

First Advisor

Maccluskie, Kathryn

Second Advisor

Marius Boboc, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Michael Horvath, Ph.D.


This study sought to discover whether single heterosexual mate preference differences between men and women who were born in Romania would have fluctuated as one became more acculturated to American way of life and if these sex differences may have been moderated by other variables such as SES and age. This study was based on the premises of evolutionary, social role and cultural theories, the former which stated that men tended to look for characteristics that signified reproductive value like good looks whereas women sought out men that evidenced characteristics of cultural success like having been financially independent. It was hypothesized that Romanian men tended to acculturate to American way of life faster than women and so would have been more inclined to prefer characteristics that signified cultural success over reproductive value whereas women would have tended to favor characteristics in line with the above paradigms. Along with various demographic questions that were completed, participants were asked to take 2 short surveys-one which rated gender differences in long term mate preferences and one which measured level of acculturation to American way of life. A total of 46 were included in the subsequent eight hierarchical regressions that were run. Results indicated some support for the evolutionary and social role theories; women indicated preference for the aggregate variable of cultural success as well the survey Item of Good Financial Prospect, while men indicated preference for the survey item of Good Cook and Housekeeper. Acculturation as a main effect as well as its v interaction with gender was not significant. Participants who immigrated after the fall of communism endorsed most survey items to a higher degree. Age was found to be negatively correlated with younger persons who preferred to endorse the aggregate variable of Reproductive Value and Item Desire for Home and Children. Implications suggested shifts in social role gender norms in Romania, which nullified any effects of acculturation. Future research should explore the connections between recent immigration, acculturation and mate preferences as well as be replicated again with variables not currently examined and a bigger sample size to ensure reliability of findings.

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