Study | Charming Porsche-Driving Men Are Peacocks Seeking Sex


A new study “Peacocks, Porsches and Thorstein Veblen: Conspicuous Consumption as a Sexual Signaling System,” was conducted with nearly 1,000 test subjects and published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Researchers from Rice University, the University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) and the University of Minnesota find that conspicuous spending among men is driven by a desire for no strings attached sex or a romantic fling.

Based on studying the lives of 1000 test subjects, the results were clear and consistent among both sexes.

“This research suggests that conspicuous products, such as Porsches, can serve the same function for some men that large and brilliant feathers serve for peacocks,” said Jill Sundie, assistant professor of marketing at UTSA and lead author of the paper.

Women were clear about the lack of interest in the high fliers in anything more than a good time — and the women often went along for the ride. When they were interested in more casual dating, women preferred to ride in a Porsche and not a Honda Accord.

Among women who were seeking marriage or a long-term relationship, the Porsche held no edge.

The researchers also concluded that while women spend plenty of money on expensive baubles, they didn’t make their decisions based on looking for sex.

Smart Sensuality Peacocks

Just like women, female peacocks aren’t seduced by mere flashy feathers. In research that men might interpret to confirm the Porsche theory that females do desire the flash, we must dig beneath the surface for answers. 

Roz Dakin and Robert Montgomerie of Queen’s University aren’t sure why fewer spots is a big turnoff among female peacocks. The male may be perceived as immature or unhealthy.

The female’s mating decision is a complex process. The researchers are clear that female peacocks consider the number of eyespots in a potential mate’s plumage. When I first wrote up this research in early May, this peacock mating dance caught me eye, causinging me to write:

It seems to us that male scientists may flatter themselves about the submissive of females in nature. Women were conquered. There is a qualitative difference in how ‘natural submission’ is defined in nature vs humans.

Peacock Mating Dance

Clever, Discriminating Women

Two September 2010 studies come to mind that support the new research about women discriminating between a guy to play with and a guy to marry.

Human behavioral ecologist Fhionna Moore at the University of Abertay Dundee in Scotland and her colleagues launched a scientific study of women’s preferences in men, with a particular interest in lower-cortisol guys, or ‘chill guys’ as they are called.

43 heterosexual women looked at the composites at different phases in their menstrual cycle. When most likely to get pregnant, the women chose low-cortisol guys.

Dr Moore said about the preferences for low-cortisol men: ‘An ability to handle stressful situations suggests a strong genetic make-up and the ability to pass ‘good genes’ to their children.’

High testosterone, high cortisol guys may be good providers income-wise, but researchers but researchers believe 21st century women have a changing set of priorities for a long-term partner and father of their children. 

Just to show you how complicated this is, researchers say that women are capable of being attracted to the perceived stability of the lower testosterone guy, but imagining him as a Porsche-driving stud muffin when she’s ovulating and wanting to be pregnant.

This fantasy jumpstarts her libido and if you want to talk evolutionary theory from a female perspective, she may well know that the more intense the orgasm, the more likely the sperm will connect with an egg. Simply stated, she is fine being married to the Honda Accord man, but he’s driving a Porsche in her mind, when she wants to get pregnant.

We all know that women are so complex. Like those grey birds in nature, females are much more alert to reality than we credit them for being. In most cases, Porsche guys, the babes aren’t fooled for one moment. She knows exactly what’s going down.  Anne