Home and Deranged
Nice guys drive economy cars: Rice study finds those with flashy rides are onlyout for easy sex
A new study by Rice University in partnership with UT-San Antonio and the University of Minnesota found that conspicuous spending on the part of men might make them a more attractive date, but a less attractive long-term choice.
The study, entitled “Peacocks, Porsches and Thorstein Veblen: Conspicuous Consumption as a Sexual Signaling System,” and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, compares men’s purchasing of ostentatious objects to a male peacock displaying his feathers.
But the real find (supposedly) is that nice guys — in this context, “nice guys” meaning those who are interested in treating you decently and refraining from having sex with anyone else — aren’t into the same kind of over-the-top spending as their metaphorically feathered counterparts. Flamboyant displays of cash are rather favored by guys who are interested only in short-term, casual sex. (I, for one, am SHOCKED.)
If driving a Porsche means you like easy sex and owning a Honda Civic means you'd make a decent husband, what does a scooter suggest to women?
And women are onto it, the study finds. For one experiment in the series, women were shown two prospective suitors — each was 32 years old, held a master's degree and worked for a Fortune 500 company. They had similar hobbies, but one man drove a Porsche while the other drove a Honda Civic. Although the women surveyed picked the Porsche dude over the Honda Civic guy for a date, Porschebag was not assumed to be a suitable marital prospect.
We’re intuitive like that.
While it's pretty unsurprising that flashy car drivers (especially the kind with vanity plates) are probably not as in tune with long-term investment thinking, and it's not surprising that women prefer more practical men when it comes to marriage, the study's preoccupation with car-based character implications does raise eyebrows.
Isn't the idea that you can accurately infer what type of person someone is by what type of car he drives in need of debunking? Maybe a man drives a Porsche because he prefers fast-and-loose women. Or, maybe he drives a sports car because he's always loved that scene from Risky Business.
And an economy car hardly guarantees someone is a suitable life partner. Will Ferrell's infamous "I drive a Dodge Stratus!" is evidence enough of that.
I say, while we're judging people, let's go all the way. If driving a Porsche means you like easy sex and owning a Honda Civic means you'd make a decent husband, what does a scooter suggest to women? What about eschewing cars all together and embracing public transportation?
Below, we continue the study (in our own minds):
The public transportation truster: You're not bothered by whether a potential date might knock you for your inability to chivalrously pick her up. You don't care what people think, or about being anywhere on time.
The scooter duder: You're culturally savvy but not quite wealthy enough to go full-environmental with an electric four door. You exude an artistic side you may or may not actually possess. You'll be an excellent
stay-at work-from-home dad.
The motorcycle man: You're fearless, but you appreciate accessories. You thrive on adrenaline, either living every day on the edge or just on weekends. There's a chance you're compensating.
The bro in a buggy: You're a lewd sexter and a sexual predator, and you ought to be ashamed.