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A cardinal tenet of evolutionary psychology is that women tend to allocate more resources to child rearing, while men devote more time and energy to mating.
Thus the researchers predicted, for example, that women should be more sensitive than men to how their dates treat their own dogs and cats.
Park Slope for Pets, an online community for pet owners in the neighborhood, is hoping to play matchmaker for dog owners who are looking to meet and date other dog owners.
The group is hosting the first in a series of dating events called "Meet My Owner," a singles mixer for pet owners.
Dating can be hard for single dog owners who are looking for someone who understands 4 a.m.
As predicted, women were more discriminating than men on eight of the 11 questions related to the use of pets in evaluating dating partners.
(There were no gender differences for the other three questions.) Dog owners were more likely than cat owners to use pets as indicators of a date’s attributes: For example, more dog people than cat people said the responses of their pet to a date was important.
Men, on the other hand, should be more likely to use their pets to attract sexual partners.
Gray and his colleagues also predicted that when it comes to signaling the qualities of a date as a potential parent, interactions with dogs would provide more salient cues than those with cats, because dogs are generally thought to require more care and attention.