Maggie Wicks: So women are attracted to money. Do men think they're any better?

So, what first attracted you to your millionaire husband?
So, what first attracted you to your millionaire husband? Photo credit: Getty

OPINION: This just in from the scientific community: women are attracted to money.

That is according to research widely reported in the international media earlier this week.

The study, from American science journal Evolution & Human Behaviour, lays waste to the fairytale that what humans really want is an eternal soulmate, instead claiming that the female of the species will go for absolutely anything, as long as it has a decent wad of cash in its chino pocket.

Our love, it turns out, does cost a thing.

The study, which goes by the catchy title of Different Impacts of Resources on Opposite Sex Ratings of Physical Attractiveness by Males and Females, asked a few hundred men and women to rate images of male and female body shapes on their attractiveness.

Salary information was then added to the images and the participants were asked to judge again.

And the result?

"Ratings of attractiveness were around four times more sensitive to salary for females rating males, compared to males rating females," according to the report.

Greed! Thy name is woman.

Study author John Speakman told The Times that women would look twice if a man's salary increases by a factor of 10. For men to experience such an increase in attraction, a woman's salary would need to increase by a factor of 10,000.

But hidden behind the headline, in the murky linguistics depths of science reporting, was a flipside.

"Parental investment hypotheses regarding mate selection suggest that human males should seek partners featured by youth and high fertility," says the report.

In layman's terms, men prioritise beauty. Those shallow bastards.

How odd that this didn't hit the headlines - and, in full disclosure, Newshub was just as guilty as the rest.

But here's the thing: humans like power, whatever form that comes in - be it money, beauty, fame or charisma.

We want it, we're turned on by it and we are certainly not enlightened enough to be above it. Even monkeys get off on looking at pictures of other monkeys that have a higher social status than them.

So is this behaviour really so crazy? To be drawn to someone's bank account or beauty?

You couldn't swing a cat without hitting an evolutionary psychologist who thinks so.

From Nigeria to the Netherlands, it's well established that youth = the ability to make babies, and wealth = the ability to provide for them.

These drives - for economic status, or for physical attractiveness - are innate. They're pure biological mating instincts.

So don't despair at the baseness of human nature just yet. This is all down to biology and that's more powerful than the lot of us.

Maggie Wicks is a senior producer for Newshub.