ATLANTA - Women who place lonely-hearts ads in big city newspapers are looking for love in different places - wallets, hard bodies, soft hearts, bowling alleys - depending on where they live.
That's one of the findings of evolutionary biologist Kevin McGraw of Cornell University, who concludes in a new study that women who advertise for dates and potential mates are looking for more than good looks.
McGraw studied personal ads in major papers in more than 20 cities, 100 from each publication, and scored them based on words women used to describe themselves, their wants and needs.
In eight cities, women rated physical attractiveness as their No. 1 desire. But in Atlanta, big hearts came in a close second, fat wallets in third and hobbies - i.e., common interests such as bowling - came in last.
McGraw found that, the more expensive the city, the more likely women were to express a strong preference for financial resources.
"This study emphasizes the flexibility of mating strategies, depending on the environments individuals find themselves in," said McGraw, whose study appears in the scientific journal Ethology.