A new study undercuts it:
To get to the bottom of the trophy wife myth, relationship inequality researcher Elizabeth McClintock analyzed attractiveness ratings, professions and socioeconomic backgrounds of couples from a nationally representative survey. McClintock combed the data for statistical correlations, looking for hints that successful men pair with attractive women.
She found, however, that attractive women weren’t necessarily pairing with rich guys – they were pairing with attractive guys. Like tends to attract like. The biggest statistical predictors of whether two people would get together were how similar they were in their educational background, race, attractiveness and religious views.
As Claire Hannum notes, a lot of previous research on the subject was flawed in a way that seems pretty obvious in retrospect:
In examining couples, [previous] researchers only looked at the women’s appearance and the men’s status and disregarded data on women’s status or men’s attractiveness. They were so certain they’d find a specific result (in this case…
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