Imagine if all men decided to mate with one extremely attractive woman. Their population would dwindle to a dozen with a generation. What if all women mate with one extremely rich man? Just hostility among millions of children and their mothers for the father’s property.
Thus, it is only a result of natural selection that men generally detest the notion of sharing their wives with others. They want to have a partner all to themselves. Men who did not went extinct. Women, however, have, in many cultures and times, preferred to share a wealthy man than to have a poor man all to themselves. This gender difference only makes evolutionary sense. Women have no reason to deal with poor men when they can be another wife or even a side chick to a rich man. There were times when women competed to be concubines to kings. Thus, monogamy is an evolutionary necessity for men to pass down their genes. It is optional for women.
Now, some may say the men are polygamous because it increases their chances of passing down their genes. This image, pushed forth by the media, is largely illusionary. 8/10 men can’t be promiscuous, because they are invisible to women. The behavior of 2/10 men can’t be generalized.
In such light, we can better understand why men and women have different mating preferences. Men date below and within their league. Women date above their league. Men prefer women who are not promiscuous. Women appear to have no problem with dating promiscuous guys. In fact, some may prefer promiscuous guys because it signals high socio-economic status. Men consider virgin women special. Women almost hate virgin men because it signals low socioeconomic status. Preselection makes no difference for men. It makes a huge difference for women. Men often don’t even flirt with girls that are too attractive (too far above their league) for them. Women often fall for the same error until they understand that men too far above their league would only take advantage of them. Men don’t take back cheaters. Women often do.
All these differences reflect that majority of men want to secure a monogamous relationship. An average man’s evolutionary success depends on monogamy. This is optional for an average woman unless she lives in a culture where polygamy is not accepted.