Among mammals, however, humans are in a small minority in one important way: for over 95 percent of other mammals, family arrangements involving male care of offspring are nonexistent (Geary 2000).
Across human societies, though, men and women bond together in marriage (Broude 1994; United Nations 2000).
Although symmetry is attractive in both men and women, small noses and relatively smaller jaws are relatively more attractive in women, and medium noses and large jaws are attractive in men (Cunningham, Druen, and Barbee 1997). "mate assortment in dating and married couples." personality and individual differences 7–221.kenrick, d.
A small waist-to-hip ratio is attractive in a woman, but not in a man (Singh 1995). "dominance, prosocial orientation, and female preferences: do nice guys really finish last?
The more challenging task is to identify the benefits of choosiness.
In considering how and why people choose mates, therefore, two points are significant: (1) there are variations as well as universalities across cultures, and (2) there is a distinction between selection of mates for short-term relationships versus long-term relationships. "dominance and heterosexual attraction." journal of personality and social psychology 52(4):30–738.shepher, j.
Sometimes, however, mate choice is more nuanced with no outright rejection of potential mates.
Instead, individuals adjust their reproductive expenditure. For example, a male (or a female) might change its investment in courtship depending on the type of female (or male) encountered, which affects the subsequent likelihood of a mating.
A female, male, or even hermaphrodite might similarly adjust how many gametes are made available to a potential mate.
There are thousands of papers and innumerable reviews about mate choice.