It turns out time has brought new ways of looking at life that is shown by studies on the subject of romance. Research, in fact, says for men having a virgin is not as important as other features in a relationship. That does not mean, however, that men don't seek a woman of virtue. A double standard remains the norm, despite what the research might say.
The top three characteristics men most want is love, brains and beauty, in that order.
What men most want is a woman who is smart and good-looking. Most women wouldn’t be surprised about men favoring an attractive face and figure, but being intelligent might be a bit of a surprise. In 1939 intelligence did not figure in how a man looked at a woman. Now men want a woman to work, to have a profession, to be a companion. So men seek an educated woman more than they seek a virgin.
And what do women want? Research says women want men who want to have a family and are willing to help care for that family and be supportive of the woman's need to have her own identity. Both men and women want mates who are financially independent.
A study at the University of Iowa of 1,100 undergraduates tells us what men and women want these days. Since the 1930’s researchers have been asking students to rank characteristics they most want in a mate. Students, on these rankings, are told to list 18 characteristics from irrelevant to essential. Love and attraction are tops now; in the past they didn’t figure high on the list at all.
Christine Whelan, one of the prominent researchers in the study and author of" "Marry Smart: The Intelligent Woman's Guide to True Love" observes that in the past marriage was a practical arrangement so men wanted a woman who was dependable and could cook. Chastity figured in the equation. Now it doesn’t. Women during that same period of the mid 20th century rate love highest on their list with dependability and emotional stability making the rest of the top three. They also like a man who wants a home and children, ranking it fourth, while men rank it ninth.
But when asked what they want in a woman, most men still speak of that "nice" girl they want to settle down with. Even though promiscuity might be acceptable in the dating world, the double standard continues, as women may seek dependability and help in the kitchen, but they prefer a man with sexual experience, as opposed to a virgin. A writer asked 25 men randomly their preference, virgin or not, in a woman and found that out of the 25 men surveyed, 14 prefer a virgin.
Still love is the value that binds both men and women in the modern world, more than sex or chastity, in a world where independence of mind is valued too.