What women want in their sperm donor: A study of more than 1000 women’s sperm donor selections

Whyte, Stephen, Torgler, Benno, & Harrison, Keith L. (2016) What women want in their sperm donor: A study of more than 1000 women’s sperm donor selections. Economics and Human Biology, 23, pp. 1-9.

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Abstract

Reproductive medicine and commercial sperm banking have facilitated an evolutionary shift in how women are able to choose who fathers their offspring, by notionally expanding women’s opportunity set beyond former constraints. This study analyses 1546 individual reservations of semen by women from a private Australian assisted reproductive health facility across a ten year period from 2006 to 2015. Using the time that each sample was available at the facility until reservation, we explore women’s preference for particular male characteristics. We find that younger donors, and those who hold a higher formal education compared to those with no academic qualifications are more quickly selected for reservation by women. Both age and education as proxies for resources are at the centre of Parental Investment theory, and our findings further build on this standard evolutionary construct in relation to female mate preferences. Reproductive medicine not only provides women the opportunity to become a parent,where previously they would not have been able to, it also reveals that female preference for resources of their potential mate (sperm donor) remain, even when the notion of paternal investment becomes redundant. These findings build on behavioural science’s understanding of large-scale decisions and human behaviour in reproductive medical settings.

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ID Code: 97543
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Sperm donor market, Characteristics & preferences, Large scale decision making, Mate choice, Evolutionary psychology, Reproductive medicine
DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2016.06.001
ISSN: 1570-677X
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Economics & Finance
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 Elsevier
Deposited On: 20 Jul 2016 23:02
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2016 04:43

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