• creativity;
  • intelligence(s)/intellect;
  • styles;
  • personality;
  • mating;
  • mate selection;
  • openness to experience


Creativity is sexy, but are all creative behaviors equally sexy? We attempted to clarify the role of creativity in mate selection among an ethnically diverse sample of 815 undergraduates. First we assessed the sexual attractiveness of different forms of creativity: ornamental/aesthetic, applied/technological, and everyday/domestic creativity. Both males and females preferred ornamental/aesthetic forms of creativity in a prospective sexual partner than applied/technological and everyday/domestic forms of creativity. Secondly, we assessed the simultaneous prediction of general cognitive ability, personality, divergent thinking, self-perceptions of creativity, and creative achievement on preferences for different forms of creativity in a prospective sexual partner. The results were generally consistent with assortative mating. The most robust predictors of a preference for applied/technological forms of creativity in a potential sexual partner were intellectual interests and creative achievement in applied/technological domains. In contrast, the most robust predictor of a preference for ornamental/aesthetic forms of creativity was openness to experience. The results suggest that openness to experience and its associated aesthetic, perceptual, and affective aspects are the primary characteristics influencing the sexual attractiveness of a creative display. Further, the results demonstrate the importance of also taking into account individual differences in personality, interests, and creative achievement when considering the sexual attractiveness of different manifestations of creativity.