I haven’t read the study— it would take some digging to find, after all!— only the CNN Article, but the title sums up half of the results: “Men want hot women, study confirms.”
In a nutshell, the study found that in a speed-dating test, men, despite what they said they were looking for, almost always went for the most physically attractive women (measured I am not sure how). Women, meanwhile, went for a man whose “desirability” (again, measured I am not sure how) matched their own assessment of how attractive they are.
The conclusion the article claims is that humans, despite high-minded language about looking for people who share their interests and values, seek out mates based primarily on physical attractiveness.
I want to suggest an alternate hypothesis. That is, “speed dating” is a shallow process that leads people to making judgments based on shallow criteria. Seems possible, no? I mean, even after an intense 3 minutes of conversation, can you really do a whole lot better judging how interested you are in a person than you can viewing a photograph?
It always bothers me to see news stories making (or just accepting) facile conclusions that come from studies where there are obvious potential biases built in to the methodology of the study without even acknowledging that that is something that one should think about.