On the prowl? You best bring a buddy, buddy.
The super-nerds at MIT's Sloan School of Management have figured out how to get you a date you like: friends. According to The Boston Globe, Assistant Prof. Joshua Ackerman asserts that a wingman (non-gender specific) is the best way to find someone new.
Men and women use friends completely differently. Women use their buddies to shut it down (Help, this weird guy won't stop talking to me!). Men use their buddies to crank it up (Help, I want to go talk to that hot girl). To figure this out, researchers presented groups of men and women with the following:
Imagine you're at a dance with a friend of the same gender (and assume heterosexual orientation). There are two members of the other gender present, one attractive and one not, who come over and start dancing with you and your pal. Overwhelmingly, the ladies chose to put up a wall and try to get their friend away from the heinous male. The dudes, on the other hand, opted to run interference with the undesirable woman and let their buddy have an unfettered run at the choicer of the two gals.
Voila, teamwork from the XX and XY perspective. The most fun part of this study is the revelation that the gender of the person "in play" rather than the gender of the wingman determines the wingman's role. The presence of a dude with a chick tells dudes into said chick to "back off, she's with me." Whereas a chick with a dude tells chicks, "he is not a complete loser, trust me."
Anyone who has been to a bar ever would probably file this under "N" for "No duh," but it's nonetheless interesting from a sociological standpoint. Ladies have a rep for attempting to "tend and befriend" under stress while dudes are said to engage in "fight or flight" in bewildering scenarios. Maybe men are better at collaboration when it comes to romance or maybe women are better at keeping their friends from going home with douchers. Read: Science: Opposites Only Sort Of Attract