bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2019‒12‒15
fourteen papers selected by
Jay Dixit

  1. Evol Psychol. 2019 Oct-Dec;17(4):17(4): 1474704919887703
    Kardum I, Hudek-Knezevic J, Mehic N.
      By using actor-partner interdependence modeling (APIM), we examined the effects of the Dark Triad traits, psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism on two mate retention (MR) domains, cost-inflicting (C-I B) and benefit-provisioning behaviors (B-P B) as well as overall mate retention (OMR) on the sample of 100 heterosexual romantic couples. These effects were examined first without and then with the control of the overlap between the traits. The results show that actor effects of the Dark Triad traits on MR were stronger in men, and regarding partner effects, the Dark Triad traits in men exerted more frequent MR in women than women's Dark Triad traits in men. In line with our prediction, psychopathy had the strongest actor and partner effects on MR behaviors, both in men and women. Considering MR domains, we found actor effects on C-I B only in men, whereas actor effects on B-P B in both men and women. The Dark Triad traits, especially in men, exerted stronger partner effects on C-I B than on B-P B domain. Almost all actor and partner effects of psychopathy and narcissism remained significant after the control for the overlap between the traits, whereas all actor effects of Machiavellianism became nonsignificant. In both sets of analyses, without and with the control for the overlap between these traits, the most frequent plausible dyadic patterns were actor-only and couple pattern.
    Keywords:  Machiavellianism; actor–partner interdependence modeling; infidelity; mate retention behaviors; narcissism; psychopathy; the Dark Triad traits
  2. J Fam Psychol. 2019 Dec 12.
    Horne RM, Impett EA, Johnson MD.
      This study explored 2 key questions at the intersection of care, well-being, and development in romantic relationships. First, what are the links between unmitigated communion (i.e., being overinvolved with meeting a partner's needs to the exclusion of one's own needs) and both partners' relationship satisfaction over time? Second, are there gender differences in the longitudinal links between unmitigated communion and relationship satisfaction? We answered these questions using data from 1,340 couples who participated in the German Family Panel over a 7-year period. Latent change score modeling results revealed that on average, people declined in both unmitigated communion and relationship satisfaction over time, and these declines occurred in concert with each other across each wave: A more rapid decrease in unmitigated communion occurred in tandem with a more rapid decrease in relationship satisfaction. Furthermore, higher initial levels of unmitigated communion predicted a slower rate of decline in relationship satisfaction, and higher initial levels of satisfaction stabilized future declines in unmitigated communion. Lastly, higher initial relationship satisfaction among men predicted a more gradual decline in female partners' unmitigated communion, but women's satisfaction did not predict male partners' unmitigated communion. Overall, this is the first study to demonstrate the codevelopment of and bidirectionality between unmitigated communion and relationship satisfaction in established romantic relationships. Unmitigated communion and relationship satisfaction tend to bolster each other in ways that protect them from steeper declines across time, which may explain why people continue to give in relationships when it is personally costly to themselves. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
  3. J Sex Res. 2019 Dec 13. 1-14
    Altgelt EE, Meltzer AL.
      Sex is a defining feature of marriage with important implications for marital success. Nevertheless, frequency and quality of sex decline across the early years of marriage. Given many modern-day couples in the U.S. are delaying marriage and thus experiencing many traditional aspects of marriage before their nuptials, the current research explored the extent to which premarital factors such as courtship duration, cohabitation, and children are associated with trajectories of couples' sexual relationships during the early years of marriage. Using a 4-year longitudinal study of newlywed couples, results demonstrated that couples with longer (versus shorter) courtships or who did (versus did not) cohabit engaged in less frequent sex at the start of marriage; interestingly, couples with longer (versus shorter) courtships or with (versus without) children prior to marriage experienced less steep declines in frequency of sex over time. Couples who did (versus did not) cohabit were less sexually satisfied initially and over time; couples with longer (versus shorter) courtships experienced less steep declines in sexual satisfaction over time. Notably, each of these associations emerged independent of related individual differences and marital quality. These findings highlight the notion that premarital factors can explain, at least in part, differences in newlywed couples' sexual relationships.
  4. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2019 Dec 12.
    Rau R, Carlson EN, Back MD, Barranti M, Gebauer JE, Human LJ, Leising D, Nestler S.
      When judging others' personalities, perceivers differ in their general judgment tendencies. These perceiver effects partly reflect a response bias but are also stable and psychologically important individual differences. However, current insights into the basic structure of perceiver effects are ambiguous with previous research pointing to either a unidimensional structure (i.e., people see others as globally positive vs. negative) or a multidimensional structure (i.e., people see others as high or low on specific traits). Here we provide a large scale investigation of the structure of perceiver effects that spans more than 100,000 personality judgments across 10 studies in which a total of N = 2,199 perceivers judged others on several trait domains (i.e., the Big Five, agency & communion) and in different judgment contexts (i.e., level of involvement with targets, level of exposure to targets). Results suggest that perceiver effects are hierarchically structured such that they reflect both a global tendency to view others positively versus negativity and specific tendencies to view others as high or low with respect to trait content. The relative importance of these components varied considerably across trait domains and judgment contexts: Perceiver effects were more specific for traits higher in observability and lower in evaluativeness and in context with less personal involvement and higher exposure to targets. Overall, results provide strong evidence for the hierarchical structure of perceiver effects and suggest that their meaning systematically varies depending on trait domain and possibly the judgment context. Implications for theory and assessment are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
  5. R Soc Open Sci. 2019 Nov;6(11): 181243
    Zhang L, Wang H, Lee AJ, DeBruine LM, Jones BC.
      Men are hypothesized to show stronger preferences for physical attractiveness in potential mates than women are, particularly when assessing the attractiveness of potential mates for short-term relationships. By contrast, women are thought to show stronger preferences for social status in potential mates than men are, particularly when assessing the attractiveness of potential mates for long-term relationships. These mate-preference sex differences are often claimed to be 'universal' (i.e. stable across cultures). Consequently, we used an established 'budget-allocation' task to investigate Chinese and UK participants' preferences for physical attractiveness and social status in potential mates. Confirmatory analyses replicated these sex differences in both samples, consistent with the suggestion that they occur in diverse cultures. However, confirmatory analyses also showed that Chinese women had stronger preferences for social status than UK women did, suggesting cultural differences in the magnitude of mate-preference sex differences can also occur.
    Keywords:  attractiveness; culture; mate preferences; social status
  6. J Sex Med. 2019 Dec 05. pii: S1743-6095(19)31509-7. [Epub ahead of print]
    Brown A, Barker ED, Rahman Q.
      INTRODUCTION: Erotic target identity inversions (ETIIs) are poorly studied paraphilias that involve sexual arousal by the idea or fantasy of being the object of one's sexual desires.AIM: To conduct a large non-clinical online survey to investigate self-reported sexual arousal, behavioral expression, and psychological correlates of 4 proposed ETIIs.
    METHODS: A total of 736 natal males and 549 natal females responded to items about self-reported sexual arousal to the idea of acting as an animal (autoanthropomorphozoophilia) or the idea of acting as a child or infant (autonepiophilia), natal males reporting arousal to the idea of acting as a woman (autogynephilia), and natal females reporting arousal to the idea of acting as a man (autoandrophilia). Data pertaining to sexual orientation, childhood gender nonconformity, gender identity discomfort, autism, masochism, and humiliation were also collected.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome was a measure of self-reported arousal and expression of the ETIIs being explored using 4 items: arousal level (-3 to 3) when imagining being the erotic target exemplar; frequency of engagement in dressing or behaving like their preferred target (0-4); strength of feeling that they would be better off as the target (0-4); and the frequency of consideration of making physical changes to look or function more like the target (0-4).
    RESULTS: Mild levels of reported sexual arousal to the idea of being the preferred erotic target were common among the 4 groups, characterizing about half of them. Gender identity discomfort was associated with autogynephilia, autoandrophilia, and autoanthropomorphozoophilia. Greater gender nonconformity was associated with autogynephilia, autoandrophilia, and autonepiophilia. Autism scores were associated with autoandrophilia and autonepiophilia. Masochism was not associated with ETII scores, but humiliation was.
    CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Findings suggest that it may be important to distinguish between subgroups of those with different levels and types of ETII arousal/expression.
    STRENGTHS & LIMITATIONS: Strengths of this study include the large, non-clinical sample of men and women for the investigation of ETIIs and the inclusion of measures of psychological correlates. The use of an Internet sample with self-report measures may be unrepresentative, although the Internet has the advantage of allowing recruitment from stigmatized or unusual groups. The cross-sectional nature limits our conclusions, as no causal inferences can be made.
    CONCLUSION: The results support the concept of ETIIs as a paraphilic dimension in non-clinical samples and the possible role of gender-related psychological factors. Brown A, Barker ED, Rahman Q. Erotic Target Identity Inversions Among Men and Women in an Internet Sample. J Sex Med 2019;XX:XXX-XXX.
    Keywords:  Erotic-Target Identity Inversion; Gender; Masochism; Paraphilia; Sexual Orientation
  7. J Sex Res. 2019 Dec 12. 1-12
    Aubrey JS, Yan K, Terán L, Roberts L.
      In a well-cited 2007 paper in Journal of Sex Research, Kim and colleagues proposed and documented a heterosexual script on primetime television. In the present study, we provide a 15-year update on the portrayal of the heterosexual script, and we further examine how it relates to three contextual variables: target age of the audience, age of the characters, and relational context of the script. Drawing from a 2016 sample of television programs that featured tween, teen, or young-adult characters, we documented three complementary sexual scripts: the sexual double standard (sexuality is equated with masculinity, women's virtue is tied to their sexuality), commitment (men avoid commitment, women seek it), and homophobia (men must avoid homosexuality, female homosexuality is voyeuristically appealing to men). Like the Kim et al. study, the dominant heterosexual script was sex as masculinity; this script was equally represented in tween, teen, and young-adult shows. The second most common script was that men prioritize sex over commitment, followed by the notion that women's virtue is tied to their sexuality. The commitment scripts were most often invoked by young-adult and adult characters, while the sexual double standard scripts were more pronounced in hookups than in committed relationships.
  8. Body Image. 2019 Dec 09. pii: S1740-1445(19)30213-X. [Epub ahead of print]32 70-84
    Frederick DA, Garcia JR, Gesselman AN, Mark KP, Hatfield E, Bohrnstedt G.
      The first national study of body image was reported four decades ago in the article The Happy American Body (Berscheid et al., 1973). To provide a modern follow-up to this study, we used two Internet panel surveys of U.S. adults to examine feelings about appearance (Survey 1: Married N = 1095; Single N = 5481) and weight, appearance, body, and muscle size/tone (Survey 2: N = 1601). Mean ages across samples for men and women ranged from 42-53. On the positive side, many men and women were somewhat-to-very satisfied with their appearance (67 %; 57 %), overall body (61 %; 46 %), weight (54 %; 42 %), and muscle tone/size (56 %; 41 %). Mean gender differences were small (Cohen's ds = 0.18-0.32), as were sexual orientation differences within each gender (ds = |0.00-0.25|). Looking at negative body image, fewer men than women were somewhat-to-very unhappy with their appearance among married (19 %; 29 %) and single participants (29 %; 35 %), and fewer men were somewhat-to-extremely dissatisfied with their appearance (18 %; 24 %), body (27 %; 39 %), weight (36 %; 49 %), muscle tone/size (27 %; 41 %). Nearly one-fifth of men (18 %) and one-fourth of women (27 %) were very-to-extremely dissatisfied with at least one of these traits, highlighting the importance of body image interventions.
    Keywords:  Body dissatisfaction; Body image; Ethnicity; Gender; Prevalence; Sexual orientation
  9. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2019 Dec 12.
    Lilgendahl JP, McLean KC.
      Narrative identity is a distinct level of personality that is related to psychological adjustment across the life course and is at its height of development during the emerging adult years. The present study was designed to capture a contextualized understanding of how narrative identity processes relate to adjustment during college. Using a 4-wave longitudinal design (n = 437 participants; n = 1544 narratives) and multilevel growth curve modeling, we examined how self-event connections coded from academic and romantic high point and low point narratives reported at the end of the first year were related to trajectories of life satisfaction and mental health assessed 4 times from the summer before college to the following fall (sophomore year). We found that positive self-event connections, especially those in romantic high points, were associated with an increase in life satisfaction. In contrast, negative self-event connections in both academic and romantic low points were predicted by higher levels of depression and anxiety and lower levels of life satisfaction prior to the start of college. Methodological and theoretical contributions are discussed in terms of the importance of contextualizing narrative identity in developmental time and context, particularly for gaining a more nuanced perspective on how identity relates to adjustment during a developmental transition. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
  10. PeerJ. 2019 ;7 e8198
    Petre LM, Vatasescu BN.
      Background: Understanding individual food preferences is critical for creating tailored strategies that promote healthy individual eating behaviors. Individual sensory liking appears to be an essential determinant of dietary intake. Taste preferences influence satisfaction and satiety, and may consequently influence weight status and psychological adjustment. The purpose of this study was to identify the association between taste preferences (sweet, salty, sweet & fatty, salty & fatty) and personality features.Methods: The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III) was used for the assessment of personality traits and PrefQuest (PQ) was used for measuring recalled food preferences. A total of 137 participants were included in the study. The relationship between compulsive and antisocial features and taste preferences was assessed by hierarchical multiple linear regression, while controlling for age, gender, BMI, marital status, and educational level.
    Results: The antisocial personality traits were a negative explanatory variable for sweet & fatty taste preference, R 2 = .15, t(132) =  - 2.40, p = .018, 95% [-.57, -.06] and salty & fatty taste preference, R 2 = .16, t(133) =  - 2.38, p = .019, 95% [-.07, -.01], while controlling for anthropological factors. In addition, men showed a higher preference than women for sweet & fatty food, such as chocolate or desserts, r sp  = .19, p = .021, and for the salty & fatty food, r sp  = .30, p < .001. BMI was not found to moderate the relationship between personality and taste preference. No significant association was found between compulsive personality traits and food preference, as assessed by sensory liking.
    Conclusions: The findings can bring a much better understanding of the relationship between the compulsive or antisocial personality and taste preferences. In addition, it may help build psychotherapeutic and nutritional strategies that promote healthy eating behaviors, tailored to a particular personality style.
    Keywords:  Antisocial; Compulsive; Eating behavior; Food; Personality; Personality traits; Salt; Sensory liking; Sweet; Taste preferences
  11. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2019 Dec 09. pii: S0016-6480(19)30339-9. [Epub ahead of print] 113354
    Leary CJ, Baugh AT.
      We review work relating glucocorticoids (GCs), male sexual signals, and mate choice by females to understand the potential for GCs to modulate the expression of sexually selected traits and how sexual selection potentially feeds back on GC regulation. Our review reveals that the relationship between GC concentrations and the quality of male sexual traits is mixed, regardless of whether studies focused on structural traits (e.g., coloration) or behavioral traits (e.g., vocalizations) or were examined in developmental or activational frameworks. In contrast, the few mate choice experiments that have been done consistently show that females prefer males with low GCs, suggesting that mate choice by females favors males that maintain low levels of GCs. We point out, however, that just as sexual selection can drive the evolution of diverse reproductive strategies, it may also promote diversity in GC regulation. We then shift the focus to females where we highlight evidence indicating that stressors or high GCs can dampen female sexual proceptivity and the strength of preferences for male courtship signals. Hence, even in cases where GCs are tightly coupled with male sexual signals, the strength of sexual selection on aspects of GC physiology can vary depending on the endocrine status of females. Studies examining how GCs relate to sexual selection may shed light on how variation in stress physiology, sexual signals, and mate choice are maintained in natural populations and may be important in understanding context-dependent relationships between GC regulation and fitness.
    Keywords:  Choosiness; courtship signals; elaborate male traits; female preferences; mate choice; stress
  12. Nat Hum Behav. 2019 Dec 09.
    Oh D, Shafir E, Todorov A.
      Impressions of competence from faces predict important real-world outcomes, including electoral success and chief executive officer selection. Presumed competence is associated with social status. Here we show that subtle economic status cues in clothes affect perceived competence from faces. In nine studies, people rated the competence of faces presented in frontal headshots. Faces were shown with different upper-body clothing rated by independent judges as looking 'richer' or 'poorer', although not notably perceived as such when explicitly described. The same face when seen with 'richer' clothes was judged significantly more competent than with 'poorer' clothes. The effect persisted even when perceivers were exposed to the stimuli briefly (129 ms), warned that clothing cues are non-informative and instructed to ignore the clothes (in one study, with considerable incentives). These findings demonstrate the uncontrollable effect of economic status cues on person perception. They add yet another hurdle to the challenges faced by low-status individuals.
  13. J Sex Res. 2019 Dec 12. 1-12
    Wu H, Luo S, Espinosa-Hernández G, Klettner A, White TD, Li H.
      Adolescence is a critical life stage when individuals further consolidate their gender role concepts, develop sexual beliefs, and likely begin to experiment with sexual behaviors. While there have been numerous studies on adolescents' gender role attitudes, sexual beliefs, and sexual behaviors, the bulk of this research has been based on Western samples. The current study aimed to expand our knowledge of adolescents' gender and sexuality by examining gender role attitudes, sexual beliefs, and sexual behaviors in an urban sample (n = 613) and a rural sample (n = 408) from China. Adolescent boys reported stronger identification with the negative male role, less sexual guilt, and stronger sexual intention than their female counterparts. Compared to the urban sample, adolescents in the rural sample were more likely to endorse both negative and positive male roles, hold the sexual double standard, and experience sexual guilt. Regression analyses yielded significant interaction effects between sex and negative male role on sexual guilt and sexual intention, suggesting that the negative male role was differentially associated with sexual guilt and sexual intention in boys versus in girls. Moreover, the negative male role was the only significant predictor of sexual behavior. Cultural implications of these findings were discussed.
  14. Front Psychol. 2019 ;10 2496
    Li J, He D, Zhou L, Zhao X, Zhao T, Zhang W, He X.
      The classic theory of face perception holds that the invariant (e.g., identity and race) and variant (e.g., expression) dimensions of face information are independent of one another. Two separate neural systems are involved in face processing. However, the dynamic theory of face perception indicates that these two neural systems interact bidirectionally. Accordingly, by using the emotion categorization task and morph movies task, we investigated the influence of facial attractiveness on facial expression recognition and provided further evidence supporting the dynamic theory of face perception in both the static and dynamic contexts. In addition, this research used familiar celebrities (including actors, television personalities, politicians, and comedians) and explored the role of familiarity in face perception. In two experiments, the participants were asked to assess the expressions of faces with different levels of attractiveness and different levels of familiarity. We found that regardless of being in a static or dynamic face situation, happy expressions on attractive faces can be recognized more quickly, highlighting the advantage of happy expression recognition. Moreover, in static and dynamic familiar face situations, familiarity has a greater impact on expression recognition, and the influence of attraction on expression recognition may be weakened or even unaffected. Our results show that facial attractiveness influences the recognition of facial expressions in both static and dynamic contexts and highlight the importance of familiarity in face perception.
    Keywords:  attractiveness; dynamic theory of face perception; expression recognition; face; familiarity