bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒02‒09
nine papers selected by
Jay Dixit
Storytelling.NYC


  1. Behav Sci (Basel). 2020 Jan 29. pii: E44. [Epub ahead of print]10(2):
    Vorontsova TA, Labunskaya VA.
      The study analyzed the relationship of attitudes toward one's appearance and appearance of the partner with attitude toward the own personality and that of the other persons' in married men and women. The empirical object of the study included 52 married couples in a registered (26 couples) and unregistered (26 couples) marriage with a duration from 5 months to 26 years (M = 7.31; SD = 6.78). The age of the respondents was 20-45 years old (M = 30.26; SD = 7.31; all are residents of the Russian Federation; Russians). Methods included the following questionnaires: (1) "History of the couples' relationships"; (2) "Estimated and informative interpretation of one's appearance and its compliance with gender-age constructs"; (3) "Color test of relationships"; (4) "Method of diagnosing interpersonal relationships"; (5) "Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation-Behavior questionnaire". Empirical data were analyzed with Spearman correlation analysis, Mann-Whitney U-test, Kruskal-Wallis H-test. The results were as follows: (1) in men and women the attitude to their appearance is related to the attitude to themselves; attitude to the spouse's appearance is associated with the attitude to him or her; (2) in women, the assessment of their appearance is related to the attitude to their appearance; in men, the assessment of their appearance is related to the attitude to appearance of their spouses; (3) women's attitude to their appearance is associated with the need for inclusion, while in the men's case it is associated with the need for love; 4) men who emotionally reject their mothers are dissatisfied with the appearance of their wives.
    Keywords:  appearance; attitudes toward appearance; registered marriage; spouse; unregistered marriage
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10020044
  2. Body Image. 2020 Feb 04. pii: S1740-1445(19)30390-0. [Epub ahead of print]32 199-217
    Swami V, Tran US, Barron D, Afhami R, Aimé A, Almenara CA, Alp Dal N, Amaral ACS, Andrianto S, Anjum G, Argyrides M, Atari M, Aziz M, Banai B, Borowiec J, Brewis A, Cakir Kocak Y, Campos JADB, Carmona C, Chaleeraktrakoon T, Chen H, Chobthamkit P, Choompunuch B, Constantinos T, Crumlish A, Cruz JE, Dalley SE, Damayanti D, Dare J, Donofrio SM, Draksler A, Escasa-Dorne M, Fernandez EF, Ferreira MEC, Frederick DA, García AA, Geller S, George A, Ghazieh L, Goian C, Gorman C, Grano C, Handelzalts JE, Horsburgh H, Jackson T, Javela Delgado LGJ, Jović M, Jović M, Kantanista A, Kertechian SK, Kessels L, Król-Zielińska M, Kuan G, Kueh YC, Kumar S, Kvalem IL, Lombardo C, Luis López Almada E, Maïano C, Manjary M, Massar K, Matera C, Mereiles JFF, Meskó N, Namatame H, Nerini A, Neto F, Neto J, Neves AN, Ng SK, Nithiya DR, Omar SS, Omori M, Panasiti MS, Pavela Banai I, Pila E, Pokrajac-Bulian A, Postuvan V, Prichard I, Razmus M, Sabiston CM, Sahlan RN, Sarfo JO, Sawamiya Y, Stieger S, SturtzSreetharan C, Tee E, Ten Hoor GA, Thongpibul K, Tipandjan A, Tudorel O, Tylka T, Vally Z, Vargas-Nieto JC, Vega LD, Vidal-Mollón J, Vintila M, Williams D, Wutich A, Yamamiya Y, Zambrano D, Zanetti MC, Živčić-Bećirević I, Voracek M.
      The Breast Size Satisfaction Survey (BSSS) was established to assess women's breast size dissatisfaction and breasted experiences from a cross-national perspective. A total of 18,541 women were recruited from 61 research sites across 40 nations and completed measures of current-ideal breast size discrepancy, as well as measures of theorised antecedents (personality, Western and local media exposure, and proxies of socioeconomic status) and outcomes (weight and appearance dissatisfaction, breast awareness, and psychological well-being). In the total dataset, 47.5 % of women wanted larger breasts than they currently had, 23.2 % wanted smaller breasts, and 29.3 % were satisfied with their current breast size. There were significant cross-national differences in mean ideal breast size and absolute breast size dissatisfaction, but effect sizes were small (η2 = .02-.03). The results of multilevel modelling showed that greater Neuroticism, lower Conscientiousness, lower Western media exposure, greater local media exposure, lower financial security, and younger age were associated with greater breast size dissatisfaction across nations. In addition, greater absolute breast size dissatisfaction was associated with greater weight and appearance dissatisfaction, poorer breast awareness, and poorer psychological well-being across nations. These results indicate that breast size dissatisfaction is a global public health concern linked to women's psychological and physical well-being.
    Keywords:  Breast awareness; Breast ideals; Breast size; Cross-cultural psychology; Personality; Psychological well-being
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.01.006
  3. PLoS One. 2020 ;15(2): e0228655
    Ortet G, Pinazo D, Walker D, Gallego S, Mezquita L, Ibáñez MI.
      Mindful individuals are able to acknowledge mind wandering and live in the present moment in a nonjudgmental way. Previous studies have found that both mind wandering and mindfulness are associated with subjective well-being. However, the main predictor of happiness is personality; more specifically, happier people are emotionally stable and extraverted. The present study aimed to explore the contribution of the five factors of personality, dispositional mindfulness facets and a mindfulness intervention to happiness. A sample of 372 university students was assessed with the NEO-Five Factor Inventory, and another sample of 217 community adults answered the Big Five Personality Trait Short Questionnaire. Both samples, 589 participants in all, completed the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire and the Subjective Happiness Scale. Furthermore, 55 participants from the general population sample took a 6-week training course in meditation and developing mindfulness. The regression analyses showed that emotional stability and extraversion traits were the strongest predictors of subjective well-being. Nonetheless, the nonjudging facet, which is nonevaluative/acceptance awareness of thoughts and feelings, still remained a significant predictor of happiness when personality was accounted for. Finally, mindfulness training did not increase subjective well-being. Being nonjudgmental of one's inner thoughts, feelings and sensations contributes to happiness even when personality is taken into account. Accordingly, it seems reasonable that mindfulness training that intends to improve subjective well-being should focus on noticing thoughts without judging them.
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0228655
  4. Cognition. 2020 Feb 01. pii: S0010-0277(20)30012-3. [Epub ahead of print]198 104193
    Kramer RSS, Mulgrew J, Anderson NC, Vasilyev D, Kingstone A, Reynolds MG, Ward R.
      When interacting with other humans, facial expressions provide valuable information for approach or avoid decisions. Here, we consider facial attractiveness as another important dimension upon which approach-avoidance behaviours may be based. In Experiments 1-3, we measured participants' responses to attractive and unattractive women's faces in an approach-avoidance paradigm in which there was no explicit instruction to evaluate facial attractiveness or any other stimulus attribute. Attractive faces were selected more often, a bias that may be sensitive to response outcomes and was reduced when the faces were inverted. Experiment 4 explored an entirely implicit measure of approach, with participants passively viewing single faces while standing on a force platform. We found greater lean towards attractive faces, with this pattern being most obvious in male participants. Taken together, these results demonstrate that attractiveness activates approach-avoidance tendencies, even in the absence of any task demand.
    Keywords:  Approach-avoidance; Facial attractiveness; Force platform; Postural lean; Touchscreen
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104193
  5. Arch Sex Behav. 2020 Feb 07.
    Vowels LM, Mark KP.
      Sexual desire discrepancy, when one member of a couple experiences more or less sexual desire relative to their partner, is among the main reasons for couples to seek therapy. A great deal of prior research has examined the complexity of sexual desire and the role of sexual desire discrepancy in long-term relationships, but little research has specifically examined strategies used to mitigate sexual desire discrepancy when it arises. Thus, the purpose of the present mixed methods study was to identify the strategies that individuals in long-term relationships use during times of desire discrepancy and to address whether the use of specific strategies influenced sexual and relationship satisfaction and sexual desire. We collected data from 229 participants and our thematic content analysis produced 17 strategies, divided into five main groups (disengagement, communication, engagement in activity alone, engagement in other activity with partner, and have sex anyway). Specific strategies were associated with sexual and relationship satisfaction but not with sexual desire. Specifically, partnered strategies were associated with higher levels of sexual and relationship satisfaction compared to individual strategies. Additionally, participants who reported that their strategies were very helpful had higher levels of sexual and relationship satisfaction compared to participants who found them somewhat helpful followed by not at all helpful. These results have implications for clinicians, educators, and researchers and highlight the importance of using effective strategies to deal with desire discrepancy and communicating about them in relationships. The use of effective strategies can have implications for overall couple well-being.
    Keywords:  Desire discrepancy; Mixed methods; Relationship satisfaction; Sexual desire; Sexual satisfaction
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-020-01640-y
  6. BMC Psychol. 2020 Feb 07. 8(1): 15
    Sayehmiri K, Kareem KI, Abdi K, Dalvand S, Gheshlagh RG.
      BACKGROUND: Personality traits can be used to predict an individual's behaviors in different life situations, including marital life situations. Marital satisfaction that is influenced by different factors is a criterion used to assess couples' relationship quality. The goal of the present study was to review Iranian studies on the correlation between personality traits and marital satisfaction.METHODS: In this systematic review, all the related Iranian studies in international databases, including Google Scholar, PubMed, Web of Science (ISI) and Scopus, and national databases, including Scientific Information Database (SID) and MagIran were reviewed. The following keywords and also combinations of them were used to search the databases: "Marital satisfaction," "Personality traits," "Personality factors," "Big five model of personality," and "Iran."
    RESULTS: A total of 18 correlational studies, without any time limitation, with a total sample of 4049, were reviewed. The following correlation coefficients were found between marital satisfaction and personality traits: r = - 0.439 with neuroticism (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 0.27-0.60), r = 0.833 with extraversion (95% CI: 0.77-0.88), r = 0.777 with openness (95% CI: 0.70-0.84), r = 0.855 with agreeableness (95% CI: 0.80-0.90), and r = 0.90 with conscientiousness (95% CI: 0.84-0.95).
    CONCLUSIONS: Couples high in Neuroticism experience lower levels of marital satisfaction, and couples high in Conscientiousness are more satisfied with their marital life.
    Keywords:  Iran; Marital satisfaction; Meta-analysis; Personality traits
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1186/s40359-020-0383-z
  7. Arch Sex Behav. 2020 Feb 05.
    Wisman A, Shrira I.
      Research suggests that humans can communicate emotional states (e.g., fear, sadness) via chemosignals. However, thus far little is known about whether sexual arousal can also be conveyed through chemosignals and how these signals might influence the receiver. In three experiments, and a subsequent mini meta-analysis, support was found for the hypothesis that men can process the scent of sexually aroused women and that exposure to these sexual chemosignals affect the subsequent perceptions and sexual motivation of men. Specifically, Experiment 1 revealed that men evaluate the axillary sweat of sexually aroused women as more attractive, compared to the scent of the same women when not sexually aroused. In addition, Experiment 2 showed that exposure to sexual chemosignals increased the men's sexual arousal. Experiment 3 found support for the thesis that exposure to sexual chemosignals would increase sexual motivation. As predicted, men devoted greater attention to and showed greater interest in mating with women who displayed sexual cues (e.g., scantily dressed, in seductive poses). By contrast, exposure to the sexual chemosignals did not alter males' attention and mating interest toward women who displayed no sexual cues. It is discussed how sexual chemosignals may function as an additional channel in the communication of sexual interest and how contextual factors can influence the dynamics of human sexual communication.
    Keywords:  Chemosignals; Gender; Mating strategies; Olfaction; Sexual arousal
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-019-01588-8
  8. Front Psychol. 2019 ;10 2864
    Tortora C, D'Urso G, Nimbi FM, Pace U, Marchetti D, Fontanesi L.
      Differences in gender and sexual orientation are suggested to be linked to differences in the way individuals think and behave. The aim of the current study is to evaluate the effect of gender and sexual orientation on sexual fantasies and gender roles in heterosexual and gay and lesbian people. The sample was composed of 547 participants, 246 men (M age = 28.85; SD = 9,27) and 301 women (M age = 25,97; SD = 7,141). Within this sample, 61.8% of men and 79.4% of women were heterosexual, whereas 38.2% of men and 20.6% of women were gay and lesbian. Participants completed an online battery of questionnaires to assess their sexual orientation, sexual fantasies, and gender roles on three different dimensions. It was hypothesized that the heterosexual group would report more normative sexual fantasies (H1) and that women in general would report androgynous characteristics, which would be linked to a low degree of reported feminine ideal roles and high social pressure to conform to feminine social expectations (H2). The results showed that lesbian women scored slightly higher than heterosexual women on transgressive sexual fantasies and lower on emotional-romantic ones. Moreover, heterosexual women, but not lesbian women, showed a pattern of high social pressure to conform to feminine expectations together with lower scores in the IRQ. We found the same results on gay men but not for heterosexual men. The overall results suggest that sexual fantasies and gender roles are relatively independent concepts and are influenced by different mechanisms.
    Keywords:  LG; gender role; sexual fantasies; social pressure; stereotypes
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02864
  9. Cult Health Sex. 2020 Feb 07. 1-15
    Human N, Quayle M.
      The contact hypothesis predicts that positive contact will reform attitudes towards the out-group and lead to less prejudice as a result. In contexts facing ongoing gender inequality - such as South Africa - romance is usually seen as a beneficial point of contact between unequal groups (heterosexual men and women), because of the sense of intimacy it brings. We investigated romantic practices in a discursive-ethnographic study, by recruiting five young, westernised, middleclass South African couples and interviewing them a number of times about romance and their relationships. We found that these couples positioned being-romantic extremely positively, as a means of sustaining intimacy in marriage. However, we also found that they positioned one version of romance as something they needed to engage in, in order to do relationship-work. We have called this the romantic imperative and suggested that it appears to channel these couples into being romantic in a particular way; one which is restrictive in the way it may be performed and which carries a high cost in terms of the effort, time and financial resources required to perform it successfully. This links to critiques of the contact hypothesis, in that positive contact does not always equate to positive outcomes.
    Keywords:  Being-romantic; South Africa; heteronormativity; intimacy; romantic imperative
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2019.1688394