bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒02‒16
five papers selected by
Jay Dixit

  1. Front Psychol. 2019 ;10 3068
    Torras-Gómez E, Puigvert L, Aiello E, Khalfaoui A.
      The social impact of psychology on the field of human sexuality is extensively wide. From Freud to Masters and Johnson, many are the research which have broken barriers and provided citizens with new knowledge to improve their lives. One of the lines of research which are now contributing to this social impact from psychology is that of the dominant coercive discourse (Gómez, 2015), which portrays power relationships as exciting and egalitarian relationships as convenient. Drawing from this theory, the aim of this research is to shed light on the influence of the coercive discourse on women's pleasure in their intimate relationships. In an exploratory study, women between 20 and 29 years old were interviewed under the communicative methodology. Results show three main findings. First, participants who reject the coercive discourse find pleasure in egalitarian relationships. On the contrary, participants who had coerced relationships acknowledge a lack of excitement in egalitarian relationships, while associating pleasure to the power nature of the former. Finally, some participants who initially had coerced sexual-affective relationships were able to disassociate pleasure from coerced relationships and break with them. Moreover, these women claim to feel more pleasure in their new egalitarian relationships. These findings open a new path of research that unveils the lack of pleasure in coerced relationships and vindicates our right to the pleasure of falling in love.
    Keywords:  attraction to violence; coercive dominant discourse; hooking up; romantic relationships; social impact
  2. Psychol Addict Behav. 2020 Feb 13.
    Monk RL, Qureshi AW, Lee S, Darcy N, Darker G, Heim D.
      The beer goggles effect refers to heightened perceptions of attractiveness resulting from intoxication. However, research in this area has produced mixed findings and has largely been reliant on self-report measures of perceived attractiveness. This study aimed to utilize an implicit measure to assess the beer goggles phenomenon in a preregistered study. One hundred twenty-nine heterosexual U.K. university students were recruited (74 female, Mage = 24.12 years, SDage = 9.09 years) in real-life drinking environments (classified post hoc as sober or lightly intoxicated based on Blood Alcohol Concentration [BAC]) to conduct a spatial cuing paradigm that measured the effect of distracting stimuli on task performance. Participants were asked to determine the orientation of a letter while ignoring any incidentally presented (un)attractive facial stimuli. Sober participants appeared to find attractive faces equally distracting, regardless of whether they were being cued to look toward or away from the face-a traditional attractiveness bias. Intoxicated participants, on the other hand, appeared to find attractive and unattractive faces equally distracting. Findings highlight the possibility that the beer goggles phenomenon results from a leveling of the playing field whereby attentional biases toward attractive faces are dampened as a result of light intoxication. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
  3. Vision Res. 2020 Feb 07. pii: S0042-6989(20)30015-8. [Epub ahead of print]168 1-8
    Li Z, Hu Z, Liu H.
      The present study aimed to explore the influence of sexual dimorphism on the evaluation of the attractiveness of one's own face. In the experiment, a masculinized and a feminized version of the self-faces of the participants were obtained by transferring the original faces toward the average male or female face. The participants were required to rate the attractiveness of three types (original, masculine, feminine) of their own faces and the other participants' faces in same-sex and opposite-sex contexts. The results revealed that the participants rated their own faces as more attractive than other participants rated them regardless of the sexually dimorphic type (original, masculine, feminine) or the evaluation context. More importantly, the male and female participants showed different preferences for the three types of self-faces. Specifically, in the same-sex context, the female participants rated their own original faces as significantly more attractive than the masculine and feminine faces, and the male participants rated their own masculine faces as significantly more attractive than the feminine faces; while in the opposite-sex context, no significant difference among the attractiveness scores of the three types of self-faces was found in both the male and female participants. The present study provides empirical evidence of the influence of sexual dimorphism on the evaluation of the attractiveness of self-faces.
    Keywords:  Attractiveness; Feminine; Masculine; Self-face; Sexual dimorphism
  4. Front Psychol. 2019 ;10 3033
    Mogilski JK, Mitchell VE, Reeve SD, Donaldson SH, Nicolas SCA, Welling LLM.
      Life history theory (LHT) predicts that individuals vary in their sexual, reproductive, parental, familial, and social behavior according to the physical and social challenges imposed upon them throughout development. LHT provides a framework for understanding why non-monogamy may be the target of significant moral condemnation: individuals who habitually form multiple romantic or sexual partnerships may pursue riskier, more competitive interpersonal strategies that strain social cooperation. We compared several indices of life history (i.e., the Mini-K, the High-K Strategy Scale, pubertal timing, sociosexuality, disease avoidance, and risk-taking) between individuals practicing monogamous and consensually non-monogamous (CNM) romantic relationships. Across several measures, CNM individuals reported a faster life history strategy than monogamous individuals, and women in CNM relationships reported earlier pubertal development. CNM individuals also reported more social and ethical risk-taking, less aversion to germs, and greater interest in short-term mating (and less interest in long-term mating) than monogamous individuals. From these data, we discuss a model to explain how moral stigma toward non-monogamy evolved and how these attitudes may be mismatched to the modern environment. Specifically, we argue that the culture of sexual ethics that pervades contemporary CNM communities (e.g., polyamory, swinging) may attenuate risky interpersonal behaviors (e.g., violent intrasexual competition, retributive jealousy, partner/child abandonment, disease transmission) that are relatively more common among those who pursue multi-partner mating.
    Keywords:  consensual non-monogamy; disease avoidance; life history; morality; risk-taking; sociosexuality
  5. J Sex Med. 2020 Feb 07. pii: S1743-6095(20)30030-8. [Epub ahead of print]
    Bhat GS, Shastry A.
      BACKGROUND: Orgasm in women is a complex phenomenon, and the sparse data about time to orgasm (TitOr) in women are an impediment to the research on this complex phenomenon.AIM: To evaluate the stopwatch measured TitOr in women in a monogamous stable heterosexual relationship.
    METHODS: The study was conducted through web-based and personal interview using a questionnaire, which addressed the issues related to TitOr. Sexually active women older than 18 years and women in a monogamous stable heterosexual relationship were included in the study. Those with comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, psychiatric illness, sexual dysfunction and those with partners with sexual dysfunction were excluded. The participants reported stopwatch measured TitOr after adequate sexual arousal over an 8-week period. The data analysis was performed using GraphPad software (©2018 GraphPad Software, Inc, USA).
    OUTCOMES: The outcomes included stopwatch measured average TitOr in women.
    RESULTS: The study period was from October 2017 to September 2018 with a sample size of 645. The mean age of the participants was 30.56 ± 9.36 years. The sample was drawn from 20 countries, with most participants from India, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States of America. The mean reported TitOr was 13.41 ± 7.67 minutes (95% confidence interval: 12.76 minutes-14.06 minutes). 17% of the participants had never experienced the orgasm. Penovaginal intercourse was insufficient to reach orgasm in the majority, in whom it was facilitated by certain positions and maneuvers.
    CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: The knowledge of stopwatch measured TitOr in women in real-life setting helps to define, treat, and understand female sexual function/dysfunction better and it also helps to plan treatment of male ejaculatory dysfunction, as reported ejaculatory latency in healthy men is much less than the reported TitOr here.
    STRENGTHS & LIMITATIONS: Use of stopwatch to measure TitOr and a large multinational sample are the strength of the study. The absence of a crosscheck mechanism to check the accuracy of the stopwatch measurement is the limitation of the study.
    CONCLUSION: Stopwatch measured average TitOr in the sample of women in our study, who were in a monogamous stable heterosexual relationship, is 13.41 minutes (95% confidence interval: 12.76 minutes-14.06 minutes) and certain maneuvers as well as positions during penovaginal intercourse help achieving orgasm, more often than not. Bhat GS, Shastry A. Time to Orgasm in Women in a Monogamous Stable Heterosexual Relationship. J Sex Med 2020;XX:XXX-XXX.
    Keywords:  Female Sexual Dysfunction; Orgasm; Orgasmic Latency; Time to Orgasm