bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒03‒29
four papers selected by
Jay Dixit
Storytelling.NYC


  1. R Soc Open Sci. 2020 Jan;7(1): 191209
    Clarkson TR, Sidari MJ, Sains R, Alexander M, Harrison M, Mefodeva V, Pearson S, Lee AJ, Dixson BJW.
      The strength and direction of sexual selection via female choice on masculine facial traits in men is a paradox in human mate choice research. While masculinity may communicate benefits to women and offspring directly (i.e. resources) or indirectly (i.e. health), masculine men may be costly as long-term partners owing to lower paternal investment. Mating strategy theory suggests women's preferences for masculine traits are strongest when the costs associated with masculinity are reduced. This study takes a multivariate approach to testing whether women's mate preferences are context-dependent. Women (n = 919) rated attractiveness when considering long-term and short-term relationships for male faces varying in beardedness (clean-shaven and full beards) and facial masculinity (30% and 60% feminized, unmanipulated, 30% and 60% masculinized). Participants then completed scales measuring pathogen, sexual and moral disgust, disgust towards ectoparasites, reproductive ambition, self-perceived mate value and the facial hair in partners and fathers. In contrast to past research, we found no associations between pathogen disgust, self-perceived mate value or reproductive ambition and facial masculinity preferences. However, we found a significant positive association between moral disgust and preferences for masculine faces and bearded faces. Preferences for beards were lower among women with higher ectoparasite disgust, providing evidence for ectoparasite avoidance hypothesis. However, women reporting higher pathogen disgust gave higher attractiveness ratings for bearded faces than women reporting lower pathogen disgust, providing support for parasite-stress theories of sexual selection and mate choice. Preferences for beards were also highest among single and married women with the strongest reproductive ambition. Overall, our results reflect mixed associations between individual differences in mating strategies and women's mate preferences for masculine facial traits.
    Keywords:  facial attractiveness; facial hair; facial masculinity; human evolution; mate choice; sexual selection
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.191209
  2. J Sex Med. 2020 Mar 20. pii: S1743-6095(20)30122-3. [Epub ahead of print]
    Mitchell VE, Mogilski JK, Donaldson SH, Nicolas SCA, Welling LLM.
      BACKGROUND: Previous research has found differences in sexual motives and, separately, sexual satisfaction in consensually non-monogamous (CNM) and monogamous individuals and that these constructs are related to relationship outcomes (eg, relationship quality).AIMS: The present study sought to refine and expand on previous research by (i) using a more common, validated measure of sexual motives, (ii) measuring sexual satisfaction with multiple partners within CNM relationships, and (iii) examining how sexual motives are related to sexual satisfaction in CNM relationships.
    METHODS: Participants were recruited from a university and using online forums that CNM individuals frequently use (eg, reddit, Facebook). Individuals recruited included those in non-exclusive relationships with one partner ("non-exclusive single-partner;" n = 40), those in non-exclusive relationships with more than one partner ("non-exclusive multipartner;" n = 87), and monogamous individuals (n = 322). Data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance and hierarchical multiple regressions.
    OUTCOMES: The main outcome measures of this study are scores on the Why Humans Have Sex Scale and the New Scale for Sexual Satisfaction.
    RESULTS: Non-exclusive multipartner participants were more motivated to have sex for physical motivations compared with monogamous participants. Although there were no significant differences in sexual satisfaction when comparing monogamous with non-exclusive multipartner participant's secondary and primary partners, unique patterns of sexual motivations were associated with sexual satisfaction based on relationship configuration.
    CLINICAL TRANSLATION: Understanding the unique sexual motives associated with sexual satisfaction in various relationship configurations may help improve clinical approaches to couples counseling for both CNM and non-CNM populations.
    STRENGTHS AND LIMITATIONS: Data were collected from CNM participants in a variety of relationship configurations and provide analyses comparing primary and secondary partners. However, these results are limited by a small sample of CNM participants who were intentionally recruited from self-identified CNM e-forums.
    CONCLUSIONS: These findings add further understanding to the unique traits that characterize CNM individuals and the underlying motivational framework that may encourage individuals to initiate and maintain CNM relationships. Mitchell VE, Mogilski JK, Donaldson SH, et al. Sexual Motivation and Satisfaction Among Consensually Non-Monogamous and Monogamous Individuals. J Sex Med 2020;XX:XXX-XXX.
    Keywords:  Nonmonogamy/Polyamory; Relationships; Sexual Desire; Sexual Motivation; Sexual Satisfaction
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2020.02.018
  3. Account Res. 2020 Mar 23.
    Samsa G.
      Conflict of interest (COI) and conflict of commitment (COC) are similar in that both concern the "risk that professional judgment or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary interest" (Institute of Medicine). The Institute of Medicine recommends that the circumstances, risks and evaluative frameworks for COI and COC warrant separate consideration. Here, we discuss some principles (and thus an evaluative framework) underlying COC, and hope to provide a clarifying framework which extends across institutions. We propose that: An institution should become concerned about relationships, whether considered individually or as a whole, which because of the amount of the time commitment and/or the amount of the monetary compensation, potentially induces a dual loyalty or otherwise calls into question the ability of the faculty member to discharge their primary responsibility to the institution. The impact of single relationships on single actions constitutes COI; the net impact of multiple relationships and/or the overall ability to fully discharge primary institutional responsibilities constitutes COC.
    Keywords:  conflict of commitment; conflict of interest; evaluative framework
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1080/08989621.2020.1746187
  4. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2020 Mar 25. 146167220912621
    Brands RA, Rattan A.
      This article integrates the study of intergroup relations and social network cognition, predicting that women who occupy central (vs. peripheral) advice network positions are more likely to confront a coworker's gender-biased comment. Study 1 offers correlational evidence of the predicted link between perceived advice network centrality and confronting among employed women, uniquely in advice (but not communication) networks. Study 2 replicates and investigates two possible mechanisms-perceptions of the situation as public and perceived risk of confronting. Study 3 rules out order effects and tests an additional mechanism (expectations of the network members). Study 4 is an experiment that shows people expect central (vs. peripheral) women to confront more, even when she is lower (vs. equal) power. Study 5 replicates the core hypothesis in retrospective accounts of women's responses to real workplace gender bias. Study 6 compares multiple potential mechanisms to provide greater insight into why centrality reliably predicts confrontation.
    Keywords:  confrontation; prejudice; sexism; social networks
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167220912621