bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒04‒19
five papers selected by
Jay Dixit

  1. J Sex Res. 2020 Apr 13. 1-12
    Skakoon-Sparling S, Cramer KM.
      Condom negotiation is typically a dyadic process, influenced by a host of factors that can impact sexual health decision-making. The current paper investigated the influence of sexual arousal, relationship motivation, and partner familiarity on sexual risk taking intentions in women and men. In Study 1, 331 participants were recruited online and responded to items assessing condom use intentions. Participants higher in relationship motivation were more likely to consider perceived partner desire for condom use when considering initiating condom negotiation. In Study 2, 169 undergraduate students participated in a sexual arousal manipulation and responded to scenarios depicting sexual encounters with more or less familiar hypothetical partners. Participants reported greater sexual risk taking intentions with more (vs. less) familiar hypothetical partners. Men (vs. women) showed greater risk taking intentions overall. Higher sexual arousal was associated with increased sexual risk-taking intentions, regardless of gender. With less familiar partners, participants higher in relationship motivation showed somewhat greater concern that insisting on condom use would interfere with the sexual encounter, though concern was greatest among men for both more and less familiar partner types. These findings offer some support for the notion that a stronger orientation toward forming long-term relationships can facilitate sexual risk taking behavior.
  2. J Sex Res. 2020 Apr 17. 1-16
    Gérard M, Berry M, Shtarkshall RA, Amsel R, Binik YM.
      Women's multiorgasmic capacity has long been mentioned in the human sexuality literature. However, due in part to the conceptual vagueness surrounding this phenomenon, few empirical studies have focused on this topic, and our scientific knowledge is currently limited. This exploratory research is mainly aimed at providing a much-needed assessment of the profiles of women reporting multiorgasmic experiences. For this study, 419 sexually diverse women ages 18 through 69 who identified as multiorgasmic completed an online survey assessing variables pertaining to sociodemographic background, context and characteristics of a recent/typical multiorgasmic experience, relationships between multiple orgasm and sexual/nonsexual aspects of life, and sexual and orgasmic history. Data reduction analyses using principal component analysis pointed out that 15 variables of interest were distributed across six components, accounting for a large proportion of the sample's variance. A k-means cluster analysis further revealed that four distinct groups of women could be parsed out. These four groups could be differentiated by three sets of variables-sexual motivation, sexual history, and multiple orgasm characteristics-suggesting that female multiple orgasm is not a unitary phenomenon. This research provides to date the most comprehensive picture of female multiple orgasm and helps refine our conceptual understanding.
  3. Ann Behav Med. 2020 Apr 13. pii: kaaa019. [Epub ahead of print]
    Schacter HL, Pettit C, Kim Y, Sichko S, Timmons AC, Chaspari T, Han SC, Margolin G.
      BACKGROUND: Although past longitudinal research demonstrates that romantic partners affect one another's health outcomes, considerably less is known about how romantic experiences "get under the skin" in everyday life.PURPOSE: The current study investigated whether young couples' naturally occurring feelings of closeness to and annoyance with each other during waking hours were associated with their overnight cardiovascular activity.
    METHODS: Participants were 63 heterosexual young adult dating couples (Mage = 23.07). Using ecological momentary assessments, couples reported their hourly feelings of closeness to and annoyance with their partners across 1 day; subsequent overnight heart rate was captured through wearable electrocardiogram biosensors. Actor-partner interdependence models tested whether individuals' overnight heart rate varied as a function of (a) their own daytime feelings of closeness and annoyance (actor effects) and (b) their partner's daytime feelings of closeness and annoyance (partner effects) while controlling for daytime heart rate.
    RESULTS: Although young adults' feelings of romantic closeness and annoyance were unrelated to their own overnight heart rate (i.e., no actor effects), gender-specific partner effects emerged. Young men's nocturnal heart rate was uniquely predicted by their female partner's daytime relationship feelings. When women felt closer to their partners during the day, men exhibited lower overnight heart rate. When women felt more annoyed with their partners during the day, men exhibited heightened overnight heart rate.
    CONCLUSIONS: The findings illustrate gender-specific links between couple functioning and physiological arousal in the everyday lives of young dating couples, implicating physiological sensitivity to partner experiences as one potential pathway through which relationships affect health.
    Keywords:  Couples; Dyadic analyses; Experience sampling; Heart rate
  4. J Sex Res. 2020 Apr 14. 1-10
    Moor A, Haimov Y, Shreiber S.
      Women's sexual desire has been shown to decline over the course of loving long-term relationships. Yet, accounts of partnered women's subjective experience of this occurrence are rather limited. In order to broaden the examination of this topic, the present exploratory qualitative study extended it cross-culturally to explore how women in Israel are impacted by, perceive, and experience this decline in their sexual desire, with the objective of sketching an account of the experiences of women who share this reality. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 15 women, aged 25 and over, in fulfilling long-term heterosexual relationships. The participants reported a sharp decline in sexual desire in comparison to the early stages of the relationship, experiencing it as quite perplexing given their love and affection for their partner. All also described their intimate connection as based on much more than sex. Additionally, while the reduction in desire did not result from difficulties in the relationship it did create some. These included frustration, conflict, and pressure from partner, which often led to sexual compliance on the women's part. Suggested solutions included open and honest dialogue, thoughtfulness, and mutual respect. A critical discussion of the findings outlines implications for partnered women's and couples' wellbeing.
  5. Arch Sex Behav. 2020 Apr 15.
    Thompson AE, Moore EA, Haedtke K, Karst AT.
      Research has demonstrated that implicit and explicit attitudes toward consensual nonmonogamy (CNM; sexually and/or emotionally nonexclusive romantic relationships) are less favorable than those toward monogamy. Although this general pattern of results is often reported, it is not clear to what extent this implicit difference reflects negative associations with CNM. To investigate this issue, the current study assessed 355 U.S. early emerging adults' (89 men, 265 women, one gender nonconforming) implicit associations with CNM and monogamy using the Single-Target Implicit Association Test (ST-IAT). In addition, the convergent (using explicit measures), postdictive, and concurrent validity of the CNM ST-IAT was also investigated. The results revealed that although early emerging adults demonstrated a positive implicit association with monogamy (mean D score = 0.38), a neutral implicit association emerged for CNM (mean D score = 0.00). Additionally, young women and those without previous CNM experience demonstrated more negative implicit associations with CNM as compared to men and those with previous CNM experience. Finally, implicit associations with CNM predicted willingness to allow one's partner to participate in CNM, but not one's own interest in CNM. These results support previous research suggesting that a disparity in attitudes toward CNM and monogamy exists and provides further clarification reflecting positive implicit associations with monogamy and neutral associations with CNM. These results also confirm that monogamous relationships continue to be upheld as the ideal relationship structure in the U.S. and that educators/practitioners should work to reduce negative implicit bias toward CNM in an attempt to promote relationship equity.
    Keywords:  Consensual nonmonogamy; Implicit attitudes; Open relationships; Polyamory; Stigma