bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒06‒14
five papers selected by
Jay Dixit

  1. J Pers. 2020 Jun 08.
    Li NP, Yong JC, Tsai MH, Lai MHC, Lim AJY, Ackerman JM.
      OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether men's social confidence in an initial, opposite-sex chatting context can be improved through a video tutorial and the extent to which being perceived as socially confident results in being seen as more romantically desirable and worthy of future contact.METHOD: Women chatted with men who had received or not received a tutorial on how to handle speed-dating chats (Study 1: N = 129; Study 2: N = 60) or with male targets selected for having high versus moderate confidence in handling initial, opposite-sex encounters (Study 3: N = 46).
    RESULTS: Tutorial-trained men felt more confident going into the chats and they, as well as male targets selected for their confidence, were perceived by female chat partners to be higher in social confidence, status, and dominance. However, only perceptions of social confidence were further associated with being perceived as more romantically desirable (as a short-term mate) and worthy of future contact.
    CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicate that social confidence is trainable and that other-perceived social confidence can impact the outcomes of social interactions.
    Keywords:  attraction; evolutionary psychology; mate selection; short-term mating; social confidence
  2. Animals (Basel). 2020 Jun 09. pii: E1007. [Epub ahead of print]10(6):
    Kogan L, Volsche S.
      The aim of this study was to investigate whether men were considered more attractive when posing for a photo alone or holding a cat. Prior research suggests that women view pet owners as more attractive and dateable than non-pet owners; however, this effect was strongest with dog owners. We hypothesized that men posing with cats would be more attractive than those posing alone. Using an online survey, women viewed images of a man posing alone or with a cat and rated the men on the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) and the Big Five Inventory. Women viewed men as less masculine when holding the cat; higher in neuroticism, agreeableness, and openness; and less dateable. These findings suggest that pets continue to play a role in women's mate choices and dating preferences, but that a closer look at the effects of different species of pets is warranted.
    Keywords:  cats; dating; human–animal interactions; personality; sex roles
  3. J Sex Res. 2020 Jun 08. 1-13
    Allen MS, Robson DA.
      This research explored associations between personality and sexual orientation. In Study 1, we explored whether the Big Five trait dimensions relate to sexual orientation in a nationally representative sample of Australian adults (n = 13,351). Personality differences were observed between those who identified as heterosexual (straight), bisexual, and homosexual (gay/lesbian) on all five measured traits. In Study 2, we conducted an updated systematic review and meta-analysis of personality and sexual orientation. A total of 21 studies (35 independent samples, 262 effect sizes) comprising 377,951 men and women were identified that satisfied inclusion criteria. Results showed that bisexual individuals reported higher levels of openness than homosexual individuals, who in turn, reported higher levels of openness than heterosexual individuals. Bisexual individuals also report lower levels of conscientiousness than both heterosexual and homosexual individuals. Sex moderation effects showed that homosexual men scored higher than heterosexual men on neuroticism, agreeableness and conscientiousness, whereas homosexual women scored lower than heterosexual women on extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. There was also evidence that personality differences between sexual orientation categories tend to decline with age. These findings align with the gender-shift hypothesis and should be of interest to theorists working in personality science and sexual identity development.
  4. J Sex Res. 2020 Jun 12. 1-28
    Kettrey HH, Johnson AD.
      Contrary to popular media claims that college hookup culture has made romantic relationships obsolete, research indicates many college students see hookups as a pathway to relationships. However, relatively few college hookups actually produce relationships. This study used a sex market framework to explore correlates of college students' interest in future hookups and relationships with hookup partners across other-sex and same-sex hookup markets. Using Online College Social Life Survey data (N = 10,141) we explored variables classified in the following contexts that may shape choices in a sex market: demographic characteristics, the hookup dyad, the hookup event, post-hookup reactions, attitudes toward hookup partners, and hookup opportunity structures. Logistic regression analyses indicated post-hookup reactions (e.g., satisfaction, emotional responses) explained the highest percentage of variance in interest in a subsequent hookup (56% to 61% across markets) and interest in a relationship (35% to 45% across markets). Although past research suggests there are different markets for other- and same-sex hookups, these findings suggest similarity in contexts that may shape interest in relationship formation among other-sex and same-sex hookup markets. Suggestions for fostering positive relationship development on campuses are discussed.
  5. JAMA Netw Open. 2020 Jun 01. 3(6): e203833
    Ueda P, Mercer CH, Ghaznavi C, Herbenick D.
      Importance: Sexual relationships are important for well-being and health. Recent trends in sexual activity among US adults are unknown.Objectives: To examine trends in reported frequency of sexual activity and number of sexual partners by sex and age and the association between measures of sexual activity and sociodemographic variables.
    Design, Setting, and Participants: In this survey study, repeat, cross-sectional analyses of participants aged 18 to 44 years from 10 rounds of the General Social Survey (2000-2018), a US nationally representative survey, were performed for men and women separately.
    Main Outcomes and Measures: Sexual frequency in the past year (sexual inactivity, once or twice per year, 1-3 times per month, or weekly or more) and number of sexual partners in the past year (0, 1, 2, or ≥3 partners). The association between measures of sexual activity and sociodemographic variables were assessed using logistic regression.
    Results: The study population included 4291 men and 5213 women in the analysis of sexual frequency and 4372 men and 5377 women in the analysis of number of sexual partners (mean [SD] age, 31.4 [7.6] years; survey response rate, 59.5%-71.4%). Between 2000-2002 and 2016-2018, the proportion of 18- to 24-year-old individuals who reported having had no sexual activity in the past year increased among men (18.9% vs 30.9%; age-adjusted odds ratio [aOR] for trend across survey periods, 1.20; 95% CI, 1.04-1.39) but not among women (15.1% vs 19.1%; aOR for trend, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.89-1.18). Smaller absolute increases in sexual inactivity were observed among those aged 25 to 34 years for both men (7.0% vs 14.1%; aOR for trend, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.07-1.42) and women (7.0% vs 12.6%; aOR for trend, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.01-1.35) but not among those aged 35 to 44 years. The increase in sexual inactivity coincided with decreases in the proportion reporting weekly or more sexual frequency (men aged 18-24 years: 51.8% vs. 37.4%; aOR for trend, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.79-0.99]; men aged 25-34 years: 65.3% vs 50.3%; aOR for trend, 0.87 [95% CI, 0.81-0.94]; women aged 25-34 years: 66.4% vs. 54.2%; aOR for trend, 0.90 [95% CI, 0.84-0.96]) or 1 sexual partner (men aged 18-24 years: 44.2% vs. 30.0%; aOR for trend, 0.88 [95% CI, 0.80-0.98]; women aged 25-34 years: 79.6% vs 72.7%; aOR for trend, 0.91 [95% CI, 0.84-0.99]) and occurred mainly among unmarried men (unmarried men aged 18-44 years: 16.2% vs 24.4%; aOR for trend, 1.14 [95% CI, 1.04-1.25]). Among married men and women, weekly or more sexual frequency decreased (men: 71.1 % vs 57.7%; aOR for trend, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.79-0.93]; women: 69.1% vs 60.9%; aOR for trend, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.86-0.99]). Men with lower income (aOR for men with an annual income of ≥$50 000 vs $0-$9999, 0.37 [95% CI, 0.15-0.90]) and with part-time (aOR vs full-time employment, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.48-2.93) and no employment (aOR vs full-time employment, 2.08; 95% CI, 1.48-2.93) were more likely to be sexually inactive, as were men (aOR vs full-time employment, 2.94; 95% CI, 2.06-4.21) and women (aOR vs full-time employment, 2.37; 95% CI, 1.68-3.35) who were students.
    Conclusions and Relevance: This survey study found that from 2000 to 2018, sexual inactivity increased among US men such that approximately 1 in 3 men aged 18 to 24 years reported no sexual activity in the past year. Sexual inactivity also increased among men and women aged 25 to 34 years. These findings may have implications for public health.