bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒06‒28
three papers selected by
Jay Dixit

  1. Cognition. 2020 Jun 22. pii: S0010-0277(20)30198-0. [Epub ahead of print]204 104379
    Klümper L, Wühr P, Hassebrauck M, Schwarz S.
      The current literature shows mixed results regarding whether the perception of facial attractiveness is automatic, i.e. that it operates independently from attentional resources. We argue that an evolutionary perspective on mating strategies provides a comprehensive account of the findings. In two studies, we used the locus-of-slack logic in a psychological refractory period paradigm. Task 1 was a speeded judgment of tone pitch (low vs. high), and Task 2 was a speeded judgment of whether a face was attractive or unattractive on two difficulty levels. Male and female participants judged the attractiveness of opposite-sex faces (Study 1, n = 73) or same-sex faces (Study 2, n = 94) in this paradigm. Results indicate that men do not need attentional resources when processing female faces (Study 1), but require attentional resources when processing same-sex faces (Study 2). In contrast, women need attentional resources to process the attractiveness of opposite as well as same-sex faces.
    Keywords:  Automaticity; Facial attractiveness; Locus-of-slack logic; PRP paradigm; Sex differences
  2. Front Psychol. 2020 ;11 1135
    Birkás B, Meskó N, Zsidó AN, Ipolyi D, Láng A.
      A sugar relationship is a transactional sexual relationship in which a younger partner (sugar baby/boy) offers companionship and sexual services to a much older partner (sugar daddy/mommy) in return for material compensation. One aim of the present study was to develop an attitude scale assessing young women's and men's acceptance of sugar relationships. Another aim was to explore the possible associations of the acceptance of sugar relationships with psychological functioning in an intimate partner relationship and in a sexual relationship and with certain socially undesirable personality traits. Two online studies were conducted with a total number of 2052 participants (1879 women; age = 18-28 years). The results show that the Acceptance of Sugar Relationships in Young Women and Men Scale (ASR-YWMS) is a reliable and valid measure of young people's attitude toward sugar relationships. The studies revealed that young women's and men's accepting attitude toward sugar relationships was positively associated with unrestricted sociosexuality, a game-playing love style (Ludus), self-focused sexual motivation (Study 1; N = 319; 272 women and 47 men), and with socially undesirable traits such as Machiavellianism, subclinical psychopathy, and a borderline personality organization (Study 2; N = 1733; 1607 women and 126 men). These findings suggest that a relatively high level of acceptance of sugar relationships is part of a mating strategy focused on opportunities of maximizing resources. This utilitarian, risk-taking and exploitative attitude is characteristic to a fast life history strategy, and it is a fundamental organizing principle of psychological and sexual functioning in intimate partner relationships.
    Keywords:  acceptance of sugar relationships; personality correlates; scale development; transactional sex; validation
  3. Sci Rep. 2020 Jun 23. 10(1): 10140
    Murray DR, Moran JB, Prokosch ML, Kerry N.
      Although allelic diversity at the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has implications for adaptive immunity, mate choice, and social signalling, how diversity at the MHC influences the calibration of life history strategies remains largely uninvestigated. The current study investigated whether greater MHC heterozygosity was associated with markers of slower life history strategies in a sample of 789 North American undergraduates. Contrary to preregistered predictions and to previously published findings, MHC heterozygosity was not related to any of the psychological life history-relevant variables measured (including short- vs. long-term sexual strategy, temporal discounting, the Arizona life history battery, past and current health, disgust sensitivity, and Big Five personality traits). Further, no meaningful effects emerged when analysing women and men separately. Possible reasons for why the current results are inconsistent with previous work are discussed.