bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒08‒09
two papers selected by
Jay Dixit

  1. J Exp Psychol Hum Percept Perform. 2020 Aug 06.
    Oh D, Grant-Villegas N, Todorov A.
      Women prefer male faces with feminine shape and masculine reflectance. Here, we investigated the conceptual correlates of this preference, showing that it might reflect women's preferences for feminine (vs. masculine) personality in a partner. Young heterosexual women reported their preferences for personality traits in a partner and rated male faces-manipulated on masculinity/femininity-on stereotypically masculine (e.g., dominance) and feminine traits (e.g., warmth). Masculine shape and reflectance increased perceptions of masculine traits but had different effects on perceptions of feminine traits and attractiveness. While masculine shape decreased perceptions of both attractiveness and feminine traits, masculine reflectance increased perceptions of attractiveness and, to a weaker extent, perceptions of feminine traits. These findings are consistent with the idea that sex-dimorphic characteristics elicit personality trait judgments, which might in turn affect attractiveness. Importantly, participants found faces attractive to the extent that these faces elicited their preferred personality traits, regardless of gender typicality of the traits. In sum, women's preferences for male faces are associated with their preferences for personality traits. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
  2. Arch Sex Behav. 2020 Aug 05.
    Perry SL.
      Coinciding with declining rates of marriage and coupled sex in the U.S., some scholars have proposed that the growing availability of "low-cost sexual gratification" or "cheap sex"-sexual activities such as hookups, pornography use, and masturbation that demand little effort or investment-will lead men to find marital commitment less appealing. Using data from two nationally representative surveys of American adults (2012 New Family Structures Study, N = 349; 2014 Relationships in America Survey, N = 1402), the current study tested the thesis that unmarried men's pornography use, masturbation habits, or frequency of recent hookup sex would be associated with a lower likelihood of them finding marriage desirable. This thesis was unsupported. In both surveys, masturbation and hookup sex were not associated with unmarried men wishing to be married, while pornography use was robustly and linearly associated with a higher likelihood of wanting to be married. This association was apparent at both the bivariate level and after taking into account sexual satisfaction, relationship status, beliefs about marriage, and a host of other potential confounds. Findings suggest that, rather than making marriage less desirable, some forms of "low-cost sexual gratification" such as pornography use to predict a comparatively higher desire for marriage. The implications of these findings are considered in light of sex-exchange theories of marital commitment and the large body of previous research connecting pornography use to more liberal, non-monogamous sexual attitudes.
    Keywords:  Cheap sex; Exchange theory; Gender; Hookup sex; Masturbation; Pornography