bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒10‒04
four papers selected by
Jay Dixit

  1. Cult Health Sex. 2020 Sep 30. 1-16
    Vil NMS, Bay-Cheng LY, Ginn HG, Chen Z.
      Given the historical entrenchment of racialised stereotypes of Black women and Black men as sexually promiscuous, we wondered whether consensual nonmonogamy (CNM) among Black partners would be seen as favourably as among white partners. We also wondered if Black participants would perceive different relationship types differently from white participants. We pursued these questions in a vignette study featuring heterosexual couples coded as Black or as white and engaged in three different relationship types: monogamy, nonconsensual nonmonogamy (NCNM) and CNM. To facilitate comparisons across race*gender intersections, we used a sample comprising equivalent numbers of Black women, white women, Black men and white men aged 18-40. Contrary to expectations, analyses did not offer evidence of a racialised sexual double standard insofar as participant perceptions of relationship quality did not differ when considering a Black couple or a white couple. Indicating the persistence of mononormativity, participants across race*gender subsamples perceived monogamous relationships to be of higher quality, regardless of the vignette couple's race. We also found Black women, Black men and white women perceived CNM more favourably than NCNM, while there was no differentiation between CNM and NCNM among white men.
    Keywords:  Consensual nonmonogamy; intersectionality; monogamy; nonconsensual nonmonogamy; race
  2. J Pers. 2020 Sep 30.
    Spielmann SS, Gahman KP.
      OBJECTIVE: Those who fear being single generally do not have difficulty attracting prospective partners. The present research explores whether this is because daters cannot detect fear of being single, or because detected fear of being single does not hinder desirability.METHOD: In Study 1 (N=235, 60% women, Mage =36.9), participants created dating profiles then rated the desirability of profiles depicting high vs. low fear of being single (high narcissism control). In Study 2 (N=176, 69% women, Mage =21.4), participants evaluated fear of being single and desirability of actual profiles.
    RESULTS: Differences in fear of being single were detectable. Furthermore, detecting higher fear of being single predicted lower romantic desirability. Desirability ratings were due, in part, to estimating lower physical attractiveness (Study 2). Perceivers' own fear of being single moderated effects, such that those higher in fear of being single were not deterred by higher fear of being single.
    CONCLUSIONS: Fear of being single may be detectable when online dating, but desirability of detected fear of being single varies depending on perceiver traits and may be driven in part by misperceptions of physical attractiveness. This research sheds light on challenges for those who fear being single as they attempt to attract mates.
    Keywords:   mate selection ; fear of being single; online dating; person perception
  3. J Sex Res. 2020 Sep 29. 1-16
    Wesche R, Claxton SE, Waterman EA.
      Casual sexual relationships and experiences (CSREs) are common and emotionally significant occurrences. Given the uncommitted, often emotionally complicated nature of CSREs, researchers have asked whether these experiences may have positive and/or negative emotional consequences. We reviewed 71 quantitative articles examining emotional outcomes of CSREs, including subjective emotional reactions (e.g., excitement, regret) and emotional health (e.g., depression, self-esteem). Overall, people evaluated their CSREs more positively than negatively. In contrast, CSREs were associated with short-term declines in emotional health in most studies examining changes in emotional health within a year of CSRE involvement. Emotional outcomes of CSREs differed across people and situations. Women and individuals with less permissive attitudes toward CSREs experienced worse emotional outcomes of CSREs. Alcohol use prior to CSREs, not being sexually satisfied, and not knowing a partner well were also associated with worse emotional outcomes. These findings suggest directions for prevention/intervention related to CSREs. For example, skill-building related to sexual decision-making may help individuals decide whether, and under what circumstances, CSREs are likely to result in positive or negative emotional outcomes. In addition, the limitations of extant research suggest directions for future inquiry (e.g., examining whether verbal and nonverbal consent practices predict emotional outcomes of CSREs).
  4. Eur J Popul. 2020 Sep;36(4): 675-709
    Elwert A.
      This paper studies how immigrant-native intermarriages in Sweden are associated with individual characteristics of native men and women and patterns of assortative mating. Patterns of educational- and age-assortative mating that are similar to those found in native-native marriages may reflect openness to immigrant groups, whereas assortative mating patterns that indicate status considerations suggest that country of birth continues to serve as a boundary in the native marriage market. The study uses Swedish register data that cover the entire Swedish population for the period of 1991-2009. The results from binomial and multinomial logistic regressions show that low status of natives in terms of economic and demographic characteristics is associated with intermarriage and that intermarriages are characterized by educational and age heterogamy more than are native-native marriages. The findings indicate that immigrant women as well as immigrant men become more attractive marriage partners if they are considerably younger than their native spouses. This is particularly true for intermarriages with immigrants from certain regions of origin, such as wives from Asia and Africa and husbands from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Gender differences in the intermarriage patterns of native men and women are surprisingly small.
    Keywords:  Age homogamy; Assortative mating; Intermarriage; Status exchange; Sweden