Sexuality and partner selection: Sex differences among college students

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Seven hypotheses regarding sex differences in sexuality and partner selection were derived from evolutionary theory and tested among 400 college students. Subjects viewed color photographs of live models dressed in appropriate costumes and paired with descriptions of three potentially datable social types recognizable to college students. A MANOVA revealed significant sex differences in reported willingness to have sexual relations with stimulus persons compared to willingness to engage in higher-investment relationships, and in the effects of stimulus persons' status and physical attractiveness in determining thresholds of initial acceptability. Subjects also responded to the Attitudes Toward Women Scale (AWS), the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory, and statements concerning prospective spouses' relative income, occupational prestige, and physical attractiveness. Regression analyses revealed that males with more economic resources had more sex partners, lower AWS scores, and emphasized prospective spouses' physical attractiveness more and their socioeconomic status less than did their lessaffluent peers. Economic resources and AWS scores did not predict females' sexual behavior. Results from the MANOVA and the regressions suggested that the reported overlap of male and female selection criteria in higher-investment relationships masks sexual dimorphism in the process, criteria, and motivations underlying sexual attraction, mate evaluation, and selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-329
Number of pages25
JournalEthology and Sociobiology
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1993

Keywords

  • Partner selection
  • Sex differences
  • Sexuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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