May 29, 2009
Relationships, Women, Rating Male Attractiveness

Women in relationships rate male attractiveness the same as women not in relationships. But the latter look longer. Whereas men in and out of relationships look the same amount.

A study by Indiana University neuroscientist Heather Rupp found that a woman's partner status influenced her interest in the opposite sex. In the study, women both with and without sexual partners showed little difference in their subjective ratings of photos of men when considering such measures as masculinity and attractiveness. However, the women who did not have sexual partners spent more time evaluating photos of men, demonstrating a greater interest in the photos. No such difference was found between men who had sexual partners and those who did not. "These findings may reflect sex differences in reproductive strategies that may act early in the cognitive processing of potential partners and contribute to sex differences in sexual attraction and behavior," said Rupp, assistant scientist at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. The study was published in the March issue of Human Nature.

What I'd like to see as a follow-up study: Measure time married women spend looking at photos of men and then follow them for several years to see if the divorce rate is higher for women who look longer.

Similarly, is marital infidelity higher in women who look longer? Also, is testosterone higher in women in relationships who look longer?

Also, about the men: have any longitudinal studies been done on male testosterone levels and relationships? Married men have lower testosterone. Do men who become more dissatisfied with their marriages experience testosterone increases in a run-up to a divorce?

Share |      Randall Parker, 2009 May 29 04:03 PM  Brain Sexuality


Comments
jacobbell said at June 2, 2009 6:41 AM:

I'd like to see the opposite study -- is the divorce rate higher in marriages where the woman shows less interest in men.

Amy Alkon said at June 2, 2009 7:12 AM:

Very good question about the testosterone levels. I've been wondering whether a wimpy guy should play violent video games and watch football before he goes out to a party in order to possibly increase his confidence, or even just to feel like he's got some secret mojo. Do you know of any studies that would apply?

JohnnyL said at June 2, 2009 7:28 AM:

"longitudinal studies been done on male testosterone levels and relationships?"

Longitudinal studies? Would this be a study of whether size matters?

Rich Vail said at June 2, 2009 8:06 AM:

Interesting points RP...hope someone takes a look at them

Rich Vail
Pikesville, MD

RPD said at June 2, 2009 10:31 AM:

"the women who did not have sexual partners spent more time evaluating photos of men, demonstrating a greater interest in the photos."

So, they were *shopping*?

KD said at June 2, 2009 5:25 PM:

"the women who did not have sexual partners spent more time evaluating photos of men, demonstrating a greater interest in the photos."

Is it really that simple? If they spent more time particularly on the photos they rated hirer, then perhaps. But if they spent more time on each photo, good looking or not, doesn't that tell us something else? Why not conclude that the women not in a relationship are more likely to have had problems in past relationships and thus are looking at the photos longer in hopes of seeing beyond simply "looks".

Post a comment
Comments:
Name (not anon or anonymous):
Email Address:
URL:
Remember info?

                       
Go Read More Posts On FuturePundit
Site Traffic Info
The contents of this site are copyright