Homeworks academic service


Effects of physical attractiveness on intimate relationships

  1. Toward an evolutionary history of female sociosexual variation. Abstract The goal of our research was to study the changes in physical attraction during the early stages of romantic relationships.
  2. The role of ego-identity status in mating preferences.
  3. For girls, no significant effects were found for the control variables age, relationship status, and relationship experience.
  4. We believe that the cognitive dimension of attraction includes manifestations of how a person perceives, remembers, thinks and imagines another.
  5. The role of ego-identity status in mating preferences. This might imply that previous findings on sexual strategies that were exclusively based on self-report ratings had underestimated the importance of attractiveness, in particular for girls.

Open in a separate window For boys, the potential confounder relationship status was not significantly related to dating desire. In contrast, age and relationship experience were significantly related to dating desire, indicating that boys who were older and had more relationship experience reported more dating desire.

After controlling for these variables, the significant main effects of attractiveness and social status were qualified by the interaction effect of attractiveness x social status. For girls, the potential confounders age, relationship status, and previous relationship experience were not significantly related to dating desire. After controlling for these variables, significant main effects of attractiveness and social status were found, indicating that girls showed more dating desire in the attractive and in the high social status condition.

Change in Physical Attraction in Early Romantic Relationships

Dating desire was the dependent variable and age, relationship status, and previous relationship experience were included as covariates. This time, however, self-perceived mate value SPMV was included in the models as a moderator. For boys, no significant effects were found for the control variables relationship status and relationship experience. For girls, no significant effects were found for the control variables age, relationship status, and relationship experience. Discussion Research on SST has been dominated by studies using young adult samples.

When explicitly asked to rate various characteristics of a potential partner, boys rated attractiveness as more important than girls. Social status was not very important for both boys and girls. Finally, we found that self-perceived effects of physical attractiveness on intimate relationships value moderated the relationship between attractiveness and dating desire for both boys and girls.

Specifically, adolescents who perceived themselves as having a high mate value showed more dating desire if the other person was attractive compared to adolescents who perceived themselves as having a lower mate value. This might imply that previous findings on sexual strategies that were exclusively based on self-report ratings had underestimated the importance of attractiveness, in particular for girls.

Ample studies on adult samples also indicated that both men and women strive for attractive short-term mates Buunk et al. Our study showed that the tendency to seek attractive partners for short-term mating can also be found in adolescents who are at the beginning of their relationship career and still have little experience with dating. For boys, on the contrary, social status of the potential partner would be less important due to their minimal parental investment. The present results supported this hypothesized sex difference partly.

For boys, however, social status was important only when the potential partner was attractive. Although in comparison to the importance of attractiveness for adolescent dating desire, social status was a minor short-term strategy.

Apparently, adolescents do not attach much importance to finding a partner who has a high social status.

The Effect of Romantic Relationships on the Evaluation of the Attractiveness of One’s Own Face

This may be explained by the fact that, in adolescence, sexual behaviors are just beginning to emerge and adolescents still live at home with parents. Hence, it is possible that social status will become increasingly important during the transition into adulthood, when individuals need to become independent and have to take care of themselves.

Moreover, it is not until then when differences between indicators of social status of a potential short-term partner become clear e. For example, Kenrick, Gabrielidis, Keefe, and Cornelius 1997 showed that, if adolescents were asked who they would ideally date, both boys and girls would prefer older partners.

Moreover, it has been shown that girls indeed dated older boys Connolly et al. Thus, it could be that sex differences will occur as older potential partners perhaps will elicit the importance of social status.

  • The hidden dimension of extra-pair mating;
  • Simpson, Collins, Tran, and Haydon 2007 confirmed that the frequency and intensity of daily emotions experienced with a romantic partner serves two primary functions;
  • In contrast, age and relationship experience were significantly related to dating desire, indicating that boys who were older and had more relationship experience reported more dating desire;
  • The role of peers in the emergence of heterosexual romantic relationships in adolescence;
  • Moreover, it is not until then when differences between indicators of social status of a potential short-term partner become clear e;
  • When explicitly asked to rate various characteristics of a potential partner, boys rated attractiveness as more important than girls.

In line with SST, evidence emerged for the moderating role of self-perceived mate value emerged from our study see also Landolt et al. Our results indicated that adolescents did not generally aim for the best partner possible, but that they choose a partner that fits their own mate value.

It is important, however, to interpret this moderator effect in the light of its small effect size. That is, although significant, the moderating effect of self-perceived mate value was rather weak and seems to play only a minor role in the light of the overriding importance of physical attractiveness of a potential partner. Interestingly, we found that girls generally showed more dating desire compared to boys in the context of short-term mating.

Furthermore, girls have larger other-sex friendship networks compared to boys and start developing these friendships at a younger age, which allows the earlier establishment of romantic relationships Connolly et al. Despite the fact that we extended previous studies on SST by means of correlational and experimental paradigms using a large adolescent sample, some limitations should be addressed. First of all, we adapted the descriptions of social status from previous research on adults and older adolescents.

However, the cues that potential partners display referring to either high or low social status might differ for adolescents and adults. For adults, being highly ambitious is an indicator of high social status. For adolescents, this may be less clear and perhaps other characteristics of potential partners are more accurate to measure social status e. Thus, future research is needed to test whether the same results would be found if more appropriate descriptions of social status were provided.

Introduction

In addition, the indicators of the low status condition should be formulated more comparable as in the low status condition the vignette person was fatherless and in the high status condition father had a high social status occupation. Further, we found support for the association between self-perceived mate value and adolescent dating desire.

Adolescents who perceived themselves as having a high mate value showed more dating desire with attractive potential partners compared to adolescents who perceived themselves as having a lower mate value. Therefore, the present results reveal that SST is at least partly applicable to adolescents dating desire, but needs further attention in terms of how social status might be defined in this age group. Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author s and source are credited.

Footnotes 1Extensive literature exists about long-term mating and important mate characteristics of long-term mates. However, the present study focused on adolescent dating desire and is, therefore, framed within the context of short-term mating.

For more information on long-term mating, see Gangestad and Simpson 2000. The impact of puberty. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. The evolutionary psychology of physical attractiveness: Sexual selection and human morphology.

Physical attractiveness and dating choice: A test of the matching hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. The role of pubertal processes.

  • This might imply that previous findings on sexual strategies that were exclusively based on self-report ratings had underestimated the importance of attractiveness, in particular for girls;
  • They participated in an online eight-week longitudinal study.

Elliott GR, Feldman S, editors. Harvard University Press; 1990. Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Sciences. A new paradigm for psychological science. An evolutionary perspective on human mating. Age and gender differences in mate selection criteria for various involvement levels.

Do similar attitudes affect anything? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. More than a myth: The developmental significance of romantic relationships during adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence. The role of peers in the emergence of heterosexual romantic relationships in adolescence. Sex differences in jealousy: Evolutionary mechanism or artifact of measurement? The role of ego-identity status in mating preferences.

Journal of Adolescent Health. Gender differences in effects of physical attractiveness on romantic attraction: A comparison across five research paradigms. Gender differences in mate selection preferences: A test of the parental investment model. Concept of romance in 15-year-old adolescents. Other-sex friendship networks and the development of romantic relationships in adolescence.

Journal of Youth and Adolescence.

  1. Specifically, adolescents who perceived themselves as having a high mate value showed more dating desire if the other person was attractive compared to adolescents who perceived themselves as having a lower mate value. We performed linear regression analyses to show the importance of partner personality characteristics and relationship events affecting interpersonal physical attraction over an 8-week period.
  2. The goal of our research was to study the changes in physical attraction during the early stages of romantic relationships.
  3. The role of pubertal processes.
  4. What, whether, and why. Interpersonal attraction, according to Tedeschi, Schlenker, and Bonoma 1973 , possesses positive cognitive, affective, and dispositional properties.
  5. There were also questions about demographic information, personality characteristics of their partner, and any special events and changes that had occurred over the previous week.

Speed-dating as an invaluable tool for studying romantic attraction: Gender differences in mate selection: Evidence from a speed dating experiment. Quarterly Journal of Economics. An individual differences scale. Journal of Research in Personality.

Toward an evolutionary history of female sociosexual variation.

Citation Tools

The evolution of human mating: Trade-offs and strategic pluralism. Human sexual selection and developmental stability.

Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 1997. Facial attractiveness, developmental stability, and fluctuating asymmetry. The hidden dimension of extra-pair mating. Personality and Individual Differences.

Evolution and Human Behavior. Pubertal timing, sexual behaviour and self-reported depression in middle adolescence. Support for an evolutionary model of life-history strategies. Mate preferences in action.