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SOCIAL INFLUENCE, DESIRABILITY AND RELATIONSHIP INVESTMENT: THE EFFECTS OF RESOURCEFULNESS AND SEXUAL PERMISSIVENESS

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Abstract:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of social information about a prospective mate on evaluations of attractiveness, social desirability, and desired relationship. Men and women rated opposite-sex targets with (or without) peer information on the target's relative level of resourcefulness and sexual promiscuity; that is, high resourcefulness/high promiscuity, low resourcefulness/low promiscuity, or no peer information. The findings indicated no effect of these variables on physical attractiveness; however, on ascriptions of social desirability, men and women differed as a function of the social information condition. Likelihood of engaging in sex, dating and marriage with the target varied as a function of sex. Deeper levels of engagement (i.e., dating, marriage) were affected by the type of social information available to judges. Results are discussed in terms of sexual strategy theories of mate preference.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2006.34.5.593

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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