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Receptivity to sexual offers as a function of sex, socioeconomic status, physical attractiveness, and intimacy of the offer

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The present research examined sex differences in the willingness to accept hypothetical sexual offers by different potential partners. In 2 experiments, participants were asked to imagine that 1 person with moderate socioeconomic status (SES) and moderate physical attractiveness was their current partner. In Experiment 1, 2 potential partners were either depicted as physically attractive or as having a high SES. For each of the 2 partners, American participants were asked to report their willingness to date, to kiss, to make out, to have sexual intercourse, and to leave their current partners. Results revealed that men always reported a greater willingness to accept the offer when the potential partner was physically attractive. Given a short-term involvement, women also preferred the potential partner who was physically attractive. In contrast, given a long-term involvement, they were equally willing to accept the offer of potential partners with high SES or with high physical attractiveness. In addition, whereas men reported a very similar willingness toward all kinds of offers, women reported a greater willingness to accept a less intimate, as opposed to an intimate, sexual offer. In a second experiment, these results were replicated with German respondents.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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