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Flashcards in Relationships Deck (9)
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The evolutionary explanation for partner preferences; including the relationship between sexual selection and human reproductive behaviour.


Cunningham (1986) - what do males find attractive in females?

He symmetrically varied the size of females faces: eyes, nose and mouth.
Men were more attracted to features associated with young children - large eyes, small noses and chin, narrow cheeks, wide smiles and dilated pupils were also found to be attractive


Waynforth (1995) - what do females find attractive in males?

Masculine facial features including square jawline, ridged eyebrows, small eyes, thin lips and a symmetrical face were preferred by women.


What was found attractive to both?

Young (1998) - symmetry was preferred by both; the overall ‘balance’ look of the face.
Longer-than-average legs were preferred (Pawlowski, 2008) - found that 5% longer-than-average legs were seen as more attractive.


Qualities preferred by men

David Buss (1989) — cross-culture study of partner preference.

Men valued physical attractiveness more than women
Men valued women who were younger than themselves


Qualities preferred by women

David Buss (1989) — cross-culture study of partner preference

Women valued financial capacity of potential partners.
Women found ambition and industriousness/final success more attractive than men did.


differences in reproductive behaviours -- men tend to have more short-term relationships or one-nights than women

Clark and Hatsfield (1989 and 1990) used male and female students who approached total strangers of the opposite sex
1989 - 50% of both sexes agreed to go out that night. None of the women agreed to have sex. 75% of men approached agreed to have sex. 69% of men agreed to go back to the person's house
1990 - modified and assured them of trustworthiness of the stranger. The results where the same
-- also found in lesbians (Buss and Schmitt, 1993)


greater number of sexual partners

Buss and Schmitt (1993) asked how many sexual partners people ideally wanted over the next two years, next decade and during their lifetime.
- Men on average wanted 8 partners over the next two years and 18 over a lifetime
- Women on average wanted 1 over the next two years and 4-5 over a lifetime


sexual dreams and fantasies

Ellis and Symons (1990) found that men are more likely to have sexual dreams than women especially those involving multiple or anonymous partners and strangers