Arbitrary social norms influence sex differences in romantic selectivity: Research article

Eli J. Finkel, Paul W. Eastwick

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Men tend to be less selective than women when evaluating and pursuing potential romantic partners. The present experiment employed speed-dating procedures to test a novel explanation for this sex difference: The mere act of physically approaching a potential romantic partner (vs. being approached), a behavior that is more characteristic of men than of women, increases one's attraction to that partner. This hypothesis was supported in a sample of speed daters (N = 350) who attended a heterosexual event where either men (eight events) or women (seven events) rotated from one partner to the next while members of the other sex remained seated. Rotators were significantly less selective than were sitters, which meant that the tendency for men to be less selective than women at events where men rotated disappeared at events where women rotated. These effects were mediated by increased self-confidence among rotators relative to sitters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1290-1295
Number of pages6
JournalPsychological science
Volume20
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2009
Externally publishedYes

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