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Psychol Sci. 2009 Oct;20(10):1290-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02439.x. Epub 2009 Sep 14.

Arbitrary social norms influence sex differences in romantic selectivity.

Author information

  • 1Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA. finkel@northwestern.edu

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.

PMID:
19754525
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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