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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2006 Jan;90(1):129-46.

The siren's call: terror management and the threat of men's sexual attraction to women.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ85721-0068, USA. mjlandau@email.arizona.edu

Abstract

Why do sexually appealing women often attract derogation and aggression? According to terror management theory, women's sexual allure threatens to increase men's awareness of their corporeality and thus mortality. Accordingly, in Study 1 a subliminal mortality prime decreased men's but not women's attractiveness ratings of alluring women. In Study 2, mortality salience (MS) led men to downplay their sexual intent toward a sexy woman. In Study 3, MS decreased men's interest in a seductive but not a wholesome woman. In Study 4, MS decreased men's but not women's attraction to a sexy opposite-sex target. In Study 5, MS and a corporeal lust prime increased men's tolerance of aggression toward women. Discussion focuses on mortality concerns and male sexual ambivalence.

PMID:
16448314
DOI:
10.1037/0022-3514.90.1.129
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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