PS287 CH. 9 NOTES – ROMANTIC
Terms & Concepts
Evolutionary Theory Men & women behave in ways that will maximize the survival of their genes.
Men value attractiveness & youth in mates (indicators of fertility).
Weakness: It cannot explain men’s preferences for women w/ domestic skills.
Social Role Theory A society’s emphasis on distinct division of labour b/w the sexes will be directly
linked to sex differences in mate selection. Females will value a mate w/ high
earning capacity; males will value a mate w/ domestic skills in societies where
men’s role is to work outside the home & women’s role is to work inside the
Weakness: Cannot explain men’s preferences for attractive mates.
Social Construction Social norms dictate what is desirable in a mate.
Script A schema/cognitive representation of a sequence of events.
Theory of Love There are 3 primary styles of love: Eros, Storge, Ludus. There are also 3 blends of
these love styles: mania, pragma, agape.
Eros Romantic love.
Storge Friendship love.
Ludus Game-playing love.
Mania Maniac love. Blend of eros & ludus.
Pragma Practical love. Blend of storge & ludus.
Agape Pure love. Blend of eros & storge.
Social Exchange Relationships satisfaction is partly determined by the benefits & costs incurred
Theory in a relationship.
Emotional Where one person’s emotions influence another person’s emotions.
Demand/Withdraw Characterized by 1 person demanding (not nagging), & the other person not
Pattern responding/w/drawing. Demander is more likely to initiate problem discussion.
W/drawer is more likely to avoid problem discussion. Demander more likely to
be a woman, w/drawer a man.
- Women & men agree on the most important characteristics of a mate:
o Sense of humour
1 o Expressive
- There are consistent sex differences on traits that are relatively unimportant in choosing a mate
o Men value physical attractiveness more
o Women value economic resources more
- The nature of the relationship influences mate preferences
o Sex differences are more likely to appear when the relationship is less serious
o Men’s & women’s preferences are most similar in serious relationships
- Gay men/lesbians are attracted to a similar set of characteristics in potential mates as
o Gay men (like straight men) are more interested in a mate’s physical attractiveness
o However, lesbians (unlike straight women) are not attracted to a potential mate’s
- Ppl make trade-offs when choosing mates
- Sex differences are minimized when trade-offs are made & women & men choose more similar
- Sex differences in mate preferences can be explained by:
o Evolutionary Theory
o Social Theory
o Social Construction Theory
- Both Evolutionary Theory & Social Theory can explain why women prefer a mate w/ greater
- Social Construction Theory of mate preferences is supported by cultural differences in mate
o Sex differences in mate preferences may be larger in more traditional cultures where
men’s & women’s roles are distinct & women have less access to economic resources
- In the past & present, society expects men to initiate romantic relationships
o However, men may be relatively uncomfortable having this responsibility
- First date scripts for relationship initiation among straight & gay ppl contain similar components
o Straight & gay men take the more proactive role in relationships (compared to straight
women & lesbians)
o However, other aspects of the first date script are not divided by sex in homo
relationships in the way that they are in straight relationships
The Nature of Romantic Relationships
- Romantic relationships are expected to provide:
o Sexual exclusivity
- On the whole, men & women conceptualize intimacy in the same ways
o Intimacy includes:
Expressions of love & appreciation
Feelings of happiness & contentment
- Sex may be a more important component of intimacy for both straight & gay men than women,
but it is still not the most important feature of intimacy for men
- Historically, women had