Attraction and Love ch. 6.docx

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Department
Family Relations and Human Development
Course
FRHD 2100
Professor
Cindy Clarke
Semester
Winter

Description
Attraction and Love Attraction  •  Do Opposites Attract, or Do Birds of a Feather Flock Together? –  Our partners tend to resemble us in terms of race and ethnicity, age, level of education and religion –  Opposites do not attract! –  Whydo we have partners from our own backgrounds? •  We live near people who are similar to ourselves •  We’re drawn to people whose attitudes are similar to our own –  Women place greater weight on similar attitudes, men on physical attractiveness –  We tend to assume people we find attractive share our attitudes –  Similarity may be important in determining initial attraction;  compatibility appears to be a stronger predictor of maintaining an intimate relationship •  Reciprocity: If You Like Me, You Must Have Excellent Judgment –  When we feel admired and complimented, we tend to return those feelings and behaviours –  May enable many couples to become happy with one another –  Can stoke neutral or mild feelings into robust, affirmative feelings of attraction •  Physical Attractiveness: How Important is it to Look Good? –  Physical attractiveness is a major determinant of interpersonal and sexual  attractiveness –  Some contend it is the key factor in consideration of partners  for dates, sex, and long­term relationships –  Importance is accentuated by the “what is beautiful is good” effect –  Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? •  What is considered attractive varies by culture •  In general, women consider taller men to be more attractive •  Thinness is valued in North American culture •  The hourglass figure is popular in Canada and in most other cultures (this varies by sexual orientation, however) •  What is considered attractive to women varies across the menstrual cycle •  How attractive women are perceived to be is also influenced by where they are in the menstrual cycle –  Non­physical traits and attractiveness •  How beautiful we find a partner is likely to be enhanced by traits such as familiarity, liking, respect, and shared values and goals •  Gender role orientation and expectations affect  perceptions of attractiveness •  Women’s judgments of themselves are closely related to how men perceived them –  What do you look for in a relationship? •  In selecting a long­term partner: – Women place relatively greater emphasis than men on  vocational status, earning potential, expressiveness, kindness, consideration, dependability, fondness for children •  Men give relatively greater consideration to youth, physical attractiveness, cooking ability, and frugality •  Women rate attractiveness as more important in choosing a casual sex partner •  In a spouse: – Men valued only one characteristic more highly  than women did: good looking – Women, more than men, valued such traits as: manages money well, is well educated and intelligent and shares your religion –  An evolutionary perspective on mate preference •  Some evolutionary psychologists believe evolutionary forces  favour the  continuation of gender differences in mate preference because these traits offer reproductive advantages •  Women’s reproductive value would be tied to youth and health •  Man’s might depend on his ability to provide for his family •  Critics suggest that  gender differences in mate preferences are maintained by male­ dominated social structures •  As cultures develop higher levels of gender equality, male and female standards of attractiveness will gradually change •  Some of these changes are occurring already Innovative Canadian Research  •  What do Women Want? –  Researchers at Queens University and the University of Victoria tested the hypothesis  that women who were more open to short­term sexual relationships would be more likely to prefer highly masculine male faces and bodies –  Researchers concluded that women associated higher levels of masculinity with healthier genes A World of Diversity  •  Cross­Cultural Beauty –  Some aspects of beauty appear to be largely cross­cultural •  E.g., female faces with large eyes, greater distance between the eyes,  small noses, narrower faces with smaller chins, high, expressive eyebrows, larger lower lips, and well­groomed, full heads of hair Sex Differences in Mate Preference Across 37 Cultures –  Buss(1994) reviewed survey evidence for preferred age differences between individuals and their mates –  In every culture: •  Men wanted mates to be younger and women preferred mates who were older •  Men placed greater value on physical attractiveness Innovative Canadian Research  Partner preferences and Age, 
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