Psychology 2035A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Homophobia
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Chapter 9, 10 & 12 Reading Notes
“Friendship & Love”
“Marriage and intimate Relationships:
“Development & Expression of Sexuality”
The Ingredients of a Close Relationship
•Close relationships are those that are important, interdependent and long lasting
•Close relationships are characterized by partners that are irreplaceable, whereas a relationship between a customer
and a store clerk are interchangeable
•When college students were asked to identify a person to whom they felt closest:
o47% named a romantic partner
o36% listed a friend
o14% mentioned a family member
o3% named another individual
•Close relationships can arouse intense feelings (both positive and negative); this is the paradox of close
•Attraction is the initial desire to form a relationship. Both people need to have some form of attraction to each
•Homosexuals face three unique dating challenges:
oThey have a smaller pool of potential partners
oThey are often under pressure to conceal their sexual orientation
oThey have limited ways to meet prospective partners
o(Also, fears of hostility and rejection may cause them to guard their self-disclosures to acquaintances and
oWhat draws strangers together as either friends or lovers? (Three factors stand out):
•Attraction depends on proximity. People have to be in the same place at the same time.
•The importance of proximity was evident in a study that examined friendship development
in a real-life context. College students in a psych course were randomly assigned seats.
They were either sitting in neighboring seats, in the same row but not in neighboring seats,
or without any physical relation to each other. One year later friendship development was
measured. As proximity would suggest, those who sat in neighboring seats were more likely
to be friends than those in the same row, while those in the same row were more likely to be
friends than those in the control condition.
•How proximity increases attraction: Goodfriend asserts that:
o People who are near each other are likely to get acquainted and find out their
oIndividuals who live or work close by may be seen as more convenient and less
costly than those who live further away.
oPeople might develop attraction just because someone in close proximity becomes
familiar to them
•Think your route to class. You see the same people over and over and eventually start to
acknowledge them. This is the mere exposure effect; an increase in positive feelings
toward a novel stimulus (person) based on frequent exposure to it
oNote: the positive feelings only arise because of frequent exposure, not because of
any interaction you have with that individual
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•Generally the more familiar someone is the more you will like him or her. That said, people
can be attracted to total strangers, so familiarity isn’t the only factor involved in initial
•Among American college students, physical attractiveness has become more important over
the years for both sexes but especially for men.
•The importance of physical appearance is different for a future spouse than it is for a casual
oFor a marriage partner, both male and female college students ranked honesty and
trustworthiness as the most important traits
oFor a sexual partner, both men and women ranked attractive appearance as the
•Good looks play a role in friendships as well. Especially males prefer attractiveness in their
same and other gender friends.
•Gays and straights do not differ in the importance they place on physical attractiveness
•The emphasis on beauty may not be that substantial. In a study conducted by Buss, it was
found that personal qualities (kindness, intelligence) were ranked higher by both genders
than physical attractiveness was. However, when results were separated by gender, physical
attractiveness was still ranked higher for men than for women.
•Note: judgments about an individual’s attractiveness do change as one learns more about the
personality of the individual in question
•African American men and women prefer a larger body type than European American men
and women do, but being considerably overweight is viewed very negatively in the US
•What makes someone attractive?
oResearchers focus exclusively on facial features and physique
oAn unattractive body is seen as a greater liability than an unattractive face
oMales place more emphasis on body build than females do; if males were only able
to see a part of the body they prefer to base judgment on the physique as opposed to
oMichael Cunningham identified four categories of qualities that cause someone to be
seen as more or less attractive:
Neonate (baby face) qualities
•Women with neonate qualities (like large eyes) get high ratings.
Neonate qualities relate more to judgment of female faces.
•Men who have mature features (strong jaw) get high ratings. Mature
features also play a role when it comes to physique. Broad shoulders,
slim waists and small buttocks receive high ratings.
•Women with hourglass features are rated highly
•Large smile and high set eyebrows is seen as more attractive (more
friendly and approachable).
•Cosmetics, plastic surgery, anything used to enhance their physical
oCurrently in the US thinness receives heightened emphasis for importance,
especially for females and gay males
High school girls underestimate the body size that boys find attractive
High school girls believe that other girls have thinner bodies than them and
that the ideal body shape is smaller than their own
College women believe themselves to be heavier than they are
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Women who associate positive attributes with being underweight have a
higher incidence of eating disorders. Eating disorders affect all ethnic
Gay males feel more body shame and have more body dissatisfaction and eat
less when given the opportunity than straight men
Gay men are most dissatisfied with their body hair and muscularity
oOn average though, both gay and straight men share the desire to be thin and this
dissatisfaction increases with age.
•Matching up on looks
oAccording to the matching hypothesis people tend to wind up with someone similar
to himself or herself in attractiveness. However, other factors such as personality,
intelligence and social status also influence attraction.
oSome theorists believe that individuals mostly pursue highly attractive partners and
that their matching is the result of social forces beyond their control (such as
rejection by more attractive others)
oAnother theory is that physical attractiveness is a resource that partners being to the
table and they want to maintain an equitable balance.
•Attractiveness and resource exchange
oPhysical attractiveness is a resource that partners can exchange. For example, a man
looks for a woman that is pretty and she is looking for a successful and smart man
oDavid Buss created the parental investment theory; a species’ mating patterns
depend on what each sex has to invest – in the way of time, energy and survival risk
– to produce and mature offspring. According to this model, members of the gender
that makes the smaller investment will compete with each other for mating
opportunities with the gender that makes the larger investment, and the gender with
the larger investment will tend to be more discriminating in selecting its partners.
oMales have to invest little time in the production of offspring other than copulation.
So, mating with as many females as possible maximizes their reproductive potential.
Females have to invest a lot more time in the offspring department than males do.
These realities limit the number of offspring they can have. Females have little or no
incentive for mating with many males. Instead females can optimize their
reproductive potential by selectively mating with reliable partners who have greater
material resources. These preferences should increase the likelihood that a male
partner will be committed to a long-term relationship and will be able to support the
woman and their children, thus ensuring that her genes will be passed on.
oSome theorists believe women have come to value a man’s economic clout because
their own economic potential has been limited in virtually all cultures. Women in
countries with limited educational and career opportunities for females are the ones
who show the strongest preference for men with money. When women’s economic
power increases, so does their preference for a physically attractive mate.
oAfter several initial encounters
oThere are two factors that “keep the relationship ball rolling”
•Liking those who like you
•The self-fulfilling prophecy is at work here. If you believe that someone likes you, you
behave in a friendly manner towards that person
•The strategy of playing hard to get is at odds with the reciprocity principle.
•Birds of a feather flock together
•Heterosexual couples tend to be similar in demographic characteristics (age, race, religion),
physical attractiveness, intelligence and attitudes. According to Donn Byrne’s two-stage
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