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Chapter 8

Chapter 8

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York University
PSYC 3480

Chap 8 - Romantic love: intense attachments formed between people who are in love, including feelings of wanting to merge with another person, sexual attraction, and the desire to protect the others welfare. - Datingmeans that two people are romantically involved and spend substantial amounts of time together. The Ideal Romantic Partner North American Research What do females and males want in their romantic partners? -Young adoles-cents emphasize physical attributes - older adolescents emphasize their compatibility with their partner -depend on whether people are discussing a sexual partner or a marriage partner - studyRegan and Berscheid(1997), undergraduates,Midwestern university, rank a variety of personal characteristics in terms of their desirability for ( a) a partner for sexual activity and ( b) a partner for a long- term relationship such as marriage. Results: both women and men emphasized physical attractiveness when judging an ideal sexual partner. However, men were more likely to rank physical attractiveness as the most important characteristic. Shift when people judge an ideal marriage partner gender differences are small for a marriage part-ner, because both women and men value honesty, good personality, and intelligence. However, physical attractiveness is somewhat more important for men. - Other research, physical appearance is extremely important when people first meet a potential romantic partner - slimness also important when men are judging women - Several systematic studies of personal ads in both the United States and Canada con- firm that men are more likely than women to emphasize physical attractive-ness in describing an ideal partner -.women are more likely to emphasize the financial status of an ideal partner - studymemory study, people recalled more cues about a mans financial prospects, but they recalled more cues about a womans attractiveness - research also shows that both men and women tend to specify that an ideal partner should be warm, romantic, kind, and sensitive, and have a good sense of humor -Theme 4 operates in the choice of a romantic partner; there is more variation within each gender than between the genders. - studyUrbaniak and Kilmann ( 2003) found that female undergraduates were much more likely to prefer a man who said he was kind and attentive and doesnt go for all that macho stuff, rather than a man who said he knew how to get what he wants and doesnt go in for all that touchy- feely stuff -study Burn and Ward ( 2005), found college women were more satisfied with their romantic relationships if their male partner was low in traditionally masculine characteristics. Cross- Cultural Cross-Cultural Research - Most participants in research on ideal romantic partners have been White men and women, in United States and Canada - people in Westernized cultures provide similar responses - we move beyond groups with European origins, we may find different patterns for romantic relationships - many developing countries, couples are not expected to marry for love Ex: marriages in India are arranged by the couples parents - What happens when young men and women immigrate to North America? many cases, a woman or her family places a matrimonial advertisement in newspapers Parents invite correspondence from suitable Physician match in Maryland area; for 26 year old/ 5 0 7 00 , beautiful, attractive, intelligent girl, 1st year resident in surgery. Different cultures value somewhat different characteristics in a romantic partner. - women more likely than men to believe that a partner should be well educated and have good financial prospects - men more likely than women to believe that a partner should be physically attractive - study Hatfield and Sprecher (1995), asked college students in the United States, Russia, and Japan to rate a number of characteristics that might be important in selecting a marriage partner. Results: gender similarities were found for many characteristics. However, women in all three cultures are more likely than men to emphasize financial prospects in a spouse. Men more likely to emphasize physical attractiveness Explanations for Gender Differences in Patterns of Preference - Controversial topicslove relationships and whether evolutionary explanations or social roles can best account for gender differences in romantic preferences Evolutionary- Psychology Approach - various species gradually change over the course of many generations so that they can adapt better to their environment - basic principle of this approach both men and women have an evolutionary advantage if they succeed in passing on their genes to the next generation - Evolutionary psychologists argue that their approach can explain why men and women have somewhat different views about ideal mates - men should prefer young, attractive, healthy- looking women because those women are most likely to be fertile. Therefore, these women will pass on the mens genes to the next generation - Contrary to the evolutionary perspective, research actually shows that ratings of womens attractiveness are not correlated with either health or fertility - Evolutionary psychologists say women try to select a partner who will be committed to a long- term relationship - women must make sure that their children are provided with financial resources - women look for reliable men who also have good incomes - Evolutionary psychologists, culture has little influence on gender differences in mate selection The Social- Roles Approach - Many feminist psychologists object to evolutionary approach - Argue: theory is highly speculative about evolutionary forces that operated many thousands of years ago, failed to identify any genetic mechanism for these proposed gender differences, cannot account for same-gender romantic relationships, shows that men and women are equally interested in long- term relationships. - Study California university, 99% of female students and also 99% of male students said that they planned to be in a long-term relationship with just one sexual partner - According to approach: men and women often occupy different social roles; they are also socialized differently, and they experience different social opportunities and social disadvantages Ex: women have more limited financial resources in our culture. As a result, women need to focus on a partners ability to earn money -demonstrates women are especially likely to prefer high- income men if they live in countries where women have limited educational and financial opportunities - More egalitarian countries, women can earn their own incomes, so they dont need to seek wealthy husbands - contrary to the predictions of evolutionary psychology culture does affect mate preferences Characteristics of Heterosexual Love Relationships Do women and men differ in their thoughts about an established love relationship? What factors predict satisfaction with a love relationship? Gender Comparisons - To some extent, women and men emphasize different aspects of love in their current romantic relationships - women are significantly more likely to report that they have a relationship based on friendship - When describing their romantic relationship, women are more likely to report commitment, liking, and satisfaction all positive emotions - .Also, report more sadness, depression, hurt, and loneliness - compared to men, women seem to experience a wider range of both positive and negative emotions - In many other respects, the gender similarities are more striking both women and men say essential fea-tures of their love relationships are trust, caring, honesty, and respect Both report similar strategies for maintaining a romantic relationship, such as acting cheerful toward the partner and expressing love for this person research suggests that women actually perform more of this relationship maintenance work Factors Related to Satisfaction with the Relationship - study Grote and Frieze ( 1994),questionnaire assesses the friendship dimension of a love relationship - research suggests that both men and women are more satisfied with a love relationships if it is based on friendship - People who have friendship- based relationships, report a greater degree of reciprocal understanding - relationships that are based on friendship lasted longer - people who are emotionally and sexually faithful to their romantic partners also tend to be more satisfied with their relationships - In romantic relation-ships, women and men have similar self- disclosure patterns - both more satisfied with their love relationship if both partners are skilled at expressing their emotions - people prefer a person with sensitivity and other interpersonal skills - studyLaurie Rudman and Julie Phelan(2007), group of college students and a group of older adults, all were in heterosexual relationships. All the participants provided information about their own attitudes toward feminism, as well as the feminist attitudes of their partner. Results: In both groups, the women who had feminist romantic partners tended to report more stable relationships as well as greater sexual satisfaction. In the older group of males, men who had feminist partners te
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