Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 533–542 | Cite as

Individual Differences in Mate Poaching: An Examination of Hormonal, Dispositional, and Behavioral Mate-Value Traits

  • Shafik Sunderani
  • Steven Arnocky
  • Tracy Vaillancourt
Original Paper


The personality and hormonal correlates of mate poaching (attempting to steal another person’s partner away) and of the target of the seducer (the mate poached) were examined in a sample 154 undergraduate university students (91 females; 63 males). Thirteen variables were modeled into two regression equations to predict and profile mate poachers and the mate poached. Findings revealed that (1) male mate poachers were better looking and had higher cortisol levels, lower levels of testosterone, and reported being higher on self-esteem, cold affect, and criminal tendencies and (2) female mate poachers and targets of mate poachers reported being more physically attractive, as did male targets of mate poachers. Sex differences in the context of mate poaching attraction as well as the characteristics of those who are successful in their attempts to lure away another person’s romantic partner were discussed.


Individual differences Mate poaching Mate value Sex differences 



Funding support came from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada Research Chairs program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shafik Sunderani
    • 1
  • Steven Arnocky
    • 2
  • Tracy Vaillancourt
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & BehaviourMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyNipissing UniversityNorth BayCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of Education and School of PsychologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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