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Sociosexual Attitudes and Dyadic Sexual Desire Independently Predict Women’s Preferences for Male Vocal Masculinity

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Abstract

Research suggests that the desire to behave sexually with a partner (dyadic sexual desire) may reflect desire for intimacy whereas solitary sexual desire may reflect pleasure seeking motivations more generally. Because direct reproductive success can only be increased with a sexual partner, we tested whether dyadic sexual desire was a better predictor of women’s preferences for lower pitched men’s voices (a marker of relatively high reproductive success) than was solitary sexual desire. In Study 1, women (N = 95) with higher dyadic sexual desire scores on the Sexual Desire Inventory-2 preferred masculinized male voices more than did women with lower dyadic sexual desire scores. We did not find a significant relationship between women’s vocal masculinity preferences and their solitary sexual desire scores. In Study 2, we tested whether the relationship between voice preferences and dyadic sexual desire scores was related to differences in sociosexual orientation. Women (N = 80) with more positive attitudes towards uncommitted sex had stronger vocal masculinity preferences regardless of whether men’s attractiveness was judged for short-term or long-term relationships. Independent of the effect of sociosexual attitudes, dyadic sexual desire positively predicted women’s masculinity preferences when assessing men’s attractiveness for short-term but not long-term relationships. These effects were independent of women’s own relationship status and hormonal contraceptive use. Our results provide further evidence that women’s mate preferences may independently reflect individual differences in both sexual desire and openness to short-term relationships, potentially with the ultimate function of maximizing the fitness benefits of women’s mate choices.

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O’Connor, J.J.M., Jones, B.C., Fraccaro, P.J. et al. Sociosexual Attitudes and Dyadic Sexual Desire Independently Predict Women’s Preferences for Male Vocal Masculinity. Arch Sex Behav 43, 1343–1353 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10508-014-0298-y

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