Oppression or Opportunity? Sexual Strategies and the Perception of Sexual Advances

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Abstract

From an evolutionary perspective, the perception and interpretation of sexual advances depend on sex-specific mechanisms, individual differences in the perceivers’ mating strategies, and the actor’s attractiveness. In two studies (N = 1516), participants evaluated hypothetical situations of sexual advances from a coworker varying in attractiveness (study 1) and physical appearance or status (study 2). In both studies, men perceived sexual advances as less negative than women, especially when the advances arise from a (physically) attractive actor. Furthermore, the higher the sociosexual orientation of the participants, the less harmful these sexual advances are perceived. Finally, the same behavior from an attractive or physically attractive actor is perceived as less harmful than from an unattractive actor. Results are discussed from an evolutionary perspective on the perception of sexual advances.

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  • 18 December 2019

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Klümper, L., Schwarz, S. Oppression or Opportunity? Sexual Strategies and the Perception of Sexual Advances. Evolutionary Psychological Science 6, 142–153 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40806-019-00215-y

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Keywords

  • Sex differences
  • Mating strategies
  • Sociosexual orientation
  • Sexual advances
  • Attractiveness