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Want to Hookup?: Sex Differences in Short-term Mate Attraction Tactics

Abstract

While a great deal of psychological research has been conducted on sex-specific mate choice preferences, relatively little attention has been directed toward how heterosexual men and women solicit short-term sexual partners, and which acts are perceived to be the most effective. The present research relied on an act nomination methodology with the goal of determining which actions are used by men and women to solicit a short-term “hook-up” partner (study 1) and then determine which of these actions are perceived as most effective by men and women (study 2). Using sexual strategy theory, we hypothesized that actions that suggest sexual access would be nominated most often by women whereas actions that suggest a willingness to commit were expected to be nominated most often by men. Additionally, men and women were predicted to rate actions by men that suggest a willingness to commit as most effective and actions by women that suggest sexual access as most effective. The results were consistent with these hypotheses. These findings are discussed in the context of both short- and long-term mating strategies and mate solicitation. The relationship between motivation, sexual strategies, and sexual behavior are examined, along with the need for research on the hookup tactics and motivations of self-identifying gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals.

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Notes

  1. A version of this paper was presented at the 28th Human Behavior and Evolution Society Conference, Vancouver, BC.

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T. Joel Wade did the data analyses for this research. T. Joel Wade, Maryanne Fisher, Catherine Salmon, and Carly Downs wrote the manuscript. Data collection was done by Carly Downs.

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Correspondence to T. Joel Wade.

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Wade, T.J., Fisher, M.L., Salmon, C. et al. Want to Hookup?: Sex Differences in Short-term Mate Attraction Tactics. Evolutionary Psychological Science 7, 430–438 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40806-021-00282-0

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