The process through which sexual preferences are acquired from the characteristics of the parents.
Sexual imprinting is a special type of imprinting which is thought to be related to sexual or mate preferences of animals. As evolutionary psychology mainly focuses on behavioral traits involved with survival and reproduction, sexual imprinting has been intensively studied, especially the sexual imprinting in human beings.
In fact, sexual imprinting can be either positive or negative. Positive sexual imprinting refers to acquiring sexual preferences according to the characteristics of one or both of the foster parents. The frequently mentioned “sexual imprinting” usually refers to positive sexual imprinting. On the contrary, negative sexual imprinting refers to acquired avoidance of mating with individuals who resemble kin, which is also known as Westermarck effect. The phenomenon of sexual imprinting has been found in both...
- ten Cate, C. T., & Vos, D. R. (1999). Sexual imprinting and evolutionary processes in birds: A reassessment. Advances in the Study of Behavior, 28(08), 1–31.Google Scholar
- Valentova, J. V., Bártová, K., Štěrbová, Z., & Varella, M. A. C. (2017). Influence of sexual orientation, population, homogamy, and imprinting-like effect on preferences and choices for female buttock size, breast size and shape, and WHR. Personality and Individual Differences, 104, 313–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar