Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Sex-Specific Link Between Self-Esteem and Mate Value

  • Christopher BaleEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_1455-1



Self-esteem is an individual’s overall evaluation of their worth. It includes both attitudinal and affective components.

Mate value refers to the desirability of an individual as a long- or short-term sexual partner, relative to intrasexual competitors.


In their extension of sociometer theory, Kirkpatrick and Ellis (2004) posit the existence of a specific system, the mating sociometer, which functions to monitor and regulate short- and long-term sexual relationships. They suggest that relational status, experiences of romantic acceptance or rejection, and self-evaluations of mate value and its components all influence self-esteem, which then motivates adaptive behavioral responses. There are well-established differences in the determinants of mate value between sexes (Buss 1989), and thus the mating sociometer perspective would predict that there should be sex differences in relationships between specific...


Romantic Partner Physical Attractiveness Manipulation Condition False Feedback Potential Romantic Partner 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of HuddersfieldHuddersfieldUK