Blogger Eric Barker pulls out useful tips from the latest psychological research.Here we’ve gathered some of his most fascinating insights about sex and attraction, including what attracts people and what you can tell about someone just by looking at them.
Nicolas Guégen... conducted four studies (with Serge Ciccotti) to investigate whether the presence of a dog might increase the likelihood of people obliging one of several requests...a man's likelihood of obtaining a woman's phone number increases three-fold when accompanied by a dog.
Source: Psychology Today
In Experiment 1, men who viewed an ostensible conversation partner in a red versus a green shirt chose to ask her more intimate questions. In Experiment 2, men who viewed an ostensible interaction partner in a red versus a blue shirt chose to sit closer to her.
Source: 'Red and romantic behaviour in men viewing women' in the European Journal of Social Psychology
The present study experimentally manipulated status by seating the same target model (male and female matched for attractiveness) expressing identical facial expressions and posture in either a 'high status' (Silver Bentley Continental GT) or a 'neutral status' (Red Ford Fiesta ST) motor-car.
Results showed that the male target model was rated as significantly more attractive on a rating scale of 1-10 when presented to female participants in the high compared to the neutral status context. Males were not influenced by status manipulation, as there was no significant difference between attractiveness ratings for the female seated in the high compared to the neutral condition.
Source: 'Effect of manipulated prestige-car ownership on both sex attractiveness ratings', from Br J Psychol. 2010 Feb;101(Pt 1):69-80. Epub 2009 Mar 19
Women's favourite spot to be kissed, other than the mouth, is the neck. 90-six per cent of women reported that they like neck kisses, while only about 10% of men do, so a guy will not even believe that a girl likes being kissed on the neck because it doesn't really do anything for him.
The model predicts that love, formally defined as a mixture of altruism and possessiveness, increases the probability of faking ecstasy, but more so for women than for men.
You could see this as a reassuring finding: If your partner appears to be having an orgasm, you're either a great lover or they're in love with you enough to fake it.
Source: Mialon, Hugo M., The Economics of Faking Ecstasy (October 25, 2010)
Challenging the idea that women's sexual motivations are tied exclusively to romantic emotions or reproduction, a new study by psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin found women's sexual decisions are motivated by a shocking array of reasons that range from the mundane ('I was bored') to a sense of adventure ('I wanted to know what it was like before getting married'), and from the altruistic ('I felt sorry for him') to the borderline evil ('I wanted to give him a sexually transmitted disease').
• 30-one per cent of women, at some point, purposely evoked jealousy in their sex partner, compared with only 17 per cent of men.
• 80-four per cent of wives, at some point, said they had sex out of a sense of duty, compared with 64 per cent of husbands.
• 30-eight per cent of women admit to 'poaching' someone for a short-term fling.
• 50 per cent of women reported having sex to cure a migraine headache.
• Women, in general, are turned on by men with deep voices and symmetrical bodies.
Specifically, we explored whether women who engage in casual sex have low mate value, are especially likely to have come from stressful family environments, or are masculine in other respects besides their interest in casual sex. Women with many partners were not lower than other women on direct or indirect indicators of mate value. Nor were they more likely to recall adverse family environments during childhood. On several measures related to masculinity, women with many sex partners were elevated compared with other women.
Source: 'What Distinguishes Women with Unusually High Numbers of Sex Partners?' from the journal 'Evolution and Human behaviour'
We show, in Experiments 1--3, that humans better recognise faces of cheaters than those of cooperators when they do not know who are cheaters and cooperators. Experiment 4 demonstrates, however, that humans think they recognise cheaters' faces even when they have not seen them before. The results of these experiments suggest that cheaters might look different from cooperators, possibly due to beliefs and personality traits that make them less ideal exchange partners, and the human mind might be capable of picking up on subtle visual cues that cheaters' faces give off.
Source: 'You can judge a book by its cover: Evidence that cheaters may look different from cooperators' from Evolution and Human behaviour
Research has shown that people tend to look longer at attractive than at unattractive faces.
Participants were asked to judge the orientation of a cued target presented to the left or right visual field while ignoring a task-irrelevant face image flashed in the opposite field. The presentation of attractive faces significantly lengthened task performance. The results suggest that facial beauty automatically competes with an ongoing cognitive task for spatial attention.
Source: 'Can beauty be ignored? Effects of facial attractiveness on covert attention' from 'Psychonomic Bulletin & Review'
We found that both sexes used a lower-pitched voice and showed a higher level of physiological arousal when speaking to the more attractive, opposite-sex target. Furthermore, independent raters evaluated the voice samples directed toward the attractive target (versus the unattractive target) as sounding more pleasant when the two voice samples from the same person presented had a reasonably perceptually noticeable difference in pitch.
Source: 'Vocal and Physiological Changes in Response to the Physical Attractiveness of Conversational Partners' from Journal of Nonverbal behaviour.
The chance for mating with a speed-dating partner was 6%, and was increased by men's short-term mating interest; the chance for relating was 4%, and was increased by women's long-term mating interest.
Source: 'From dating to mating and relating: Predictors of initial and long-term outcomes of speed-dating in a community sample' from European Journal of Personality
Two studies supported the hypothesis that female sociosexuality can be accurately detected by strangers based on thin slices of observable behaviour. In Study 1, raters' judgments of the women's sociosexuality were highly correlated with the women's self-reported sociosexuality. We identified (1) Valid cues (e.g., eyebrow flashes, glances at the confederate), which were associated with both targets' actual sociosexuality and raters' perceptions of sociosexuality....
Sources: 'A sharp eye for her SOI: perception and mis-perception of female sociosexuality at zero acquaintance' from Evolution and Human behaviour, Volume 30, Issue 2, Pages 124-130 (March 2009)
- Over 2% of all heart attacks have been directly attributed to having a broken heart.
- The average man's ideal woman is 60lbs lighter than him.
- A woman will get chatted up in bar 6 minutes faster if she is wearing make up.
- Last year 21% of dates were organised via e-mail and 5% of relationships were ended by text.
- 98% of Americans have experienced unrequited love.
- Ladies don't drink more than 1.5 glasses of wine more than your date -- a turn off for most men.
- For every $5000 extra a woman earns over her partner, their risk of divorce goes up by 5%.
- Divorce has been proven to reduce a man's life expectancy by 3.7 years.
It has been found everywhere it was scientifically investigated that as pornography has increased in availability, sex crimes have either decreased or not increased.
Source: 'Pornography, public acceptance and sex related crime: A review' from International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Volume 32, Issue 5, September-October 2009, Pages 304-314
High sexual compulsivity was associated with sexual risk taking, though mainly among women, decreased levels of relationship intimacy and lesser sexual contentment. However, we found no significant association between early exposure to pornography and high sexual compulsivity either among men or women.
Source: 'Is Early Exposure to Pornography a Risk Factor for Sexual Compulsivity? Findings from an Online Survey among Young Heterosexual Adults' from International Journal of Sexual Health, Volume 20, Issue 4 November 2008 , pages 270 - 28
Because of current laws, if porn stars were required to wear condoms, HIV outbreaks would probably increase
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is lobbying California to require the use of condoms in porn movies. Their argument is that this is an employee safety issue--like requiring workers to wear hard hats--and so should fall under the Cal/OSHA laws.
Directly from the Forbes op-ed:
...the adult film industry would have to make every performer an employee to satisfy the California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, laws. This would be detrimental: California's anti-discrimination laws prohibit requiring an HIV test as a condition of employment; therefore the adult film industry's current testing process, in which every performer is tested for HIV monthly, would be illegal. Nor would adult film producers be allowed to 'discriminate' by refusing employment to HIV-positive performers. As a result, untested and HIV-positive performers would be able to work in the industry, raising the risks of HIV outbreaks--particularly since condom breakage or slippage can occur.
We examined perceptions of condom use in close relationships in 3 studies. Relationships of couples who used condoms were devalued, relative to relationships of those who used oral contraceptives.
Source: Source: 'The Devaluation of Relationships (not Individuals): The Case of Dyadic Relationship Stigmatization' from Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Those with the most active sex lives seem to have the most sexual fantasies, and not vice versa. Several studies have shown that frequency of fantasy is positively correlated with masturbation frequency, intercourse frequency, number of lifetime sexual partners, and self-rated sex drive.
Controlling for age, physical maturity, and mother's education, a significant curvilinear relationship between intelligence and coital status was demonstrated; adolescents at the upper and lower ends of the intelligence distribution were less likely to have sex. Higher intelligence was also associated with postponement of the initiation of the full range of partnered sexual activities.
Source: 'Smart teens don't have sex (or kiss much either).' from J Adolesc Health. 2000 Mar;26(3):213-25.
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