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Effects of Masculinity, Femininity, Commitment, Attractiveness and Income on Dating and Marriage Choices of Homosexual/Bisexual Men and Women Daniel Arkkelin,

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Presentation on theme: "Effects of Masculinity, Femininity, Commitment, Attractiveness and Income on Dating and Marriage Choices of Homosexual/Bisexual Men and Women Daniel Arkkelin,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Effects of Masculinity, Femininity, Commitment, Attractiveness and Income on Dating and Marriage Choices of Homosexual/Bisexual Men and Women Daniel Arkkelin, Brian Ostrum & Gina Hoover Valparaiso University

2 Introduction Previous Research Heterosexual vs. Homosexual Relationships Stereotypes about promiscuity and lower quality of gay/lesbian relationships (Testa, Kinder & Ironson, 1987) Recent research suggests more commonalities than differences between heterosexual and homosexual relationships (Kurdek, 2000; Peplau & Spalding, 2000) Present Study Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual Partner Choices Compared effects of Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic factors Attractiveness & income (extrinsic qualities) Personality & commitment (intrinsic qualities) Compared the effects of the above factors on type of choice Dating Partner Marriage Partner

3 Method Thirty-two profiles of hypothetical target persons (TP) were constructed representing a factorial combination of low/high scores on: Masculine Traits Feminine Traits Commitment Level Physical Attractiveness Income Level Each profile listed a different pattern of scores ranging from 0 to 100 Masculinity/Femininity: Low (scores 80) Commitment: Low (scores 80) Income: Low (scores $80k/year) Attractiveness: Average (scores near 50); Good-looking (scores > 80) Likert scales below each profile measured likelihood of selecting TP as a partner (1: Not at all likely; 7: Extremely likely)

4 Sample Profile Not at All Extremely Likely Likely The 32 profiles were converted to a web form which was posted on the internet. Radio boxes were placed above the numbers on the 7-point Likert scales. Participants (Ps) indicated how likely they would be to choose each TP as a dating partner or a marriage partner. All participants rated all 32 TP profiles within a given target category.

5 Procedure Ps indicating that they were gay, lesbian or bisexual (33 men, 73 women) were directed to the web form Ps assumed each profile described a member of the same sex Ps were assigned to one of the two TP evaluation conditions: Dating Partner Marriage Partner Ps formed impressions of each TP as either a potential dating or marriage partner Ps indicated how likely they would be to select each TP as a partner by clicking a radio box on the 7-point Likert scales Experimental Design 2 (Target Type) x 2 (Femininity) x 2 (Masculinity) x 2 (Commitment) x 2 (Attractiveness) x 2 (Income) Mixed Model ANOVA Between-groups Factor: Target Type Within-groups Factors: Femininity, Masculinity, Commitment, Attractiveness & Income

6 Results Main effects indicated that P's were more likely to choose TPs scoring high on femininity, commitment, masculinity, income and physical attractiveness than TP's low on these qualities Partial Eta 2 values indicated that femininity, commitment and masculinity were more important determinants of choices than were attractiveness and income

7 A Masculinity x Femininity interaction indicated that P's preferred androgynous partners over gender-typed partners and feminine-typed over masculine-typed partners. Undifferentiated partners were least preferred.

8 A Commitment x Income interaction indicated that P's preferred high- commitment/low-income partners over low-commitment/high-income partners.

9 The Commitment x Attractiveness interaction indicated that P's preferred high- commitment/average-looking partners over low-commitment/good-looking partners.

10 Conclusions Attractiveness and income influenced partner choice, but neither was as important as personality or commitment. Thus, these gay, lesbian and bisexual respondents placed much greater value on intrinsic qualities of potential partners (personality and commitment) than on extrinsic qualities (attractiveness and income). Contrary to stereotypes, participants preferred high-commitment over low-commitment partners, even when the low-commitment partners were more attractive and had higher incomes. Heterosexuals and homosexuals appear to be more alike than different in the qualities emphasized in partner choices. The above results replicate those obtained from a heterosexual sample (Hoover & Arkkelin, 2002) These results corroborate research suggesting commonalities in homosexual and heterosexual relationships (Peplau & Spalding, 2000; Kurdek, 2000).

11 References Hoover, G. & Arkkelin, D. (2002). Cant Buy Me Love: Effects of Masculinity, Femininity, Commitment, Attractiveness, and Income on Friendship, Dating, and Marriage Choices of Men and Women. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago. Kurdek, L. A. (2000). Attractions and constraints as determinants of relationship commitment: Longitudinal evidence from gay, lesbian and heterosexual couples. Personal Relationships, 7, Peplau, L. A. & Spalding, L. R. (2000). The close relationships of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals. In C. Hendrick & S. S. Hendrick (Eds.), Close relationships: A sourcebook (pp ). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Testa, R. J., Kinder, B. N., & Ironson, G. (1987). Heterosexual bias in the perception of loving relationships of gay males and lesbians. Journal of Sex Research, 23,

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