Posts Tagged: Mating

Feb 10

Sex, Status, and Vertical

From the Boston Globe….

When describing positions of relative status, people often use adjectives related to height, as in “top choice,” “up the food chain,” or “high end.” A recent study finds that this association even extends to judgments about the attractiveness of the opposite sex. Women rated pictures of men as more attractive when they were presented in the top half of a screen. Men, however, rated pictures of women as more attractive when they were presented in the bottom half of a screen. The authors see this as consistent with the evolutionary view that men prefer submissive mates, while women prefer dominant ones.

From "Downright Sexy: Verticality, Implicit Power, and Perceived Physical Attractiveness", by Brian P. Meier and Sarah Dionne….

Abstract text

Grounded theory proposes that abstract concepts (e.g., power) are represented by perceptions of vertical space (e.g., up is powerful; down is powerless). We used this theory to examine predictions made by evolutionary psychologists who suggest that desirable males are those who have status and resources (i.e., powerful) while desirable females are those who are youthful and faithful (i.e., powerless). Using vertical position as an implicit cue for power, we found that male participants rated pictures of females as more attractive when their images were presented near the bottom of a computer screen, whereas female participants rated pictures of males as more attractive when their images were presented near the top of a computer screen. Our results support the evolutionary theory of attraction and reveal the social-judgment consequences of grounded theories of cognition.

It’s too bad the study only tested a people from a very limited group….

Participants were 79 Gettysburg College students with a mean age of 19.03 (SD = 1.09) years. Of these participants: 29 were male and 50 participants were female; 75 participants identified themselves as Caucasian, two identified themselves as Asian, and two identified themselves as “other.”


Jan 10

Women Seem More Sexually Attractive To Their Male Date When They Mimic Them

An interesting study from Nicolas Gueacuteguen. Seems women who subtly mimic the words and body language of their dates will seem more sexually attractive to their males dates.

Mimicry and seduction: An evaluation in a courtship context

Author: Nicolas Gueacuteguen


Recent studies have found that mimicking the verbal and nonverbal behavior of strangers enhances their liking of the individual who mimicked them. An experiment was carried out in two bars during six sessions of speed dating for which young women confederates volunteered to mimic or not some verbal expressions and nonverbal behaviors of a man for 5 minutes. Data revealed that the men evaluated the dating interaction more positively when the woman mimicked them, and that mimicry was associated with a higher evaluation score of the relation and the sexual attractiveness of the woman. Mimicry appears to influence perceptions of physical attributes in addition to personal and social attributes.

(Emphasis mine.)