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The Effect of Same-Sex Mate Value Comparisons on Mating Aspirations

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Description: In choosing a romantic partner, people often try to match with another person of equivalent mate value, or desirability. To match successfully, one must be able to assess his own mate value accurately. Previous research has shown that romantic rejections reduce self-esteem and the resultant self-esteem is related to reduced mating aspirations in subsequent mating opportunities. The current research examined whether same sex social comparisons influence mating aspirations and whether this association is similarly mediated by state self-esteem. Using a between subject design with 54 male and 62 female participants, we provided randomized information to participants regarding his or her social comparisons on mate-relevant and mate-irrelevant dimensions. The results revealed that unfavorable, mate-relevant social comparisons result in lowered mating aspirations for women, but not for men. Additionally, there was no evidence that state self-esteem mediated this relationship. Implications and future directions are discussed.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work