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Why do men prefer nice women?
Date:7/25/2014

ess.

Sparking Sexual Desire

Participants in the second study were asked to interact with a responsive or non-responsive individual of the opposite sex, and view that individual's photo (the same photo was given to each participant). They were then asked to interact online with this individual, and discuss details on a current problem in their life. The responsiveness of the virtual individual was manipulated, for example, "You must have gone through a very difficult time" as a responsive reply, versus "Doesn't sound so bad to me" as a non-responsive reply.

Men who interacted with a responsive female individual perceived her as more feminine and as more sexually attractive than did men in the unresponsive condition. Women are more cautious than men when interpreting a stranger's expressions of responsiveness, and their perceptions of the stranger, which were seemingly unaffected by perceived responsiveness, may reflect conflicting trends among different women. "Some women, for example, may interpret responsiveness negatively and feel uncomfortable about a new acquaintance who seems to want to be close. Such feelings may impair sexual attraction to this responsive stranger. Other women may perceive a responsive stranger as warm and caring and therefore as a desirable long-term partner," Dr. Birnbaum elaborates.

The third and final study tested the possibility that responsiveness may activate motivational mechanisms for men that fuel pursuit of either short-term or long-term sexual relationship opportunities. A female partner's actual responsiveness led men to perceive her as more feminine, and consequently to feel more sexually aroused. Heightened sexual arousal, in turn, was linked to both increased perception of partner attractiveness and greater desire for a long-term relationship with that partner.

Women's Perceptions of Responsiveness

The findings of the study imply that whether a responsive partner
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Contact: Jennifer Santisi
press@spsp.org
202-524-6543
Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Source:Eurekalert

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