Sunday, March 28, 2010

cortisol, stress and men mating preferences

From the milestone paper:
"Effects of stress on human mating preferences: stressed individuals prefer dissimilar mates"
Lass-Hennemann J, Deuter CE, Kuehl LK, Schulz A, Blumenthal TD, Schachinger H. Institute of Psychobiology, University of Trier, , Trier, Germany.

"Our findings show that stress affects human mating preferences: unstressed individuals showed the expected preference for similar mates, but stressed individuals seem to prefer dissimilar mates."
"Overall, experimental evidence indicates a preference for self-resembling mates, even though there is one study that showed a preference for dissimilar mates specifically for short-term relationships (DeBruine 2005)."
"Participants were 50 male heterosexual students at the University of Trier, Germany, who responded to notices offering 25Euros for taking part in two different experiments. Participation was limited to heterosexual Caucasian students without beards, piercings or tattoos in the facial region. Furthermore, only participants with normal or corrected to normal vision and no history of hearing problems were included in the study. Participation was also limited to healthy non-smokers with body mass index in the normal range of between 20 and 25."
"Life-history theory predicts that the optimal reproductive strategy for individuals in stressful environments is to maximize current reproduction to minimize the chances of lineage extinction (Stearns 1992). A way to maximize current reproduction is to have short term relationships instead of long-term relationships, and it has been shown that individuals who experienced psychosocial stress have more short-term relationships than individuals without a history of psychosocial stress (Koehler & Chisholm 2009). Therefore, it seems likely that, in our study, stress altered men’s mating preference by making positive features of possible short-term mates (dissimilarity) more attractive than positive features of possible long-term mates (trustworthiness)."

More info about other poster/paper at eHarmonyLabs

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