If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It: Humans Flaunt Attractive Partners to Enhance Their Status and Desirability
Benjamin M Winegard et al.; 2013
Mating decisions are influenced by conspecifics’ mate choices in many species including humans. Recent research has shown that women are more attracted to men with attractive putative partners than those with less attractive partners. We integrate these findings with traditional accounts of social signaling and test five hypotheses derived from it. In our study, 64 men and 75 women were paired with attractive and unattractive opposite-sex putative partners and asked whether they would prefer to give surveys to peers or to older adults. Consistent with predictions, both men and women wanted to show off (flaunt) attractive partners by administering surveys to peers and both men and women wanted to hide (conceal) unattractive partners from peers by administering surveys to older adults. These decisions were mediated by how participants expected others to evaluate their status and desirability when they administered the surveys, consistent with partners serving a social signaling function in humans.
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