Marco Del Giudice
(o) Sex differences in romantic avoidance and anxiety are reliable but typically small.
(o) Larger differences may emerge at the level of narrower attachment facets.
(o) The Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR) questionnaire contains 5 facets.
(o) In two US and Italian samples, larger sex differences emerged at the facet level.
(o) These findings open the way to the study of sex differences at the facet level.
Evolutionary models predict systematic sex differences in romantic avoidance and anxiety; however, observed effect sizes are typically small. Here I explore the possibility that larger and more reliable differences may emerge at the level of narrower attachment facets. In two datasets from the US and Italy, five facets could be identified in the Experiences in Close Relationships questionnaire. As predicted, attachment facets showed larger sex differences (US: d = −.14 to .31, Italy: d = −.53 to .39) than avoidance and anxiety (US: d = .00 and −.03, Italy: d = .18 and −.40); moreover, different facets of the same dimension showed opposite-sign effects. These findings suggest that sex differences in attachment can be fruitfully investigated at the level of facets.