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Effects of Sexual Permissiveness on Desirability of Partner as a Function of Low and High Commitment to Relationship

Mary Beth Oliver and Constantine Sedikides
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 55, No. 3 (Sep., 1992), pp. 321-333
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786800
Page Count: 13
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Abstract

We conducted two experiments to examine the predictions of the double standard and the evolutinary perspectives concerning the role of sexual permissiveness in desirability of partner at different levels of perceived commitment to relationship. Subjects reported their desired level of sexual permissiveness foreither a low- or a high-commitment partner (Experiment 1), and evaluated the dating and the marriage desirability of either a permissive or a nonpermissive target person (Experiment 2). Females preferred low levels of sexual permissiveness for both low- and high-commitment partners, and rated permissive targets lower than nonpermissive targets on both dating and marriage desirability. Males also preferred low levels of sexual permissiveness for committed partners, and rated permissive targets lower on marriage desirability. Males, however, preferred higher levels of sexual permissiveness for low-commitment partners, and rated permissive targets higher on dating desirability. The results were consistent with both the double standard and the evolutionary perspective.

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