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Sexuality
Health & Fitness
Science
Social Sciences

The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

Updated about 24 hours ago

Sexuality
Health & Fitness
Science
Social Sciences
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Dr. Rob Burriss reveals the science behind attraction, sexuality, and beauty.

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Dr. Rob Burriss reveals the science behind attraction, sexuality, and beauty.

iTunes Ratings

61 Ratings
Average Ratings
49
7
1
2
2

Wonderful

By obtrunco - Jan 17 2019
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I'm always waiting for the next episode. Great info but scarce in frequency.

Interesting stuff

By pleaz - May 20 2017
Read more
Interesting exploration of psychology research, with funny, engaging host.

iTunes Ratings

61 Ratings
Average Ratings
49
7
1
2
2

Wonderful

By obtrunco - Jan 17 2019
Read more
I'm always waiting for the next episode. Great info but scarce in frequency.

Interesting stuff

By pleaz - May 20 2017
Read more
Interesting exploration of psychology research, with funny, engaging host.

Listen to:

Cover image of The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast

Updated about 24 hours ago

Read more

Dr. Rob Burriss reveals the science behind attraction, sexuality, and beauty.

Do high heels really enhance a woman’s sex appeal? Nov 2014

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"I’ll have what she’s having": why younger women are more prone to pursuing the partners of their peers. We also find out whether high heels really do put you one step ahead of the competition, and why women who engage in anal sex engage in anal sex. I mean seriously, why??


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Do high heels or flats make a woman more attractive? Nicolas Gueguen took to the streets of France to find out. Jake Guild/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Little, A. C., Caldwell, C. A., Jones, B. C., & DeBruine, L. M. (in press). Observer age and the social transmission of attractiveness in humans: Younger women are more influenced by the choices of popular others than older women. British Journal of Psychology. Read summary

Guéguen, N. (in press). High heels increase women’s attractiveness. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Reynolds, G. L., Fisher, D. G., & Rogala, B. (in press). Why women engage in anal intercourse: Results from a qualitative study. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Dec 12 2014

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Smiling and beauty. July 2013

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Why we prefer our partners to be more like us, and why we want to be more like our rivals. Also, new research on emotional expression and beauty that gives us all something to smile about.


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New research shows that smiling makes you more attractive than a grumpy beauty. So turn that frown upside down! Johnny Silvercloud/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Laeng, B., Vermeer, O., & Sulutvedt, U. (2013). Is beauty in the face of the beholder? PLoS One, 8(7), e68395. Read summary

Slotter, E. B., Lucas, G. M., Jakubiak, B., & Lasslett, H. (in press). Changing me to keep you: State jealousy promotes perceiving similarity between the self and a romantic rival. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Golle, J., Mast, F. W., & Lobmaier, J. S. (in press). Something to smile about: The interrelationship between attractiveness and emotional expression. Cognition & Emotion. Read summary

Aug 15 2013

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Do opposites attract? Attractiveness and differences among couples. 30 Aug 2016

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Do opposites attract? We look at two studies of couples who are different in some way. Are couple who don't match in attractiveness less trusting of another? And do couples who have different body shapes attract prejudice and discrimination?

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“Date Someone Your own Size”
♪ When You’re in Love With a Beautiful Woman (or Handsome Man)… ♫

Is your partner bigger or smaller than you, and what does this mean for your relationship? bingham30069/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Collisson, B., Howell, J. L., Rusbasan, D., & Rosenfeld, E. (in press). “Date someone your own size”: Prejudice and discrimination toward mixed-weight relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Oltmanns, J. R., Markey, P. M., & French, J. E. (in press). Dissimilarity in physical attractiveness within romantic dyads and mate retention behaviors. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Just after I posted this episode, I read about this new study by Sela and colleagues which was also really interesting: it's like the Oltmanns' mate retention study except with self-ratings of attractiveness.

Aug 30 2016

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Sexual selection in humans. Aug 2013

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In this special episode we have an extended interview about sexual selection in humans.


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Are all those muscles going to be more handy for attracting women, or beating up other men? How has sexual selection acted on male physicality?

The articles covered in the show:

Hill, A. K., Hunt, J., Welling, L. L. M., Cárdenas, R. A., Rotella, M. A., Wheatley, J. R., et al. (in press). Quantifying the strength and form of sexual selection on men's traits. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Sep 10 2013

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Oral sex, with Michael Pham. May 2013

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What is the point of oral sex? I talk to Michael Pham of Oakland University to find out. Also, do tattoos make women more or less attractive? Quick answer: it depends.


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Michael Douglas revealed today that he thinks his throat cancer might have been caused by cunnilingus. If he's right, that's one downside of oral sex. But are there other costs to weigh against the (obvious) benefits of oral sex? I speak to Michael Pham, who researches the link between oral sex and jealousy-motivated mate retention behaviours.

The articles covered in the show:

Pham, M. N., & Shackelford, T. K. (2013). Oral sex as mate retention behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 55(2), 185-188. Read summary

Pham, M. N., Shackelford, T. K., Sela, Y., & Welling, L. L. M. (2013). Is cunnilingus-assisted orgasm a male sperm-retention strategy? Evolutionary Psychology, 11(2), 405-414. Read paper

Guéguen, N. (in press). Effects of a tattoo on men’s behavior and attitudes towards women: An experimental field study. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Jun 02 2013

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Listeners' choice! Why we stay single. 11 Apr 2017

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For the first time, I hand over editorial control to you, the listeners of The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast. Supporters of the podcast on Patreon have chosen what we'll discuss in today's show. Thanks to them, we'll find out why people choose to stay single, and how sex makes men immoral.

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Why Does Anyone Stay Single?
Femme Fatale: Sexy Women Make Men do Bad Things


It wasn’t until dusk that Emma accepted her wedding day hadn’t gone exactly to plan. Bobby Bradley/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Apostolou, M. (2017). Why people stay single: An evolutionary perspective. Personality and Individual Differences, 111, 263-271. Read summary

Chiou, W.-B., Wu, W.-H., & Cheng, W. (in press). Sexy women can tempt men down the road of immorality: Exposure to sexy stimuli leads to increased dishonesty in men. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Apr 11 2017

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BONUS: The Evolutionary Psychology of Mate Preference. 18 Jul 2017

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Earlier this year I posted a bonus episode featuring contributions from students in my undergraduate seminar here at Basel University. It proved to be one of the more popular episodes of the podcast. This semester I taught a masters level class on the evolutionary psychology of mate preference and, again, gave the students the task of summarising the research papers they found most interesting for a special bonus episode. As before, most of the students are not native English speakers, nor have they recorded audio before. I am super grateful they agreed to be a part of the podcast (especially after I freaked them out by telling them how many people listened to the previous bonus episode!).

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Mittlere Rheinbruecke, Basel. Mariano Mantel/Flickr

The articles covered in the show (in order of appearance):

Sebastiaan:
Singh, D. & Luis, S. (1995). Ethnic and gender consensus for the effect of waist-to-hip ratio on judgment of women's attractiveness. Human Nature, 6(1), 51-65. Read summary

Elena:
Olderbak, S. G., Malter, F., Wolf, P. S. A., Jones, D. N., & Figueredo, A. J. (2017). Predicting romantic interest at zero acquaintance: Evidence of sex differences in trait perception but not in predictors of interest. European Journal of Personality, 31(1), 42-62. Read summary

Lara:
Ha, T., van den Berg, J. E. M., Engels, R. C. M. E., & Lichtwarck-Aschoff, A. (2012). Effects of attractiveness and status in dating desire in homosexual and heterosexual men and women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 41(3), 673-682. Read summary

Babice:
Dixson, B. J., Vasey, P. L., Sagata, K., Sibanda, N., Linklater, W. L., & Dixson, A. F. (2011). Men’s preferences for women’s breast morphology in New Zealand, Samoa, and Papua New Guinea. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 40(6), 1271-1279. Read summary

Katrin:
Sherlock, J. M., Sidari, M. J., Harris, E. A., Barlow, F. K., & Zietsch, B. P. (2016). Testing the mate-choice hypothesis of the female orgasm: Disentangling traits and behaviours. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 6(1), 31562. Read summary

Sabrina:
Wlodarski, R., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2013). Menstrual cycle effects on attitudes to kissing. Human Nature, 24(4), 402-413. Read summary

Natascha:
Tracy, J. L., & Beall, A. T. (2014). The impact of weather on women’s tendency to wear red or pink when at high risk for conception. PLoS One, 9(2), e88852. Read summary

Antonia:
Krems, J. A., Neel, R., Neuberg, S. L., Puts, D. A., & Kenrick, D. T. (2016). Women selectively guard their (desirable) mates from ovulating women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110(4), 551-573. Read summary

Samuele:
Perrett, D. I., Lee, K. J., Penton-Voak, I. S., Rowland, D. R., Yoshikawa, S., Burt, D. M., et al. (1998). Effects of sexual dimorphism on facial attractiveness. Nature, 394, 884-887. Read summary

James:
Dixson, B. J., & Brooks, R. C. (2013). The role of facial hair in women's perceptions of men's attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities. Evolution and Human Behavior, 34(3), 236-241. Read summary

Sebastian:
Lefevre, C. E., & Perrett, D. I. (2015). Fruit over sunbed: Carotenoid skin coloration is found more attractive than melanin coloration. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 68(2), 284-293. Read summary

Denise:
Kaufman, S. B., Kozbelt, A., Silvia, P., Kaufman, J. C., Ramesh, S., & Feist, G. J. (2016). Who finds Bill Gates sexy? Creative mate preferences as a function of cognitive ability, personality, and creative achievement. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 50(4), 294-307. Read summary

Julia:
Apostelou, M., Kasapi, K., & Arakliti, A. (2015). Will they do as we wish? An investigation of the effectiveness of parental manipulation of mating behavior. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 1(1), 28-36. Read summary

Tita:
DeBruine, L. M., Jones, B. C., & Little, A. C. (2017). Positive sexual imprinting for human eye color. bioRxiv, 135244. Read summary

Jul 18 2017

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Diet and desire: How the food we eat influences odour and attraction. 17 Nov 2015

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Diet and desire: Why you and your partner shouldn't turn your nose up at garlic, and how men get greedy when there's a woman in the room. Also, since it's #AntiBullyingWeek, we also find out why bullying may be a mating tactic.

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Another Slice of Pizza, Darling?
Eating Garlic Combats Body Odor!
Do Bullies Want Love, Not War?


Men eat more pizza when in the company of women. Louise Ma / WNYC

The articles covered in the show:

Fialová, J., Roberts, S. C., & Havlíček, J. (in press). Consumption of garlic positively affects hedonic perception of axillary body odour. Appetite. Read summary

Kniffin, K. M., Sigirci, O., & Wansink, B. (in press). Eating heavily: Men eat more in the company of women. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Volk, A. A., Dane, A. V., Marini, Z. A., & Vaillancourt, T. (in press). Adolescent bullying, dating, and mating: Testing an evolutionary hypothesis. Evolutionary Psychology. Read summary

Nov 17 2015

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Overconfidence: When we think we're more attractive than we are. 14 Jul 2015

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Many of us wish we were more confident, but is self-assuredness or arrogance attractive? Is it possible to be overconfident when it comes to love? And is there a male propensity to overestimate how attractive we are to women? We find out in this episode.

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Participate in my research! The psychology of fail videos (women only) How do you help others?

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Are We Attracted to Arrogance?
Do Men Overestimate Women’s Sexual Interest?

Don Draper is the epitome of the overconfident man. But do women find overconfident (or arrogant) men attractive?

The articles covered in the show:

Murphy, S. C., von Hippel, W., Dubbs, S. L., Angilletta Jr., M. J., Wilson, R. S., Trivers, R., et al. (in press). The role of overconfidence in romantic desirability and competition. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Perilloux, C., Muñoz-Reyes, J. A., Turiegano, E., Kurzban, R., & Pita, M. (in press). Do (non-American) men overestimate women’s sexual intentions? Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Jul 14 2015

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Detecting infidelity, with Samantha Leivers. 22 Sep 2015

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Can men detect if a woman is a cheater? I talk to Samantha Leivers of the University of Western Australia about her new research on appearance and faithfulness. More about Samantha on LinkedIn and ResearchGate.

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Maybe if Richard Gere had been able to detect Diane Lane's cheating ways in her face, he would have avoided a lot of grief...

The articles covered in the show:

Leivers, S., Simmons, L. W., & Rhodes, G. (2015). Men’s sexual faithfulness judgments may contain a kernel of truth. PLoS One, 10(8), e0134007. Read paper

Sep 22 2015

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Are clever women attractive? 27 Sep 2016

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Men are more attractive if they are intelligent, but what do smarts do for feminine appeal? We also find out whether physically attractive women are more interested in short-term flings or serious long-term relationships.

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Are Men Attracted to Clever Women?
Are Attractive Women More Interested in Flings?

Are smarter women more attractive? Nottingham Trent University/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Karbowski, A., Deja, D., & Zawisza, M. (2016). Perceived female intelligence as economic bad in partner choice. Personality and Individual Differences, 102, 217-222. View summary

Fisher, C. I., Hahn, A. C., DeBruine, L. M., & Jones, B. C. (2016). Is women's sociosexual orientation related to their physical attractiveness? Personality and Individual Differences, 101, 396-399. View summary

Sep 27 2016

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Killing the 'thin ideal'. Jan 2015

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Why do women have sex? We find out, using the YSEX? questionnaire. Also, how to stop the ‘thin ideal’ messing with our minds. And forget Star Wars - it’s time for Sperm Wars: are men turned on by pornography that depicts ‘sperm competition’?


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Why Do Women Have Sex?
How to Kill the Thin Ideal
What Kind of Porn do Men Prefer?

Most women in the media are skinny, and consumers are taking this 'thin ideal' to heart. But what happens if we tell them that men prefer larger women?

The articles covered in the show:

Armstrong, H. L., & Reissing, E. D. (in press). Women’s motivations to have sex in casual and committed relationships with male and female partners. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Meltzer, A. L., & McNulty, J. K. (in press). Telling women that men desire women with bodies larger than the thin-ideal improves women’s body satisfaction. Social Psychological and Personality Science. Read summary

Prokop, P. (2015). Perception of intensity of sperm competition on the part of males. Personality and Individual Differences, 76, 99-103. Read summary

Jan 28 2015

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Perfume and pheromones: The attractiveness of odor. 31 May 2016

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We discover why beauty is in the nose of the beholder in this odor special. We'll find out whether spraying scented deodorant all over your body can make your smell more masculine or feminine, and we'll also learn if a man's whole mating psychology is turned topsy turvy when he catches a whiff of female pheromones.

Also, this is episode 100 of the podcast so if you want to send me lots of gifts then go right ahead.

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Perfume and Pheromones: Why Beauty is in the Nose of the Beholder

Scents -- whether natural or artificial -- can influence what we find attractive and even how we see ourselves. J. Sibiga/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Allen, C., Cobey, K. D., Havlíček, J., & Roberts, S. C. (in press). The impact of artificial fragrances on the assessment of mate quality cues in body odor. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Williams, M. N., & Jacobson, A. (2016). Effect of copulins on rating of female attractiveness, mate-guarding, and self-perceived sexual desirability. Evolutionary Psychology, 14(2). Read summary

May 31 2016

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Why do we cuddle? Oct 2012

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This month, we find out how the menstrual cycle influences competition and cooperation and why women’s sexual interest takes a nosedive after childbirth. We also ask the question: what’s the point of cuddling? Does it make us feel closer to our partner, or is it just a stepping stone to sex?


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"Ah, a nice cuddle. Cuddles are lovely. Not as lovely as sex, obviously..." Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

van Anders, S. M., Edelstein, R. S., Wade, R. M., & Samples-Steele, C. R. (in press). Descriptive experiences and sexual vs. nurturant aspects of cuddling between adult romantic partners. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Rupp, H. A., James, T. W., Ketterson, E. D., Sengelaub, D. R., Ditzen, B., & Heiman, J. R. (in press). Lower sexual interest in postpartum women: Relationship to amygdala activation and intranasal oxytocin. Hormones and Behavior. Read summary

Lucas, M., & Koff, E. (in press). How conception risk affects competition and cooperation with attractive women and men. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Nov 02 2012

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Attraction to opposite-sex friends. 26 Jul 2016

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Something more than friends. We look at three new studies on attraction to opposite-sex friends. How do men and women differ in their attraction to friends? And can you make a friend fall in love with you by falling in love with them first?

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Why are we Attracted to Friends?

What a sickeningly cheerful bunch of friends. No doubt they are having lots of sex with each other, and we can only hope that the group will soon implode in a spiral of jealousy.Miguel Angel/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Bleske-Rechek, A., Joseph, W. E., Williquette, H., & Donovan, B. (in press). Sex differences in young adults' attraction to opposite-sex friends: Natural sampling versus mental concepts. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read paper

Lemay Jr., E. P., & Wolf, N. R. (2016). Projection of romantic and sexual desire in opposite-sex friendships: How wishful thinking creates a self-fulfilling prophecy. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 42(7), 864-878. Read summary

Mogilski, J. K. & L. L. M. Welling (in press). Staying friends with an ex: Sex and dark personality traits predict motivations for post-relationship friendship. Personality and Individual Differences. Read summary

Jul 26 2016

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Head tilt and allure, with Danielle Sulikowski. 20 Oct 2015

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Head posture: Does tilting your noggin like a bobble-head doll make you more or less alluring? I talk to Danielle Sulikowski.

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Does tilting her head make this woman more attractive? Or does she just look like her bonce is about to snap off at the hinge?

The articles covered in the show:

Burke, D., & Sulikowski, D. (2010). A new viewpoint on the evolution of sexually dimorphic human faces. Evolutionary Psychology, 8(4), 147470491000800404. Read summary

Sulikowski, D., Burke, D., Havlíček, J., & Roberts, S. C. (in press). Head tilt and fertility contribute to different aspects of female facial attractiveness. Ethology. Read summary

Oct 20 2015

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Is blonde hair attractive because it's rare? Oct 2014

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Is blonde and red hair attractive because of how it looks, or because it’s rare? Also, “my genes made me do it”: can men (or women) blame their cheating ways on their genetic inheritance? And we also continue last month’s foray into the murky world of mate-poaching, and discover the differences between the sexes when it comes to detecting potential partner pilferers.


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Some have theorised that red and blonde hair is attractive because it is rare. New research by Zinnia Janif tests this idea. Image credit: qsimple on flickr.com

The articles covered in the show:

Janif, Z. J., Brooks, R. C., & Dixson, B. J. (in press). Are preferences for women's hair color frequency-dependent? Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology. Read summary

Ein-Dor, T., Perry, A., Hirschberger, G., Birnbaum, G. E., & Deutsch, D. (in press). Coping with mate poaching: gender differences in detection of infidelity-related threats. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Zietsch, B. P., Westberg, L., Santtila, P., & Jern, P. (in press). Genetic analysis of human extrapair mating: Heritability, between-sex correlation, and receptor genes for vasopressin and oxytocin. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Oct 28 2014

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Sex and drugs: How substance abuse affects your love life. 20 Dec 2016

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Sex and drugs: Does taking illicit substances affect your mating success? We also find out how a dose of testosterone influences what men find attractive.

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Sex & Drugs: Can Substance Use Enhance Your Love Life?
How Testosterone Affects What Men Find Attractive

Does taking drugs make you a goddamn sexual tyrannosaurus? Niyantha Shekar/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Richardson, G. B., Chen, C.-C., Dai, C.-L., Swoboda, C. M., Nedelec, J. L., & Chen, W.-W. (in press). Substance use and mating success. Evolution and Human Behavior. View summary

Bird, B. M., Welling, L. L. M., Ortiz, T. L., Moreau, B. J. P., Hansen, S., Emond, M., . . . Carré, J. M. (in press). Effects of exogenous testosterone and mating context on men's preferences for female facial femininity. Hormones and Behavior. View summary

Dec 20 2016

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FGM and penis length: genitals, attraction, and desire. 28 Jun 2016

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In this episode, how do our genitals affect the psychology of attraction and sex? We look at new research on female genital mutilation and its effects on women's sexuality, and find out whether a woman is more likely to experience an orgasm if her man has a longer than average penis.

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Do Women Have More Orgasms if their Sex Partner has a Longer than Average Penis?
Does FGM Make Women Less Interested in Sex?

Watch out, mate. You’ll have someone’s eye out. Enrique Lin/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Booksmythe, I., Head, M. L., Keogh, J. S., & Jennions, M. D. (in press). Fitness consequences of artificial selection on relative male genital size. Nature Communications, 7, 11597. Read summary

Drasa Jr., K. M., & Vasili, V. (2016). Which female prefer longer penises? International Journal of Science and Research, 5(5), 108-111.

Onyishi, I. E., Prokop, P., Okafor, C. O., & Pham, M. N. (2016). Female genital cutting restricts sociosexuality among the Igbo people of Southeast Nigeria. Evolutionary Psychology, 14(2). Read summary

Jun 28 2016

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Beautiful people live in beautiful homes. March 2014

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Is our attractiveness influenced by the rugs on our floors or the art on our walls? Are we more jealous when we're surrounded by people of the same or opposite sex? And we discover why younger fathers have better looking kids.


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Are people more attractive if they are photographed in a luxury apartment, rather than a standard $40 a week rat-hole with no functioning internet? New research by Michael Dunn of Cardiff Metropolitan University suggests the answer is yes: but only if you're a man.

The articles covered in the show:

Arnocky, S., Ribout, A., Mirza, R. S., & Knack, J. M. (2014). Perceived mate availability influences intrasexual competition, jealousy and mate-guarding behavior. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 12(1), 45-64. Read summary

Dunn, M. J., & Hill, A. (2014). Manipulated luxury-apartment ownership enhances opposite-sex attraction in females but not males. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 12(1), 1-17. Read summary

Huber, S., & Fielder, M. (in press). Advanced paternal age is associated with lower facial attractiveness. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Apr 07 2014

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EHBEA 2019: conference special. 15 July 2019

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This month, The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast bows out with a special from the European Human Behavior and Evolution Association Conference in Toulouse! Thanks for listening, everyone: it's been real.

I speak to Ayten Yeşim Semchenko about how men and women choose partners when they have limited information about their romantic prospects; to Linda Lidborg about the possible links between a father's testosterone levels and the sexual behaviour of his adolescent offspring; and to Lucie Kuncová about whether we 'imprint' on our parents' odour and later find people with a similar odour more attractive.

Yeşim mentioned a study I covered on the podcast a few years ago, about whether people can judge the attractiveness of others just by looking at the back of their heads. Here is a link to the transcript of that episode.

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The sun sets in Toulouse, and on The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast. Flickr/Maxime Bober

Jul 15 2019

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Breakin' up is hard to do: the final regular episode of The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast. 16 Apr 2019

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This month, we interrogate the psychology of the faithful and the faithless. Why do some people pass up the opportunity to cheat on their partners? And, when people do cheat, how do they justify their behaviour?

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8 Reasons Not to Cheat
“It Didn’t Mean Anything.”

It's never the right time to leave. Freestocks.

The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast: 2009-2019
This month's episode marks the 10th anniversary of the podcast, and will also be the final regular episode. I started The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast exactly 10 years ago, in April 2009. When I began, I had no endpoint in mind. Neither did I think that 10 years later I would still be doing it. If I cast my mind back to the spring of 2009, I remember assuming that I would continue with the podcast until I started lecturing.

However, my career took a different path: a succession of fixed-term teaching and research posts has taken me from America, back to England, to Scotland, and now to Switzerland. Although I sometimes teach and supervise students, my workload never shot up overnight as I expected it would. This meant that the day never arrived when it was obvious I had to stop.

The approaching anniversary has presented me with the opportunity to reflect on how far the podcast has come and where I want it to go from here. More people are listening to the podcast now than ever. I still enjoy choosing research to talk about and recording and editing each show. But I have realised that I no longer have enough time to devote to The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast.

I would like to spend more time thinking and writing, without the pressure to put out a podcast every four weeks. I am sure this will be disappointing to many of you who have been listening to the podcast for a long time. I want to thank you for sticking with me. I will continue to write about the psychology of attraction, and you will be able to read my blogs here.

I also hope you'll stay subscribed to the podcast: although I will no longer post regular monthly episodes, I will occasionally put out special episodes. The first of these will appear in your feed next month, and will feature interviews from the European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association Conference in Toulouse.

Until then, thanks for listening to The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast!

The articles covered in the show:

Apostelou, M., & Panayiotou, R. (2019). The reasons that prevent people from cheating on their partners: an evolutionary account of the propensity not to cheat. Personality and Individual Differences, 146, 34-40. Read summary

Warach, B., Josephs, L., & Gorman, B. S. (in press). Are cheaters sexual hypocrites? Sexual hypocrisy, the self-serving bias, and personality style. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Apr 16 2019

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Faking orgasm: who fakes and why? 19 Mar 2019

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This month, we investigate faking orgasm. Who fakes orgasms, and why? We also find out how men and women weigh up the relative importance of facial and bodily attractiveness in a partner.

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Faking Orgasm: Who Fakes and Why?
Face or Body: Which Traits Attract a Partner for Committed or Brief Relationships?

Look like they're having fun. But are they just faking it? Flickr/Jessica Wüst

The articles covered in the show:

Jonason, P. K. (2019). Reasons to pretend to orgasm and the mating psychology of those who endorse them. Personality and Individual Differences, 143, 90-94. Read summary

Zaidi, A. A., White, J. D., Mattern, B. C., Liebowitz, C. R., Puts, D. A., Claes, P., et al. (in press). Facial masculinity does not appear to be a condition-dependent male ornament and does not reflect MHC heterozygosity in humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read summary

Mar 19 2019

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Oxytocin and mate choice. 19 Feb 2019

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In this month's episode we look at how men and women's partner preferences are affected by a dose of oxytocin, aka "the love hormone". We'll also find out whether germophobes are more or less likely to pursue short-term relationships.

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Disgust and Short-Term Relationships
Oxytocin and Mate-Choice

How does oxytocin affect men and women's partner preferences? Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Al-Shawaf, L., Lewis, D. M. G., Ghossainy, M. E., & Buss, D. M. (in press). Experimentally inducing disgust reduces desire for short-term mating. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Xu, L., Becker, B., Luo, R., Zheng, X., Zhao, W., Zhang, Q., et al. (2018). Oxytocin amplifies sex differences in human mate choice. BioRxiv. Read preprint

Feb 19 2019

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Make up and cosmetic surgery. 22 Jan 2019

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I'm back after a holiday break to look at the psychology of appearance enhancement: what does our use of cosmetics say about us to other people? This episode also features an interview with Matthew Vazquez of California State University San Bernardino, who presented his research exploring the complexities of mate attraction at the 2018 HBES conference.

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What do People Think of Women Who Use Cosmetics and Cosmetic Surgery?

Does the use of make up, and other efforts at appearance enhancement, affect how we are seen by others? Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Bradshaw, H. K., Profitt Leyva, R., Nicolas, S. C. A., & Hill, S. E. (2019). Costly female appearance-enhancement provides cues of short-term mating effort: The case of cosmetic surgery. Personality and Individual Differences, 138, 48-55. Read summary

DelPriore, D. J., Bradshaw, H. K., & Hill, S. E. (2018). Appearance enhancement produces a strategic beautification penalty among women. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 12(4), 348-366. Read summary

Vazquez, M., Cisneros, A., & Goetz, C. (2018). Mate value discrepancies and relationship satisfaction in heterosexual and non-heterosexual romantic relationships. Poster presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference.

Jan 22 2019

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Fertility and health: is beauty a cue? 27 Nov 2018

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Why are we attracted to attractive people? Perhaps because evolution has shaped us to seek healthy and fertile partners. But is beauty really linked to biological fitness? We find out. This episode also features an interview with Kai Hiraishi of Keio University, who presented his research on men's over-perception of women's sexual intent at this summer's HBES conference.

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Does an Hourglass Figure Really Signal Fertility?
Does Beauty Signal Health?

Are attractive people healthier and more fertile? Previous assumptions are being overturned. Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Cai, Z., Hahn, A. C., Zhang, W., Holzleitner, I. J., Lee, A. J., DeBruine, L. M., et al. (in press). No evidence that facial attractiveness, femininity, averageness, or coloration are cues to susceptibility to infectious illnesses in a university sample of young adult women. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Hiraishi, K., Kawahata, Y., Nomura, K., & Shigematsu, H. (2018). Women's perception of men's overperception of women's sexual-intent and what she says she really wants. Poster presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference.

Lassek, W. B., & Gaulin, S. J. C. (in press). Do the low WHRs and SMIs judged most attractive indicate higher fertility? Evolutionary Psychology. Read summary

Nov 27 2018

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Sex with an ex. 30 Oct 2018

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This month, is pursuing sex with an ex likely to help or hinder your recovery from a breakup? And we find out why a team of psychologists from Michigan brought volunteers to their lab to look at a rabbit and a snake. This episode also features an interview with Vicky Leigh of Glasgow University, who presented her research on sexual imprinting at the recent HBES conference.

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Sex with an Ex: Good or Bad for Breakup Recovery?
The Snake and the Rabbit: Animal Influences on Human Mate Choice


Would looking at this rabbit (or a snake) affect what you find attractive in a partner? freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Leigh, V., Jones, B., & DeBruine, L. (2018). Bisexual women show positive sexual imprinting on the partner-sex parent for eye colour. Poster presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference.

Reeve, S. D., Mogilski, J. K., & Welling, L. L. M. (in press). Environmental safety threat alters mate choice processes in humans: further evidence for the Environmental Security Hypothesis. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Spielmann, S. S., Joel, S., & Impett, E. A. (in press). Pursuing sex with an ex: does it hinder breakup recovery? Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Oct 30 2018

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Sex smells. 25 Sep 2018

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This month we sniff out the link between sex and a sense of smell, and we'll ask: how much should a engagement ring really cost?

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How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring?
Sex Smells

If you need to get this close to sniff out a partner, you should get your nose tested. Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Bendas, J., Hummel, T., & Croy, I. (in press). Olfactory function relates to sexual experience in adults. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Cloud, J. M., & Taylor, M. H. (in press). The effect of mate value discrepancy on hypothetical engagement ring purchases. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Sep 25 2018

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Straight men who hookup with other men. 28 Aug 2018

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In this month's episode we look at sexuality: why do people who identify as straight sometimes hookup with partners of the same gender? We'll also find out if straight men prefer women who are attracted to other women. This episode also features an interview with Sydni Huxman of Kansas State University, who presented her research on backup partners at the recent HBES conference.

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Straight Man Seeks… Who?

Can men and women identify as straight but still hookup with same-gender partners? Joanna Malinowska/Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Apostelou, M., Wang, Y., & O, J. (2018). Do men prefer women who are attracted to women? A cross-cultural evolutionary investigation. Personality and Individual Differences, 135, 31-39. Read summary

Huxman, S. A. J., Brandner, J. L., & Brase, G. L. (2018). Friends with potential benefits: Exploring the relationships between individual differences and backup mates. Poster presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference.

Kuperberg, A., & Walker, A. (2018). Heterosexual college students who hookup with same-sex partners. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(5), 1387-1403. Read summary

Aug 28 2018

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Dirty jokes and age differences. 31 Jul 2018

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This month I tell some dirty and clean jokes: whether or not you laugh may say something about the kind of relationship that suits you best. We'll also find out why some of us are uneasy with relationships between people with a big age difference. And, in the first of my interviews from the recent Human Behavior and Evolution Society conference in Amsterdam, I speak with Dr. Anthony Lee of Glasgow University about his research on internet dating.

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Why do People Condemn Age-Discrepant Relationships?
Is a Dirty Joke a Good Chat Up Line?

His joke may have been filthier than a sack of compost, but it sure was funny. Brian Wolfe/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Lee, A. (2018). Investigating mate preferences through a data-driven analysis of online personal descriptions. Paper presented at the Human Behavior and Evolution Society Annual Conference.

Medlin, M. M., Brown, M., & Sacco, D. F. (2018). That's what she said! Perceived mate value of clean and dirty humor displays. Personality and Individual Differences, 135, 192-200. Read summary

Sela, Y., Pham, M. N., Mogilski, J. K., Lopes, G. S., Shackelford, T. K., & Zeigler-Hill, V. (2018). Why do people disparage May–December romances? Condemnation of age-discrepant romantic relationships as strategic moralization. Personality and Individual Differences, 130, 6-10. Read summary

Jul 31 2018

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Dating apps and sociosexuality. 03 Jul 2018

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In this month's episode we look at dating apps, and how the way we interact with them is influenced by our sociosexuality (aka our willingness to engage in casual sex).

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Dating Apps and Mating Strategies

Does our 'sociosexuality' affect how we behave on dating apps, like Tinder? Freestocks.

The articles covered in the show:

Botnen, E. O., Bendixen, M., Grøntvedt, T. V., & Kennair, L. E. O. (2018). Individual differences in sociosexuality predict picture-based mobile dating app use. Personality and Individual Differences, 131, 67-73. Read summary

Hallam, L., De Backer, C. J. S., Fisher, M. L., & Walrave, M. (in press). Are sex differences in mating strategies overrated? Sociosexual orientation as a dominant predictor in online dating strategies. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Jul 03 2018

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Replication crisis: Does the menstrual cycle really affect what women find attractive? 05 Jun 2018

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It can't have failed to escape you that psychology is in the midst of a replication crisis. Research findings previously thought to be solid and reliable have proven anything but, as teams of independent researchers have tried -- and failed -- to repeat the original experiments.

On The Psychology of Attractiveness Podcast I might be guilty of focussing too much on the most exciting new findings: findings that may or may not be supported by later research. So in this episode we'll look at a few replication studies that have recently called into question effects that we've talked about before on the show. Are women's partner preferences influenced by their menstrual cycle or hormonal contraceptives? We'll find out.

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The Replication Crisis: New Research on Human Attraction

"Hi, did you hear? The results of your PhD thesis have been overturned OK byeee!" Freestocks.org

The articles covered in the show:

Jern, P., Kärnä, A., Hujanen, J., Erlin, T., Gunst, A., Rautaheimo, H., et al. (in press). A high-powered replication study finds no effect of starting or stopping hormonal contraceptive use on relationship quality. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Jones, B. C., Hahn, A. C., Fisher, A. D., Wang, H., Kandrik, M., Han, C., et al. (2017). No compelling evidence that preferences for facial masculinity track changes in women's hormonal status. bioRxiv. Read paper

Jünger, J., Kordsmeyer, T. L., Gerlach, T. M., & Penke, L. (2018). Fertile women evaluate male bodies as more attractive, regardless of masculinity. PsyArXiv. Read paper

Jünger, J., Motta-Mena, N. V., Cárdenas, R. A., Bailey, D. H., Rosenfeld, K., Schild, C., et al. (2018). Do women's preferences for masculine voices shift across the ovulatory cycle? PsyArXiv. Read summary

Marcinkowska, U., Hahn, A. C., Little, A. C., DeBruine, L. M., & Jones, B. C. (2018). No evidence that women using oral contraceptives have weaker preferences for masculine characteristics in men’s faces. Read paper

Jun 05 2018

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Loving the one you're with. 08 May 2018

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This month, how to love the one you're with. We find out why we prefer to stick with the partner we know than ditching them for someone new. We'll also discover how controlling our wandering eyes can keep our relationships strong.

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The Danger of a Wandering Eye
Loving the One You’re With


Why do we stick with our partners, despite temptations to stray? Joanna Malinowska/Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Gunaydin, G., Selcuk, E., Yilmaz, C., & Hazen, C. (in press). I have, therefore I love: status quo preference in mate choice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

McNulty, J. K., Meltzer, A. L., Makhanova, A., & Maner, J. K. (in press). Attentional and evaluative biases help people maintain relationships by avoiding infidelity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Read summary

May 08 2018

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Ghosting and deceptive affection. 10 Apr 2018

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What type of person is likely to give up the ghost and leave their partners without warning? We also investigate deceptive affection: is it an effective tactic for keeping a relationship strong?

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Deceptive Affection: Expressing More Love for a Partner Than we Feel
Ghosting: Why Some End Relationships by Disappearing

Does it matter if affection is real or a deception? Joanna Malinowska/Freestocks

The articles covered in the show:

Freedman, G., Powell, D. N., Le, B., & Williams, K. D. (in press). Ghosting and destiny: Implicit theories of relationships predict beliefs about ghosting. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Redlick, M. H., & Vangeslisti, A. L. (in press). Affection, deception, and evolution: deceptive affectionate messages as mate retention behaviors. Evolutionary Psychology. Read summary

Apr 10 2018

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Money, honour, and sexual coercion. 13 Mar 2018

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Sexual aggression is a serious subject, and one we should strive to better understand. In this episode, we find out why some men retaliate aggressively when they are rejected. We also learn about the links between sexual coercion, money, and risk-tasking; and how college students rebuff unwanted sexual advances.

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Why Do Some Men Respond Aggressively When Rejected?
Saying No to Sex
Impulsivity and Sexual Coercion

New research reveals a link between impulsive finanicial decision-making and sexual coercion in college-aged men. kris krüg/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Carrier Emond, F., Gagnon, J., Nolet, K., Cyr, G., & Rouleau, J.-L. (in press). What money can't buy: different patterns in decision making about sex and money predict past sexual coercion perpetration. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Marcantonio, T. L., Jozkowski, K. N., & Lo, W.-J. (in press). Beyond “just saying no”: a preliminary evaluation of strategies college students use to refuse sexual activity. Archives of Sexual Behavior. Read summary

Stratmoen, E., Greer, M. M., Martens, A. L., & Saucier, D. A. (2018). What, I′m not good enough for you? Individual differences in masculine honor beliefs and the endorsement of aggressive responses to romantic rejection. Personality and Individual Differences, 123, 151-162. Read summary

Mar 13 2018

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Are personal values attractive? Listeners' choice! 13 Feb 2018

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This month we have a pair of studies chosen by Patreon supporters of the podcast. We find out if bullies have more sex, and whether a person's physical attractiveness or personal values better explain their appeal as a long-term partner.

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Bullying and the Mating Motive
Social Values: How to Attract a Long-Term Partner

Are they attracted by appearance or by attitudes and values? Joanna Malinowska/Freestocks.org

The articles covered in the show:

Lopes, G. S., Barbaro, N., Sela, Y., Jeffery, A. J., Pham, M. N., Shackelford, T. K., et al. (2017). Endorsement of social and personal values predicts the desirability of men and women as long-term-partners. Evolutionary Psychology, 15(4). Read summary

Provenzano, D. A., Dane, A. V., Farrell, A. H., Marini, Z. A., & Volk, A. A. (in press). Do bullies have more sex? The role of personality. Evolutionary Psychological Science. Read summary

Feb 13 2018

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Cheaters: Predicting and responding to a partner's infidelity. 16 Jan 2018

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This month, we're talking about the consequences of a wandering eye. Does contemplating infidelity make a person more suspicious that their own partner might be a cheater? And “should I stay or should I go?” -- how do we decide to respond after discovering our partner has strayed?

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Stick or Twist: Deciding to Leave or Remain in a Relationship After Infidelity
Is Jealousy a Sign Your Partner is Likely to be Unfaithful?

ThoroughlyReviewed/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Neal, A. M., & Lemay, E. P. (in press). The wandering eye perceives more threats: Projection of attraction to alternative partners predicts anger and negative behavior in romantic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Shrout, M. R., & Weigel, D. J. (in press). “Should I stay or should I go?” Understanding the noninvolved partner’s decision-making process following infidelity. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Read summary

Jan 16 2018

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Baby photos increase interest in marriage. 19 Dec 2017

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This month we examine inter-generational effects on attraction. Almost everyone likes looking at baby photos, but what effect does this innocent activity have on our mating psychology? We'll also discover how the body type women and men prefer in their partners can be influenced by their own fathers' physique. And I present the results of the recent (and first ever) listener survey. Who's listening and what do you want from the show? We'll find out.

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Baby Photos Increase Desire for Marriage
Just Like Daddy: Our Unconscious Attraction to Partners Who Look Like Our Parents

Marriage fuel! Does looking at this baby photo increase your desire for a long-term relationship? Stephen Ramsay/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Lord, C. G., Holland, C. J., & Hill, S. E. (2018). Individual differences in the effects of baby images on attitudes toward getting married. Personality and Individual Differences, 121, 106-110. Read summary

Štěrbová, Z., Trébický, V., Havlíček, J., Tureček, P., Varella, A. M. C., & Valentova, J. V. (2017). Father's physique influences mate preferences but not the actual choice of male somatotype in heterosexual women and homosexual men. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Dec 19 2017

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Looking healthy: Limbal rings, face shape, and skin colour. 21 Nov 2017

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Looking healthy is vital to an attractive appearance. But how do we judge a person's healthiness? We find out how face shape and colour influence our perceptions of health, and revisit the idea of limbal rings: a part of the eye that gives away our health and age.

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The Eyes Have It: Limbal Rings and Attraction
What Makes a Healthy Face?

The eye is the window to your... health? The eye on the left has an exaggerated limbal ring. Modified from Joanna Malinowska/freestocks.org

The articles covered in the show:

Brown, M., & Sacco, D. F. (in press). Put a (limbal) ring on it: Women perceive men's limbal rings as a health cue in short-term mating domains. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Read summary

Jones, A. L. (in press). The influence of shape and colour cue classes on facial health perception. Evolution and Human Behavior. Read summary

Nov 21 2017

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Cosmetic surgery and advertising. 24 Oct 2017

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Why do people have cosmetic surgery, and how do cosmetic surgery advertisements make women feel about themselves and behave towards their partners? I also speak to Dr. Sylvie Borau of the Toulouse Business School about her new research on how sexy advertisements trigger women's competitive urges.

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Why Undergo Cosmetic Surgery?

How do sexy swimwear advertisements affect women's competitive urges? Mike Monoghan/Flickr

The articles covered in the show:

Ashikali, E.-M., Dittmar, H., & Ayers, S. (2017). The impact of cosmetic surgery advertising on Swiss women's body image and attitudes toward cosmetic surgery. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 76(1), 13-21. Read summary

Atari, M., Barbaro, N., Sela, Y., Shackelford, T. K., & Chegeni, R. (in press). Consideration of cosmetic surgery as part of women's benefit-provisioning mate retention strategy. Frontiers in Psychology. Read summary

Borau, S., & Bonnefon, J.-F. (in press). The imaginary intrasexual competition: Advertisements featuring provocative female models trigger women to engage in indirect aggression. Journal of Business Ethics. Read summary

Oct 24 2017

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