College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Not all men are sexually coercive: A preliminary investigation of the moderating effect of mate desirability on the relationship between female infidelity and male sexual coercion

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2008

Keywords

Female infidelity; Male sexual coercion; Mate desirability; Evolutionary psychology

Publication Title

Personality and Individual Differences

ISSN

0191-8869

Volume

45

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated the utility of men’s perceptions of their partner’s infidelity as a predictor of male sexual coercion in the context of an intimate relationship (Goetz and Shackelford, 2006 and Starratt, in press). Not all men who suspect partner infidelity are sexually coercive, however. Using reports secured from 280 men in a committed, sexual relationship with a woman, the current research provides preliminary evidence of a moderating effect of relative mate desirability in the relationship between perceptions of female infidelity and male sexual coercion. Specifically, men’s perceptions of their partner’s infidelity are positively related to men’s sexual coercion only in those relationships in which the man perceives that he is of equal or greater desirability than his partner. Men’s perceptions of their partner’s infidelity are not related to sexual coercion by men who perceive that they are less desirable than their partners. The discussion addresses interpretations of these findings, limitations of the current study, and directions for future research.

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2008.02.010

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