Faculty Articles

Title

Men's Risk-Taking Predicts their Partner-Directed Cost-Inflicting Behaviors

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2018

Keywords

cost inflicting mate retention, partner-directed insults, path analysis, risky behavior, sexual coercion

Publication Title

Personality and Individual Differences

ISSN

1873-3549

Volume

135

Abstract

Within the context of a long-term intimate relationship, men engage in a wide variety of behaviors that function to maintain a partner's investment in and reduce the risks associated with a partner's defection from that relationship. Some of these behaviors entice a partner's continued investment through the provision of benefits, while others inflict costs for defection. These cost-inflicting behaviors, while potentially valuable, are also risky, as they may ultimately increase the odds of a romantic partner's defection or retaliation. Given the riskiness of cost-inflicting behaviors, we hypothesize that men's use of these behaviors can be predicted by men's tendency toward risk-taking behavior more generally, but only when that risk-taking is indicative of lower mate value or relationship investment. To test this hypothesis, we investigated whether and how performance of behaviors within five risk-taking domains (ethical, financial, recreational, health/safety, and social) predict men's use of cost-inflicting behaviors. Using path analysis and data from partner-reports from 122 female undergraduate students in a committed, heterosexual, sexual relationship, we confirmed that men's performance of cost-inflicting behavior is predicted by men's unethical risky behavior and, to a lesser extent, financial and recreational risky behavior.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.06.053

Peer Reviewed

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