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Perilloux, Helen K. (2004) NATURAL VARIATION IN HUMAN MATING STRATEGY AND THE EVOLUTIONARY SIGNIFICANCE OF MATE CHOICE CRITERIA. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The present studies focus on the two components of female attractiveness, fluctuating asymmetry (FA) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), which are alleged to represent genetic quality and fertility, respectively. Male mating strategies may be characterized by individual differences in sociosexuality, a personality dimension that is predicted to correlate with differential valuation of these two components of female mate value. Three predictions were made: Prediction 1. Measures of waist-to-hip ratio and symmetry in women are dissociable physical traits. Prediction 2. Men's individual differences in sociosexuality will differentially affect their valuations of two aspects of women's physical attractiveness, WHR and FA. Prediction 3. Sociosexuality and parental investment as two opposing components of mating strategy are inversely related to each other. The relationships among sociosexuality and parental investment, as measured by three indices, (Sociosexuality, Parental Investment, "Caditude") and male preferences for two components of female physical attractiveness, symmetry and waist-to-hip ratio, were examined in several studies.A sociosexuality questionnaire pilot study, a correlational study of FA and WHR, and three empirical studies were done. The questionnaire pilot study analyzed by factor analysis was done to develop indices of the three predictor variables: sociosexuality, parental investment and "caditude". A correlational study examined the relationship between WHR and FA in a sample of women's images (Prediction 1). Using the sociosexuality questionnaire and visual stimuli of women who varied in WHR and FA, empirical studies of three groups of participants (total n = 273) tested the relationships between sociosexuality and female phenotype (Prediction 2). Finally, another correlational study utilized questionnaire data to examine the relationship between indices of sociosexuality and parental investment (Prediction 3). Support was found for Predictions 1 and 3, but not for Prediction 2. Results and critique of the methodology are discussed along with future implications.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Perilloux, Helen
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairGaulin, Steven J.
Committee MemberMcBurney, Donald Hmcburney@pitt.eduMCBURNEY
Committee MemberDeWalt, Kathleen Mkmdewalt@pitt.eduKMDEWALT
Committee MemberSiegel, Michael Isiegel@pitt.eduSIEGEL
Date: 5 October 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 27 July 2004
Approval Date: 5 October 2004
Submission Date: 18 August 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Anthropology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: evolutionary psychology; fertility; individual differences; mate preferences; mating strategies; paternal investment; personality development; reproductive strategies; sexual selection
Other ID:, etd-08182004-082556
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:00
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:49


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