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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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