Psychology of Gender Final Exam Study Guide

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Chapter 9:Romantic Relationships
(research on homosexual relationships can help distinguish between sex and status)

a. Characteristics Desired in a Mate
* Women seek men that are attractive, educated, good financial status and good work ethic * Both men and women look for physical attractiveness and healthy as moist important for a sexual partner b. Evidence

* Men desire physical attractiveness in a partner
* Women desire intelligence or occupational status
* Gay men and lesbians look for same qualities in a mate as heterosexuals * Affection, shared interests, similarity and dependability * No evidence that lesbians value a mate’s resources * Status is less important in relationships among minorities (gays, lesbians, bisexuals) * Homosexual men value mate’s physical attractiveness * Lesbians do not

* Lesbians more likely than gay men to have similar personalities * Men and women agree on the most important characteristics a partner should possess * Especially for long-term relationships

c. Explanations
* Evolutionary theory: women and men behave in ways that will maximize survival of their genes * David Buss
* Adaptive for our ancestors
* We inherited their genes and behaviors
* Behavior driven by desire to reproduce
* Men fertility
* Women high occupational status
* Young beautiful women coupled with older wealthy men is the exception (Anna Nicole Smith, Hugh Heffner, Donald Trump) * Men are predicted to be more promiscuous (may be minimized when women are ovulating) * Social role theory: division of labor between sexes is directly linked to the sex differences in mate selection * Females look for males with high earning capacity * Males look for females with domestic skills

* Social construction theory: social norms dictate what is desirable in a mate * Greater sex differences in mate preferences in cultures with distinct male and female roles d. Relationship Initiation

* Traditionally male initiates but it has become more acceptable for women to initiate * Female initiation is not the normative
* Script: schema or cognitive representation of a sequence of events * Gender based
* Male is proactive, woman is reactive
* May be more awkward for homosexuals than heterosexuals * Lesbian relationships likely to develop out of friendship * First date scripts of homosexuals are similar to those of heterosexuals * Differences: gay men place greater emphasis on physical aspects of intimacy and lesbians place a greater emphasis on the emotional aspects of intimacy * Sex differences are more related to sex, not status * Homosexual scripts do not have stereotypical gender roles II. THE NATURE OF ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS

* Intimacy, love, sexual exclusivity
a. Intimacy
* Men and women’s conceptualizations are similar * Self disclosure
* Increased due to online communication
* Relationship between intimacy and sex differs between men and women * Increase in intimacy greater increase in passion in males * Females require more intimacy to develop passion * Most sexual behavior between two gay men, least among lesbians * Lesbians and gay men reported more intimacy than heterosexual couples * And greater sense of autonomy

e. Love
* Desire to spend time together, feeling nervous, showing affection, putting the other person first * Men view love as more central to marriage
* Recent studies show men and women to...
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