Kandrik M, Fincher CL, Jones BC & DeBruine LM (2013). Men’s, but not women’s, sociosexual orientation predicts couples’ perceptions of sexually dimorphic cues in own-sex faces. Human Behavior and Evolution Society in Miami, Florida, USA. July 2013.

Previous research suggests that perceptions of own-sex individuals can change according to within-subject variation (e.g., cyclic shifts) in their romantic partners’ sexual strategies. However, little is known about how more stable, between-subjects differences in partners’ sexual strategies predict perceptions of own-sex individuals. The revised Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (SOI-R) assesses individuals’ openness to uncommitted sexual relationships and shows high test-retest reliability over long periods of time. We tested whether the SOI-R scores of men and women in romantic couples predicted their perceptions of own-sex faces. Men’s, but not women’s, SOI-R was positively correlated with the extent to which both partners ascribed high dominance and attractiveness to own-sex faces with exaggerated sex-typical cues (i.e., masculine men and feminine women). These findings suggest that both men’s and women’s perceptions of potential competitors for mates are sensitive to the male partner’s sexual strategy, potentially benefiting men’s ability to compete for extra-pair and/or replacement mates and women’s mate guarding behaviors.

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