Original article:

Male partner selectivity, romantic confidence, and media depictions of partner scarcity

Evolutionary Psychology 11(1): 36-49 Laramie D. Taylor, University of California Davis, lartaylor@ucdavis.edu


An experiment was conducted to explore the effects of exposure to partner scarcity or abundance messages on men’s partner selectivity, romantic confidence, and self-assessed attractiveness. Undergraduate male participants watched a soap opera narrative featuring either two men competing over one potential female partner (partner scarcity) or two women competing over one potential male partner (partner abundance). Relative to control subjects, watching either narrative reduced romantic confidence. Experimental condition also affected partner selectivity and self-assessed attractiveness, though both effects were moderated by endorsement of traditional masculine ideology. Viewing the abundance narrative resulted in greater selectivity and self-assessed attractiveness for men high in endorsement of traditional masculinity but diminished selectivity and self-assessed attractiveness for men low in endorsement of traditional masculine identity.


sex; partner selectivity; media effects

Full article

Download PDF (free)

Evolutionary Psychology - An open access peer-reviewed journal - ISSN 1474-7049 © Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young; individual articles © the author(s)

You're in!