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Netflix and Chill? What Sex Differences Can Tell Us About Mate Preferences in (Hypothetical) Booty-Call Relationships:

Netflix and Chill? What Sex Differences Can Tell Us About Mate Preferences in (Hypothetical)... The booty-call relationship is defined by both sexual characteristics and emotional involvement. In the current study, men’s and women’s preferences for a booty-call mate were explored. Men and women were predicted to exhibit different mate preferences depending on whether they considered a booty-call relationship a short- or long-term relationship. Participants (N ¼ 559, 74% women) completed an anonymous online questionnaire, designing their ideal booty-call mate using the mate dollars paradigm. Both sexes considered the physical attractiveness and kindness of a booty-call mate a necessity, expressing both short- and long- term mate preferences. The current study highlights the need to explore mate preferences outside the dichotomy of short- and long-term relationships, providing evidence of a compromise relationship. Keywords mate preferences, booty calls, short-term relationship, long-term relationship, mating, mate budget Date received: August 19, 2018; Accepted: October 16, 2018 Sex differences in mate preferences are predominantly con- or a short-term interaction that has the potential to develop sidered in the context of long-term, committed relationships into a long-term relationship. (e.g., Buss, 1989; Li, Bailey, Kenrick, & Linsenmeier, 2002) and casual, short-term sexual relationships (e.g., Li & Ken- rick, 2006). However, recent research has noted that not all Long-Term Mate Preferences romantic relationships fall into the dichotomy of short- or In regard to long-term, potential mates, men rank the physical long term (Jonason, 2013; Jonason, Valentine, & Li, 2012; attractiveness of a mate as being more important than do March & Grieve, 2015; Wentland & Reissing, 2011). The women, while women rate the status and resources of a mate spectrum of relationships individuals engage in includes as more important than do men (e.g., Hill & Reeve, 2004; booty calls (Jonason, Li, & Cason, 2009; Jonason, Li, & March & Bramwell, 2012; March & Grieve, 2014; Shackel- Richardson, 2011), fuck buddies (Wentland & Reissing, ford, Schmitt, & Buss, 2005). These sex differences are found 2011), and friends with benefits (Bisson & Levine, 2009), to be reliable and consistent across cultures (Buss, 1989; Buss among others. If these relationships are legitimate in their et al., 1990). In addition, studies have found the trait of kind- own right (i.e., they exist outside the dichotomy of short- and ness is valued equally by the sexes (e.g., Buss, 1989), with both long-term relationships), there is a paucity of research con- cerning mate preferences within each relationship paradigm. The aim of this study was to consider, for the first time, the 1 School of Health and Life Sciences, Federation University Australia, Victoria, characteristics men and women consider necessities in a Australia University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia potential booty-call mate; a liaison that has elements of both short- and long-term relationships. In addition, exploring the Corresponding Author: characteristics men and women consider necessities in a Evita March, School of Health and Life Sciences, Federation University booty-call partner will shed light on whether men and women Australia, Northways Road Churchill, VIC 3842, Australia. consider the booty call a short-term, unemotional interaction, Email: e.march@federation.edu.au Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage). 2 Evolutionary Psychology men and women considering a long-term mate’s kindness a Short-Term Mate Preferences necessity (Li et al., 2002). However, some studies have shown Both sexes pursue and engage in short-term, sexual relation- that women place a higher priority on a mate’s kindness than ships (see Strout, Fisher, Kruger, & Steeleworthy, 2010). As do men (Evans & Brase, 2007). Both evolutionary and social– such, researchers have contrasted the preferences people show economic theory attempt to elucidate the origins of these pre- for a short-term mate (e.g., one-night stand) with preferences ferences in a long-term mate. for a long-term mate (e.g., spouse; Scheib, 2001). With regard As modern dating behavior is considered to reflect evolved to short-term mates, both men and women have been found to adaptations (Stanik & Ellsworth, 2010), these mate prefer- place the most emphasis on the mate’s physical attractiveness ences have been attributed to evolutionary mechanisms. (Wiederman & Dubois, 1998). For example, Buunk, Dijkstra, According to evolutionary theory, as the reproductive costs Fetchenhauer, and Kenrick (2002) showed that both sexes are higher for women (e.g., internal gestation, extended par- desire a higher level of physical attractiveness as relationship ental care; Trivers, 1972), women have come to value a long- lengths shorten. term mate who has the ability to contribute the resources Given this information, it seems that little changes for men necessary to ensure the survival of any resulting offspring across relationship types (i.e., physical attractiveness is prior- (Buss, 2006; Buunk, Dijkstra, Fetchenhauer, & Kenrick, itized), but that the story is more interesting for women. Unmis- 2002). Meanwhile, as men’s reproductive success is con- takable in the existing research is that women prefer physically strained by access to fertile women (Tadinac, 2010), men attractive mates for short-term relationships and mates with have come to value qualities (e.g., physical attractiveness) high status and resources for long-term relationships (Hill & that reflect reproductive potential in budding mates (Mon- Reeve, 2004; March & Bramwell, 2012; Schulte-Hostedde, toya, 2005). Women may also seek a mate who is kind, as Eys, & Johnson, 2008; Shackelford et al., 2005). It is perhaps kindness may indicate that their potential mate is willing to the case that women adapt their mating strategies as a conse- share their resources (Jensen-Campbell, Graziano, & West, quence of the nature of short-term relationships, thus prioritiz- 1995) and be a better, more attentive parent (Urbaniak & ing a mate’s genetic quality over status and resources. Strategic Kilmann, 2006). Thus, evolutionary theory adequately pluralism theory (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000) posits that indi- explains why women consider a mate’s kindness more viduals will engage in different mating strategies according to important than do men (e.g., Evans & Brase, 2007) and why environmental conditions and relationship styles. By recogniz- kindness is important for both men and women when selecting ing individual differences in mating strategies and environ- long-term partners (i.e., is likely a cue to good nurturing ments, strategic pluralism theory can adequately account for ability; see Buss, 1989). Both evolutionary theory and the diversity of women engaging in short-term mating. For social–economic theory highlight the importance of adjusting example, individuals use serious romantic relationships to gain to the environment (Eagly & Wood, 1999) and are not socioemotional support and one-night stands to gain sexual gratification (Jonason, 2013). considered inherently incompatible (Buss & Barnes, 1986; Alternatively, sexual strategies theory (Buss & Schmitt, Feingold, 1990; Howard, Blumstein, & Schwartz, 1987). 1993) suggests that women may use short-term mating as a However, evolutionary research has been criticized for a means to evaluate mates as potential long-term partners (see heavy focus on between-sex differences in mate preferences Jonason et al., 2009). Women might use short-term sexual rather than within-sex differences in mate preferences (Gang- relationships to identify and acquire a long-term partner by estad & Simpson, 2000; Walter, 1997). gauging the benefits gained when in the short-term relationship To address these within-sex differences, social theories attri- (Greiling & Buss, 2000). Taken together, both sexual strategies bute sex differences in mate preferences to social roles adopted theory and strategic pluralism theory can account for mating by men and women (social role theory; Eagly & Wood, 1999) strategies of men and women. However, although some women and economic constraints the sexes face (Moore & Cassidy, may engage in short-term relationships as a means to identify 2007). Social role theory proposes that historical labor divi- potential long-term mates (i.e., sexual strategies theory), sions have led men and women to take on different social roles, women may still engage in short-term relationships for reasons with this occupation of different roles resulting in development other than acquiring a long-term mate, such as securing good of gender roles (Eagly & Steffen, 1984). Traditionally, men genes that will benefit potential offspring (Kruger, Fisher, & secure higher paying jobs and higher status professions relative Jobling, 2003; Vigil, Geary, & Byrd-Craven, 2006). to women (Hamida, Mineka, & Bailey, 1998). Consequently, women’s ability to provide for themselves has been historically constrained (Moore & Cassidy, 2007). Because of the restric- The Nature of Booty-Call Relationships tions women face regarding individual advancement, women seek in mates the characteristics that have historically been Research on sex differences in mate preferences has predomi- denied to them (i.e., status and resources; Buss & Barnes, nantly focused on two “polar-opposite relationship types” 1986). As men have not experienced the same historical eco- (Jonason, Li, & Richardson, 2011, p. 486): short term and long nomic constraints, men are able to focus their initial search on term (see also Aitken, Lyons, & Jonason, 2013; Jonason et al., the physical attractiveness of a mate. 2009). However, not all human relations fall precisely within March et al. 3 these two categories. Some relationships incorporate elements Aim and Hypotheses of both short- and long-term relationships, an example being The current study aimed to assess the characteristics consid- the booty call. The booty call is characterized by a relationship ered necessities in a booty-call mate, an area which has not that is not committed or expected to be monogamous (Singer yet received attention in the literature. This will help et al., 2006) but incorporates repeated sexual encounters elucidate whether men and women consider the booty-call (Jonason et al., 2012). By definition, a booty call involves relationship purely short term or a short-term relationship contacting a non-long-term mate with the primary purpose of with long-term potential. The current study will build on engaging in sexual activity. This contact is most commonly previous research of Li, Bailey, Kenrick, and Linsenmeier made via telephone (Jonason et al., 2009) or by text message (2002) and Li and Kenrick (2006). (Wentland & Reissing, 2011). Spontaneous contact is consid- Previous research has shown men consider physical attrac- ered to be a key feature of the booty-call relationship. tiveness a necessity in both long- and short-term mates (Li The booty-call relationship has been conceptualized as a et al., 2002; Li & Kenrick, 2006). Women, however, consider “compromise” relationship between the sexes (Jonason et al., social level (i.e., status and resources) and kindness a necessity 2009, 2011). According to this premise, it consists of sexual in a long-term mate and physical attractiveness a necessity in a encounters with lower investment than a committed relation- short-term mate. Li and colleagues (2002) define a necessity as ship (and is thus appealing to men) but has an element of a characteristic that is initially sought in a mate, and after this commitment greater than that of a one-time sexual encounter characteristic is obtained, the search for other characteristics (and is thus appealing to women). Wentland and Reissing (defined as luxuries) begins. Here, a necessity is defined as a (2011) reported that individuals engaged in a booty call do not mate characteristic that must be satisfied in order to engage in a consider the other party a friend (and, as such, differs from the booty call; once a necessity is satisfied, other desirable char- friends with benefits relationship) and thus do not socialize acteristics can be sought (described as luxuries; Li et al., 2002). with one another (see also Jonason et al., 2011). Further, Studying the characteristics men and women consider Wentland and Reissing (2011) reported that the booty call does necessities in a booty-call mate should reveal (1) whether not involve emotional investment and is characterized by an women consider a booty-call mate a potential long-term part- “unemotional, perfunctory manner” (p. 87). However, Jonason ner, (2) whether the physical attractiveness of a potential and colleagues (2011) showed that, although the booty-call booty-call mate is actually a necessity, and (3) if kindness is relationship often lacks the emotional acts found in serious, a necessity for men and women in a booty-call mate (kindness long-term relationships (such as talking and handholding), is a characteristic not commonly valued in short-term mates but more emotional, intimate acts were found to occur more often is considered by both sexes as highly desirable in long-term in booty-call relationships relative to one-night stands. For mates; Buss & Barnes, 1986). To properly assess the mate example, kissing, manual sex, fondling of breasts/chest, and preferences for a booty-call relationship, mate preferences regarding long- and short-term mates were also assessed. On anal sex were reported to occur significantly more often in the basis of previous research, if both men and women consider booty calls than in one-night stands. a booty call a short-term, unemotional relationship (e.g., Went- As is evident above, there are differences in the defining land & Reissing, 2011), then: qualities of a booty call. On the one hand, the booty-call rela- tionship is characterized as unemotional and exists purely for spontaneous, sexual gain (Jonason, 2013). This definition is Hypothesis 1: Both men and women will consider physical attractiveness a necessity. supported by findings showing that both men and women accept or reject a booty call based on the initiator’s physical Hypothesis 2: Both men and women will consider kindness attractiveness (Jonason et al., 2009). On the other hand, the a luxury. booty-call relationship may involve more emotional involve- Hypothesis 3: Women will consider social level a luxury. ment and time than a short-term, casual sex relationship and thus gives women the opportunity to screen the booty-call par- However, if a booty-call relationship is a hybrid relationship ticipant as a potential long-term mate (Jonason et al., 2011). that helps reach a compromise between the sexes—offering This idea is supported by findings showing that men were more men sexual encounters with limited (although some) emotional likely than women to report that a booty call did not transition investment and women with sexual encounters alongside the into a long-term relationship as the men were only interested in opportunity to trial run a potential long-term mate (e.g., a sexual relationship (Jonason et al., 2009). Women, on the Jonason et al., 2009, 2011)—then: other hand, were more likely to report that the booty call did not transition into a long-term relationship because the other Hypothesis 4: Both men and women will consider physical person was not interested in a long-term relationship. Jonason, attractiveness a necessity. Li, and Cason (2009) argue that this result is substantial support Hypothesis 5: Both men and women will consider kindness for the claim that men tend to view booty calls as mostly a necessity. sexual, whereas women may have some level of emotional involvement. Hypothesis 6: Women will consider social level a necessity. 4 Evolutionary Psychology women considered a necessity, and characteristics that received Method the most mate dollars when the budget was high were consid- Participants ered mate traits men and women considered a luxury. To complete the mate budget, participants were randomly There were 559 participants with a mean age of 24.03 years allocated into one of the three conditions: long term, short term, (SD ¼ 11.05), with 2 participants not supplying their age. Of and booty call. For long term, participants were asked to spend the participants, 26.48% (148 people) were men, and 73.52% mate dollars to design their ideal long-term mate (someone (411 people) were women. Regarding sexual orientation, they might wish to marry). For short term, participants were 87.84% (491 people) were heterosexual, 6.44% (36 people) asked to spend mate dollars to design their ideal short-term were homosexual, 5.19% (29 people) were bisexual, and mate (someone they may have casual sex with for one eve- 0.54% (3 people) identified as “Other.” For men, 54.76% had ning). For booty call, participants were asked to spend mate previously been involved in a booty-call relationship, dollars to design their ideal booty-call mate (someone with whereas 58.14% of women had previously been involved in whom they will communicate with over a long-term period a booty-call relationship. For men, 9.52% were currently with the intent of short-term sexual gratification). involved in a booty-call relationship, whereas 7.06% of women were currently involved in a booty-call relationship. Finally, 58% (324 people) were current university students. Procedure There were no selection criteria, other than being aged 18 Participants were recruited on and off an Australian university years or older (i.e., participants were notrequiredtobeina campus, with the study promoted as investigating personality relationship). A power analysis (G*Power; Faul, Erdfelder, and relationships. Participants on campus were recruited via Lang, & Buchner, 2007) indicated that a sample size of 155 hard copy advertisements that informed participants of the was required to yield power of 80% to detect a medium effect voluntary, anonymous, and online questionnaire. The posted size of at least 0.25 (a ¼ .05). The current sample size (N ¼ advertisement provided the web link to the online question- 559) was therefore considered to have adequate power to naire. Off campus participants were recruited via social media yield reliable results. advertisements that contained the same information as the hard copy advertisements. Participants were informed that the Materials online questionnaire would take roughly 10 min of their time to complete. Upon completion of the questionnaire, partici- An anonymous online questionnaire included a demo- pants were thanked and scores were amalgamated into the graphics section and a mate budget. Demographics sought data file. information about participant’s age, sex, current education status, if participants had ever been involved in a booty-call relationship, and if participants were currently involved in a Results booty-call relationship. The booty-call relationship was defined for participants as “an uncommitted relationship Three 3  2  2 mixed-models analyses of variance were where communication (e.g., phone call, texting) only takes conducted with type of relationship (short term, booty call, place when there is the urgent intent, either stated or and long term) and gender (men and women) as the between- implied, of having sexual activity and/or intercourse” (see subjects independent variables, budget (low and high) as the Jonason et al., 2009). within-subjects independent variable, and the three mate The current study used the mate budget paradigm (e.g., characteristics of physical attractiveness, kindness, and social Jonason, Luevano, & Adams, 2012; Li et al., 2002; March & level as the dependent variables (see Table 1 for descriptive Grieve, 2015). The mate budget paradigm requires participants statistics). Table 2 presents a summary of the main effects, to spend hypothetical mate dollars on five traits (physical and the full report of the main effect analyses can be found in attractiveness, creativity, kindness, liveliness, and social level) Appendix. on a scale ranging from 0 to 100 percentiles. Before spending the mate dollars, participants are provided with a brief descrip- Physical Attractiveness tion of each characteristic and an overview of the budget allo- cation method. Although all characteristics are included in the For physical attractiveness, there was a significant two-way budget, only physical attractiveness, kindness, and social level interaction between budget and gender, F(2, 493) ¼ 25.10, were analyzed. p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .05. In addition, there was a significant There were two conditions: low budget (10 mate dollars) two-way interaction between budget and relationship type, and high budget (30 mate dollars). Participants were asked to F(2, 493) ¼ 22.85, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .09. No other interactions spend all their mate dollars on the five characteristics in each reached significance. condition, and presentation of the low and high budget was Post hoc tests with a Bonferroni correction showed that both counterbalanced (46.5% of participants received the low bud- men and women spent more mate dollars on physical attrac- get first). Characteristics that received the most mate dollars tiveness in the low budget condition than they did in the high when the budget was low were considered mate traits men and budget condition, p ¼ .001, and for each type of relationship March et al. 5 Table 1. Mean Percentages Allocated to Each Characteristic for Men and Women in Low and High Budgets for Short-Term Mates, Booty-Call Mates, and Long-Term Mates. Men Women Total Low Budget High Budget Low Budget High Budget Low Budget High Budget Characteristics M (SD) M (SD) M (SD) M (SD) M (SD) M (SD) Short-term relationship Physical attractiveness 40.71 (15.62) 27.61 (4.90) 32.74 (11.66) 24.54 (5.12) 34.53 (13.05) 25.23 (5.22) Kindness 17.22 (9.09) 17.93 (6.34) 21.85 (8.14) 23.06 (5.74) 20.80 (8.56) 21.90 (6.24) Social level 13.97 (7.75) 17.83 (7.00) 16.75 (7.40) 18.69 (5.09) 16.12 (7.55) 18.49 (5.57) Booty-call relationship Physical attractiveness 44.64 (19.99) 25.50 (5.99) 30.54 (18.84) 23.37 (5.72) 34.47 (20.82) 24.09 (5.87) Kindness 19.51 (16.96) 20.29 (7.37) 29.06 (15.98) 23.62 (6.84) 25.85 (16.85) 22.50 (7.17) Social level 10.61 (10.76) 17.88 (6.34) 12.65 (9.19) 18.77 (6.43) 11.97 (9.75) 18.47 (6.39) Long-term relationship Physical attractiveness 25.87 (14.22) 21.13 (6.65) 20.61 (7.61) 20.14 (3.90) 21.69 (9.54) 20.35 (4.59) Kindness 26.41 (6.76) 23.69 (5.03) 30.35 (8.38) 25.45 (4.08) 29.54 (8.22) 25.09 (4.34) Social level 15.98 (10.22) 18.96 (5.59) 17.91 (9.30) 19.39 (5.76) 17.51 (9.50) 19.30 (5.71) Table 2. Summary of Main Effects for Gender, Relationship Type, and Budget on Characteristics of Physical Attractiveness, Kindness, and Social Level. Characteristics F test Z Physical attractiveness Sex F(1, 493) ¼ 40.46*** .08 Relationship type F(2, 493) ¼ 53.45*** .18 Budget F(1, 493) ¼ 208.33*** .30 Kindness Sex F(1, 493) ¼ 38.37*** .07 Relationship type F(2, 493) ¼ 27.43*** .10 Budget F(1, 493) ¼ 13.56*** .03 Social level Sex F(1, 493) ¼ 4.69* .01 Relationship type F(2, 493) ¼ 6.24** .03 Budget F(1, 493) ¼ 93.16*** .16 Figure 1. Three-way interaction for variables of budget, gender, and *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. type of relationship for percentage of mate dollars spent on physical attractiveness. Error bars represent standard error. Y-axis begins at 15%. (short term, booty call, and long term), both men and women spent significantly more mate dollars in the low budget than the Kindness high budget, p ¼ .001, .001, and .011, respectively. Although the omnibus three-way interaction did not reach statistical sig- For kindness, there was a significant two-way interaction nificance, post hoc tests revealed significant results. However, between budget and gender, F(1, 493) ¼ 7.86, p ¼ .005, due to the nonsignificance of the overall test, these results Z ¼ .02. Although the interaction between gender and should be interpreted with caution. For short-term relation- relationship type did not reach significance, there was a signif- ships, both men (p ¼ .001) and women (p ¼ .001) spent sig- icant two-way interaction between budget and relationship nificantly more mate dollars on physical attractiveness in the type, F(2, 493) ¼ 10.29, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .04. Finally, there was low budget compared to the high budget condition. In addition, a significant three-way interaction for budget, gender, and rela- for booty-call relationships, both men (p ¼ .001) and women (p tionship type, F(2, 493) ¼ 4.04, p ¼ .018, Z ¼ .02. ¼ .001) spent significantly more mate dollars on physical In relation to the significant interaction between budget and attractiveness in the low budget compared to the high budget gender, post hoc tests with a Bonferroni correction showed condition. However, for long-term relationships, only men (p ¼ that women spent significantly more mate dollars on kindness .001) and not women (p ¼ .612) spent significantly more mate in the low budget compared to the high budget, p ¼ .001. In dollars on physical attractiveness in the low budget compared relation to the significant interaction between budget and rela- to the high budget condition. This three-way interaction is tionship type, both men and women spent significantly more visually depicted in Figure 1. mate dollars in the low budget than the high budget condition, 6 Evolutionary Psychology Figure 2. Three-way interaction for variables of budget, gender, and type of relationship for percentage of mate dollars spent on kindness. Figure 3. Three-way interaction for variables of budget, gender, and Error bars represent standard error. Y-axis begins at 15%. type of relationship for percentage of mate dollars spent on social level. Error bars represent standard error. Y-axis begins at 10%. p ¼ .011, and .001, respectively. No other comparisons reached significance. results. However, due to the nonsignificance of the overall test, For the significant three-way interaction of budget, gender, these results should be interpreted with caution. Post hoc com- and relationship type, post hoc comparisons demonstrated that parisons show that for short-term relationships, both men (p ¼ for booty-call relationships, only women spent significantly .001) and women (p ¼ .002) spent significantly more mate more mate dollars on kindness in the low budget compared dollars on social level in the high budget compared to the low to the high budget, p ¼ .001. This result indicates that women, budget. In addition, for booty-call relationships, both men (p ¼ not men, consider the kindness of a booty-call mate a necessity. .001) and women (p ¼ .001) spent significantly more mate For short-term mates, there were no significant comparisons. dollars on social level in the high budget compared to the low Finally, for long-term relationships, both men (p ¼ .047) and budget. Finally, for long-term relationships, both men (p ¼ women (p ¼ .001) spent significantly more mate dollars on .013) and women (p ¼ .015) spent significantly more mate kindness in the low budget compared to the high budget, sug- dollars on social level in the high budget compared to the low gesting that both men and women consider the kindness of a budget. These results suggest that for these three relationship long-term mate a necessity. This three-way interaction is types, both men and women consider social level a luxury. This visually depicted in Figure 2. three-way interaction is visually depicted in Figure 3. Social Level Discussion For social level, there was no significant two-way interaction The aim of the current study was to assess the characteristics between budget and gender, F(1, 493) ¼ 3.47, p ¼ .063, Z ¼ p considered necessities in a booty-call mate, an interpersonal .01. There was, however, a significant two-way interaction relationship which has received limited attention in the litera- between budget and relationship type, F(2, 493) ¼ 10.32, ture. Predictions were based on whether the booty-call relation- p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .04. There was no significant two-way interac- p ship is considered a short-term, unemotional relationship or a tion between gender and relationship type, F(2, 493) ¼ .08, hybrid long- and short-term relationship. To properly assess the p ¼ .920, Z ¼ .01. Finally, there was no significant three-way p mate preferences for a booty-call relationship, mate prefer- interaction for budget, gender, and relationship type, ences regarding long- and short-term mates were also assessed. F(2, 493) ¼ .07, p ¼ .930, Z ¼ .01. To further explore these interactions, post hoc tests with a Long- and Short-Term Mate Preferences Bonferroni correction were conducted. For the interaction of budget and relationship type, post hoc tests showed that For short-term mates, although the omnibus test for the three- for all relationship types, individuals spent significantly more way interaction did not reach significance, significant post hoc mate dollars in the high budget compared to the low budget, tests indicated that both men and women considered the phys- p ¼ .001, .001, and.001 for short term, booty calls, and long ical attractiveness of a short-term mate necessity—a result fur- term, respectively. ther supported by the significant two-way interaction between Although the omnibus three-way interaction did not reach budget and relationship type. The result of both sexes consid- statistical significance, post hoc tests revealed significant ering the physical attractiveness of a short-term mate a March et al. 7 necessity corroborates the results of Li and Kenrick (2006). necessity. As women did not consider the kindness of a Furthermore, this result provides support for the premise that short-term mate a necessity, these results do not support the when considering a short-term mate, women place increased premise that the booty-call relationship is considered a short- emphasis on physical attractiveness (Buunk et al., 2002; Wie- term, unemotional sexual relationship. Importantly, it should derman & Dubois, 1998). The current results showed that both be noted that both men and women consider the kindness of a men and women did not consider the kindness or the social long-term mate a necessity. Combined with the current result level of a short-term mate a necessity, in line with Li and that both men and women consider the physical attractiveness Kenrick (2006). Interestingly, Li and Kenrick reported that of a booty call, a mate, and a necessity, results of the current men considered the kindness of a short-term mate a luxury— study support the premise of Jonason and colleagues (2011) a result not replicated here. It is possible that as the mate budget who proposed the booty-call relationship as a sexual relation- has had limited use in the literature, the results are still rela- ship but more emotional than the short-term, one-night stand tively inconsistent. relationship. Thus, results of the current study best support the Only men considered the physical attractiveness of a long- second hypothesis, which proposed that a booty-call relation- term mate a necessity, further corroborating previous research ship may be a hybrid long- and short-term relationship that of Li and colleagues (2002). In addition, both men and women helps reach a compromise between the sexes. considered the kindness of a long-term mate a necessity and However, it should be noted that the compromise relation- the social level of a long-term mate a luxury. Although Li and ship appears to only be the case for women, not men. Although colleagues (2002) established that only women, not men, con- women’s booty-call mate preferences appeared to be an amal- sidered a long-term mate’s kindness as a necessity, both sexes gamation of short- and long-term mate preferences, men’s have been shown to consider kindness as one of the most booty-call mate preferences mirrored their short-term mate important and desirable traits for a potential romantic partner preferences. Thus, the current study appears to support Jonason to possess (Buss & Barnes, 1986; Lippa, 2007). However, and colleagues’ (2009) suggestion that the booty call may be women considering the social level of a long-term mate a characterized as a “compromise relationship” between the luxury, not a necessity, are inconsistent with the results of sexes (see Jonason et al., 2009) in that it allows men to have Li et al. (2002). sex without a high level of commitment, while offering women Although inconsistent, and as mentioned above, it should be the potential for future commitment. Results of the current noted that only a small body of research has used the mate study also support the premise that men and women differ more budget paradigm. As such, characteristics men and women in preferences when considering primarily sexual relationships consider necessities and luxuries in mate preferences may not (e.g., Jonason, 2013), further supporting sexual strategies the- yet be established. It should be noted that the current results do ory (Buss & Schmitt, 1993). The results of the current study not suggest that women do not care about the social level of a provide further conceptualization of new contemporary rela- mate (nor do they suggest that men do not care about the social tionship styles in comparison to traditional styles (e.g., long- level of a mate) but simply may not consider this characteristic term marriage, short-term casual one-night stand). a necessity. Previous research posits many factors (e.g., gender Finally, although the omnibus test did not reach significance roles, level of income) may influence a woman’s desire for a and thus results be interpreted with caution, post hoc compar- mate to possess significant status and resources (e.g., Eagly, isons showed both men and women considered the social level Eastwick, & Johannesen-Schmit, 2009; Moore, Cassidy, & of a booty-call mate a luxury. Interestingly, social level was perrett, 2010). As such, women not considering a long-term considered by both sexes to be a luxury across all types of mate’s social level a necessity may not be due to methodolo- relationships (short term, booty call, and long term). Given this gical limitations, but rather individual differences within and consistency, it appears that men’s and women’s preference for between samples. Importantly, this result provides support for a booty-call mate’s social level is reflective of their short- and strategic pluralism theory (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000), as long-term mate preferences. Thus, it can still be said that booty- women may be strategically adapting their mate preferences call mate preferences are an amalgamation of both short- and according to their environment. long-term mate preferences. Booty-Call Mate Preferences Limitations and Future Directions Based on previous studies (Jonason et al., 2009, 2011; Li et al., A potential limitation of the current study was that the list of 2002; Li & Kenrick, 2006) regarding short-term, booty-call, characteristics (i.e., physical attractiveness, kindness, and and long-term relationships, we predicted that if both men and social level) was short. Although this list of traits was consis- women consider a booty call a short-term, unemotional sexual tent with previous work in this area (e.g., Li et al., 2002), traits relationship, physical attractiveness should be a necessity for not assessed or explored here might be deemed important in a both sexes, with kindness and social level as luxuries. Results potential booty-call mate. Future research could assess addi- were that, regardless of gender, physical attractiveness was considered a necessity in a booty-call mate. However, women tional mate characteristics, such as intelligence (Lippa, 2007), were found to consider the kindness of a booty-call mate a creativity (e.g., Li et al., 2002), and even other traits that may 8 Evolutionary Psychology be considered more important in a primarily sexual relation- Appendix ship, such as eroticism and sexual performance. Physical Attraction A further limitation is the relatively small sample size. For the trait of physical attractiveness, there was a main effect Although post hoc tests reached significance, overall omnibus of budget, F(1, 493) ¼ 181.66, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .27; gender, tests did not. This, combined with the effect sizes of these tests, F(1, 493) ¼ 33.65, p ¼ .001; Z ¼ .06; and relationship type, suggests that the power of the test may have been constrained F(2, 493) ¼ 49.28, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .17. Post hoc analyses with by the sample size. Future research should seek to recruit a the Bonferroni correction were conducted. For budget, post hoc larger number of participants when conducting comparisons analyses demonstrated people spent more mate dollars on between relationship types. Nonetheless, the sample size for physical attractiveness in the low budget condition (M ¼ the current study (N ¼ 559) was substantially larger than pre- 32.12, SE ¼ .72) compared to the high budget condition vious research examining booty-call relationships (e.g., N ¼ (M ¼ 23.72, SE ¼ .27), suggesting that this trait is considered 123 in Collins & Horn, 2018; N ¼ 61 in Jonason et al., 2009; N a necessity, p ¼ .001. For gender, men spent more on physical ¼ 123 in Jonason et al., 2011; N ¼ 192 in Wesche, Claxton, attractiveness (M ¼ 30.51, SE ¼ .77) than did women (M ¼ Lefkowitz, & van Dulman, 2017), and because our sample 25.32, SE ¼ .46), p ¼ .001. In relation to relationship type, included a substantial proportion of nonstudents, we suggest people spent more mate dollars on a booty-call mate’s physical that our results provide reasonable insight into this particular attractiveness (M ¼ 30.41, SE ¼ .87) and a short-term mate’s interpersonal behavior. physical attractiveness (M ¼ 31.40, SE ¼ .72) than they did on The results of the current study may also be limited in gen- physical attractiveness in long-term relationships (M ¼ 21.94, eralizing to all sexual orientations, as the sample was predomi- SE ¼ .73), p ¼ .001 and p ¼ .001, respectively. In addition, nantly heterosexual (88.2%). Although the mating strategies of there was no significant difference between the amount of mate homosexual and heterosexual men and women are not consid- dollars individuals spent on a booty-call and short-term mate’s ered to differ (Symons, 1979), some research has shown dif- physical attractiveness. ferences in mate preferences for homosexual and heterosexual women (Bailey, Gaulin, Agyei, & Gladue, 1994). As such, Kindness although homosexual men’s and women’s mate preferences For the trait of kindness, there was a main effect of budget, may be fundamentally similar to their heterosexual counter- parts, this similarity should not be assumed (March, Grieve, F(1, 493) ¼ 13.56, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .03; gender, F(1, 493) ¼ & Marx, 2014). Future research would benefit from exploring 38.37, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .07; and relationship type, F(2, 493) ¼ mate preferences of individuals other than those with a hetero- 27.43, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .10. Post hoc analyses with the Bonfer- sexual orientation in these relationship paradigms (i.e., booty roni correction were conducted. For budget, post hoc analyses demonstrated that people spent more mate dollars on kindness calls, friends with benefits, and fuck buddies). in the low budget condition (M ¼ 24.07, SE ¼ .56) than they did in the high budget condition (M ¼ 22.34, SE ¼ .30), sug- gesting this trait is considered a necessity, p ¼ .001. For gender, Conclusion women spent more on kindness (M ¼ 25.56, SE ¼ .39) than did An apparent flaw in much of the existing literature on relation- men (M ¼ 20.84, SE ¼ .65), p ¼ .001. Finally, for relationship ships is the assumption that there is a dichotomy of relation- type, people spent more mate dollars on a long-term mate’s ships and that all relationships can be characterized as either kindness (M ¼ 26.48, SE ¼ .62) than on a short-term mate’s short term or long term. Results of the current study show that kindness (M ¼ 20.02, SE ¼ .61), p ¼ .001. In addition, people not all human relationships fit within this dichotomy, as some spent more mate dollars on a long-term mate’s kindness com- relations (e.g., the booty-call relationship) incorporate charac- pared to a booty-call mate’s kindness (M ¼ 23.12, SE ¼ .74), teristics of both short- and long-term relationships. Our results p ¼ .002. Finally, people spent significantly more mate dollars support previous suggestions that the booty-call relationship is on a booty-call mate’s kindness than a short-term mate’s kind- a compromise relationship that benefits the sexes in different ness, p ¼ .004. ways (e.g., Jonason et al., 2009, 2011). However, the current study also extends previous research by establishing the neces- Social Level sity of a booty-calls mate’s physical attractiveness, kindness, For social level, there was a significant main effect of budget, and social level. Furthermore, the current study shows that both F(1, 493) ¼ 93.16, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .16; gender, F(1, 493) ¼ sexes considered the physical attractiveness of a booty-call 4.69, p ¼ .031, Z ¼ .01; and relationship term, F(2,493) ¼ mate a necessity, suggesting that both sexes could be using the 6.24, p ¼ .002, Z ¼ .03. Post hoc comparisons with a Bon- booty-call relationship as a means of satisfying short-term sex- ferroni adjustment were conducted. Post hoc results showed ual means (e.g., Jonason, 2013). Finally, although previous people spent more mate dollars on social level in the high research has conceptualized the booty-call relationship as a budget condition (M ¼ 18.59, SE ¼ .31) compared to the low compromise between men and women (e.g., Jonason et al., budget condition (M ¼ 14.64, SE ¼ .47), p ¼ .001. This result 2009), our findings indicate that perhaps it is only women, not demonstrates the characteristic of social level is considered a men, who are doing the compromising. luxury. In addition, women spent more mate dollars on a mate’s March et al. 9 Eagly, A. H., Eastwick, P. W., & Johannesen-Schmidt, M. (2009). social level (M ¼ 17.36, SE ¼ .35) compared to men Possible selves in marital roles: The impact of the anticipated (M ¼ 15.87, SE ¼ .59), p ¼ .031. Finally, people spent signif- division of labor on the mate preferences of women and men. icantly more mate dollars on a long-term mate’s social level Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 403–414. doi: (M ¼ 18.06, SE ¼ .56) than on a booty-call mate’s social level 10.1177/0146167208329696 (M ¼ 14.98, SE ¼ .67), p ¼ .001. No other comparisons were Eagly, A. H., & Steffen, V. J. (1984). Gender stereotypes stem from significant. the distribution of women and men into social roles. 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Netflix and Chill? What Sex Differences Can Tell Us About Mate Preferences in (Hypothetical) Booty-Call Relationships:

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Abstract

The booty-call relationship is defined by both sexual characteristics and emotional involvement. In the current study, men’s and women’s preferences for a booty-call mate were explored. Men and women were predicted to exhibit different mate preferences depending on whether they considered a booty-call relationship a short- or long-term relationship. Participants (N ¼ 559, 74% women) completed an anonymous online questionnaire, designing their ideal booty-call mate using the mate dollars paradigm. Both sexes considered the physical attractiveness and kindness of a booty-call mate a necessity, expressing both short- and long- term mate preferences. The current study highlights the need to explore mate preferences outside the dichotomy of short- and long-term relationships, providing evidence of a compromise relationship. Keywords mate preferences, booty calls, short-term relationship, long-term relationship, mating, mate budget Date received: August 19, 2018; Accepted: October 16, 2018 Sex differences in mate preferences are predominantly con- or a short-term interaction that has the potential to develop sidered in the context of long-term, committed relationships into a long-term relationship. (e.g., Buss, 1989; Li, Bailey, Kenrick, & Linsenmeier, 2002) and casual, short-term sexual relationships (e.g., Li & Ken- rick, 2006). However, recent research has noted that not all Long-Term Mate Preferences romantic relationships fall into the dichotomy of short- or In regard to long-term, potential mates, men rank the physical long term (Jonason, 2013; Jonason, Valentine, & Li, 2012; attractiveness of a mate as being more important than do March & Grieve, 2015; Wentland & Reissing, 2011). The women, while women rate the status and resources of a mate spectrum of relationships individuals engage in includes as more important than do men (e.g., Hill & Reeve, 2004; booty calls (Jonason, Li, & Cason, 2009; Jonason, Li, & March & Bramwell, 2012; March & Grieve, 2014; Shackel- Richardson, 2011), fuck buddies (Wentland & Reissing, ford, Schmitt, & Buss, 2005). These sex differences are found 2011), and friends with benefits (Bisson & Levine, 2009), to be reliable and consistent across cultures (Buss, 1989; Buss among others. If these relationships are legitimate in their et al., 1990). In addition, studies have found the trait of kind- own right (i.e., they exist outside the dichotomy of short- and ness is valued equally by the sexes (e.g., Buss, 1989), with both long-term relationships), there is a paucity of research con- cerning mate preferences within each relationship paradigm. The aim of this study was to consider, for the first time, the 1 School of Health and Life Sciences, Federation University Australia, Victoria, characteristics men and women consider necessities in a Australia University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia potential booty-call mate; a liaison that has elements of both short- and long-term relationships. In addition, exploring the Corresponding Author: characteristics men and women consider necessities in a Evita March, School of Health and Life Sciences, Federation University booty-call partner will shed light on whether men and women Australia, Northways Road Churchill, VIC 3842, Australia. consider the booty call a short-term, unemotional interaction, Email: e.march@federation.edu.au Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/ by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage). 2 Evolutionary Psychology men and women considering a long-term mate’s kindness a Short-Term Mate Preferences necessity (Li et al., 2002). However, some studies have shown Both sexes pursue and engage in short-term, sexual relation- that women place a higher priority on a mate’s kindness than ships (see Strout, Fisher, Kruger, & Steeleworthy, 2010). As do men (Evans & Brase, 2007). Both evolutionary and social– such, researchers have contrasted the preferences people show economic theory attempt to elucidate the origins of these pre- for a short-term mate (e.g., one-night stand) with preferences ferences in a long-term mate. for a long-term mate (e.g., spouse; Scheib, 2001). With regard As modern dating behavior is considered to reflect evolved to short-term mates, both men and women have been found to adaptations (Stanik & Ellsworth, 2010), these mate prefer- place the most emphasis on the mate’s physical attractiveness ences have been attributed to evolutionary mechanisms. (Wiederman & Dubois, 1998). For example, Buunk, Dijkstra, According to evolutionary theory, as the reproductive costs Fetchenhauer, and Kenrick (2002) showed that both sexes are higher for women (e.g., internal gestation, extended par- desire a higher level of physical attractiveness as relationship ental care; Trivers, 1972), women have come to value a long- lengths shorten. term mate who has the ability to contribute the resources Given this information, it seems that little changes for men necessary to ensure the survival of any resulting offspring across relationship types (i.e., physical attractiveness is prior- (Buss, 2006; Buunk, Dijkstra, Fetchenhauer, & Kenrick, itized), but that the story is more interesting for women. Unmis- 2002). Meanwhile, as men’s reproductive success is con- takable in the existing research is that women prefer physically strained by access to fertile women (Tadinac, 2010), men attractive mates for short-term relationships and mates with have come to value qualities (e.g., physical attractiveness) high status and resources for long-term relationships (Hill & that reflect reproductive potential in budding mates (Mon- Reeve, 2004; March & Bramwell, 2012; Schulte-Hostedde, toya, 2005). Women may also seek a mate who is kind, as Eys, & Johnson, 2008; Shackelford et al., 2005). It is perhaps kindness may indicate that their potential mate is willing to the case that women adapt their mating strategies as a conse- share their resources (Jensen-Campbell, Graziano, & West, quence of the nature of short-term relationships, thus prioritiz- 1995) and be a better, more attentive parent (Urbaniak & ing a mate’s genetic quality over status and resources. Strategic Kilmann, 2006). Thus, evolutionary theory adequately pluralism theory (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000) posits that indi- explains why women consider a mate’s kindness more viduals will engage in different mating strategies according to important than do men (e.g., Evans & Brase, 2007) and why environmental conditions and relationship styles. By recogniz- kindness is important for both men and women when selecting ing individual differences in mating strategies and environ- long-term partners (i.e., is likely a cue to good nurturing ments, strategic pluralism theory can adequately account for ability; see Buss, 1989). Both evolutionary theory and the diversity of women engaging in short-term mating. For social–economic theory highlight the importance of adjusting example, individuals use serious romantic relationships to gain to the environment (Eagly & Wood, 1999) and are not socioemotional support and one-night stands to gain sexual gratification (Jonason, 2013). considered inherently incompatible (Buss & Barnes, 1986; Alternatively, sexual strategies theory (Buss & Schmitt, Feingold, 1990; Howard, Blumstein, & Schwartz, 1987). 1993) suggests that women may use short-term mating as a However, evolutionary research has been criticized for a means to evaluate mates as potential long-term partners (see heavy focus on between-sex differences in mate preferences Jonason et al., 2009). Women might use short-term sexual rather than within-sex differences in mate preferences (Gang- relationships to identify and acquire a long-term partner by estad & Simpson, 2000; Walter, 1997). gauging the benefits gained when in the short-term relationship To address these within-sex differences, social theories attri- (Greiling & Buss, 2000). Taken together, both sexual strategies bute sex differences in mate preferences to social roles adopted theory and strategic pluralism theory can account for mating by men and women (social role theory; Eagly & Wood, 1999) strategies of men and women. However, although some women and economic constraints the sexes face (Moore & Cassidy, may engage in short-term relationships as a means to identify 2007). Social role theory proposes that historical labor divi- potential long-term mates (i.e., sexual strategies theory), sions have led men and women to take on different social roles, women may still engage in short-term relationships for reasons with this occupation of different roles resulting in development other than acquiring a long-term mate, such as securing good of gender roles (Eagly & Steffen, 1984). Traditionally, men genes that will benefit potential offspring (Kruger, Fisher, & secure higher paying jobs and higher status professions relative Jobling, 2003; Vigil, Geary, & Byrd-Craven, 2006). to women (Hamida, Mineka, & Bailey, 1998). Consequently, women’s ability to provide for themselves has been historically constrained (Moore & Cassidy, 2007). Because of the restric- The Nature of Booty-Call Relationships tions women face regarding individual advancement, women seek in mates the characteristics that have historically been Research on sex differences in mate preferences has predomi- denied to them (i.e., status and resources; Buss & Barnes, nantly focused on two “polar-opposite relationship types” 1986). As men have not experienced the same historical eco- (Jonason, Li, & Richardson, 2011, p. 486): short term and long nomic constraints, men are able to focus their initial search on term (see also Aitken, Lyons, & Jonason, 2013; Jonason et al., the physical attractiveness of a mate. 2009). However, not all human relations fall precisely within March et al. 3 these two categories. Some relationships incorporate elements Aim and Hypotheses of both short- and long-term relationships, an example being The current study aimed to assess the characteristics consid- the booty call. The booty call is characterized by a relationship ered necessities in a booty-call mate, an area which has not that is not committed or expected to be monogamous (Singer yet received attention in the literature. This will help et al., 2006) but incorporates repeated sexual encounters elucidate whether men and women consider the booty-call (Jonason et al., 2012). By definition, a booty call involves relationship purely short term or a short-term relationship contacting a non-long-term mate with the primary purpose of with long-term potential. The current study will build on engaging in sexual activity. This contact is most commonly previous research of Li, Bailey, Kenrick, and Linsenmeier made via telephone (Jonason et al., 2009) or by text message (2002) and Li and Kenrick (2006). (Wentland & Reissing, 2011). Spontaneous contact is consid- Previous research has shown men consider physical attrac- ered to be a key feature of the booty-call relationship. tiveness a necessity in both long- and short-term mates (Li The booty-call relationship has been conceptualized as a et al., 2002; Li & Kenrick, 2006). Women, however, consider “compromise” relationship between the sexes (Jonason et al., social level (i.e., status and resources) and kindness a necessity 2009, 2011). According to this premise, it consists of sexual in a long-term mate and physical attractiveness a necessity in a encounters with lower investment than a committed relation- short-term mate. Li and colleagues (2002) define a necessity as ship (and is thus appealing to men) but has an element of a characteristic that is initially sought in a mate, and after this commitment greater than that of a one-time sexual encounter characteristic is obtained, the search for other characteristics (and is thus appealing to women). Wentland and Reissing (defined as luxuries) begins. Here, a necessity is defined as a (2011) reported that individuals engaged in a booty call do not mate characteristic that must be satisfied in order to engage in a consider the other party a friend (and, as such, differs from the booty call; once a necessity is satisfied, other desirable char- friends with benefits relationship) and thus do not socialize acteristics can be sought (described as luxuries; Li et al., 2002). with one another (see also Jonason et al., 2011). Further, Studying the characteristics men and women consider Wentland and Reissing (2011) reported that the booty call does necessities in a booty-call mate should reveal (1) whether not involve emotional investment and is characterized by an women consider a booty-call mate a potential long-term part- “unemotional, perfunctory manner” (p. 87). However, Jonason ner, (2) whether the physical attractiveness of a potential and colleagues (2011) showed that, although the booty-call booty-call mate is actually a necessity, and (3) if kindness is relationship often lacks the emotional acts found in serious, a necessity for men and women in a booty-call mate (kindness long-term relationships (such as talking and handholding), is a characteristic not commonly valued in short-term mates but more emotional, intimate acts were found to occur more often is considered by both sexes as highly desirable in long-term in booty-call relationships relative to one-night stands. For mates; Buss & Barnes, 1986). To properly assess the mate example, kissing, manual sex, fondling of breasts/chest, and preferences for a booty-call relationship, mate preferences regarding long- and short-term mates were also assessed. On anal sex were reported to occur significantly more often in the basis of previous research, if both men and women consider booty calls than in one-night stands. a booty call a short-term, unemotional relationship (e.g., Went- As is evident above, there are differences in the defining land & Reissing, 2011), then: qualities of a booty call. On the one hand, the booty-call rela- tionship is characterized as unemotional and exists purely for spontaneous, sexual gain (Jonason, 2013). This definition is Hypothesis 1: Both men and women will consider physical attractiveness a necessity. supported by findings showing that both men and women accept or reject a booty call based on the initiator’s physical Hypothesis 2: Both men and women will consider kindness attractiveness (Jonason et al., 2009). On the other hand, the a luxury. booty-call relationship may involve more emotional involve- Hypothesis 3: Women will consider social level a luxury. ment and time than a short-term, casual sex relationship and thus gives women the opportunity to screen the booty-call par- However, if a booty-call relationship is a hybrid relationship ticipant as a potential long-term mate (Jonason et al., 2011). that helps reach a compromise between the sexes—offering This idea is supported by findings showing that men were more men sexual encounters with limited (although some) emotional likely than women to report that a booty call did not transition investment and women with sexual encounters alongside the into a long-term relationship as the men were only interested in opportunity to trial run a potential long-term mate (e.g., a sexual relationship (Jonason et al., 2009). Women, on the Jonason et al., 2009, 2011)—then: other hand, were more likely to report that the booty call did not transition into a long-term relationship because the other Hypothesis 4: Both men and women will consider physical person was not interested in a long-term relationship. Jonason, attractiveness a necessity. Li, and Cason (2009) argue that this result is substantial support Hypothesis 5: Both men and women will consider kindness for the claim that men tend to view booty calls as mostly a necessity. sexual, whereas women may have some level of emotional involvement. Hypothesis 6: Women will consider social level a necessity. 4 Evolutionary Psychology women considered a necessity, and characteristics that received Method the most mate dollars when the budget was high were consid- Participants ered mate traits men and women considered a luxury. To complete the mate budget, participants were randomly There were 559 participants with a mean age of 24.03 years allocated into one of the three conditions: long term, short term, (SD ¼ 11.05), with 2 participants not supplying their age. Of and booty call. For long term, participants were asked to spend the participants, 26.48% (148 people) were men, and 73.52% mate dollars to design their ideal long-term mate (someone (411 people) were women. Regarding sexual orientation, they might wish to marry). For short term, participants were 87.84% (491 people) were heterosexual, 6.44% (36 people) asked to spend mate dollars to design their ideal short-term were homosexual, 5.19% (29 people) were bisexual, and mate (someone they may have casual sex with for one eve- 0.54% (3 people) identified as “Other.” For men, 54.76% had ning). For booty call, participants were asked to spend mate previously been involved in a booty-call relationship, dollars to design their ideal booty-call mate (someone with whereas 58.14% of women had previously been involved in whom they will communicate with over a long-term period a booty-call relationship. For men, 9.52% were currently with the intent of short-term sexual gratification). involved in a booty-call relationship, whereas 7.06% of women were currently involved in a booty-call relationship. Finally, 58% (324 people) were current university students. Procedure There were no selection criteria, other than being aged 18 Participants were recruited on and off an Australian university years or older (i.e., participants were notrequiredtobeina campus, with the study promoted as investigating personality relationship). A power analysis (G*Power; Faul, Erdfelder, and relationships. Participants on campus were recruited via Lang, & Buchner, 2007) indicated that a sample size of 155 hard copy advertisements that informed participants of the was required to yield power of 80% to detect a medium effect voluntary, anonymous, and online questionnaire. The posted size of at least 0.25 (a ¼ .05). The current sample size (N ¼ advertisement provided the web link to the online question- 559) was therefore considered to have adequate power to naire. Off campus participants were recruited via social media yield reliable results. advertisements that contained the same information as the hard copy advertisements. Participants were informed that the Materials online questionnaire would take roughly 10 min of their time to complete. Upon completion of the questionnaire, partici- An anonymous online questionnaire included a demo- pants were thanked and scores were amalgamated into the graphics section and a mate budget. Demographics sought data file. information about participant’s age, sex, current education status, if participants had ever been involved in a booty-call relationship, and if participants were currently involved in a Results booty-call relationship. The booty-call relationship was defined for participants as “an uncommitted relationship Three 3  2  2 mixed-models analyses of variance were where communication (e.g., phone call, texting) only takes conducted with type of relationship (short term, booty call, place when there is the urgent intent, either stated or and long term) and gender (men and women) as the between- implied, of having sexual activity and/or intercourse” (see subjects independent variables, budget (low and high) as the Jonason et al., 2009). within-subjects independent variable, and the three mate The current study used the mate budget paradigm (e.g., characteristics of physical attractiveness, kindness, and social Jonason, Luevano, & Adams, 2012; Li et al., 2002; March & level as the dependent variables (see Table 1 for descriptive Grieve, 2015). The mate budget paradigm requires participants statistics). Table 2 presents a summary of the main effects, to spend hypothetical mate dollars on five traits (physical and the full report of the main effect analyses can be found in attractiveness, creativity, kindness, liveliness, and social level) Appendix. on a scale ranging from 0 to 100 percentiles. Before spending the mate dollars, participants are provided with a brief descrip- Physical Attractiveness tion of each characteristic and an overview of the budget allo- cation method. Although all characteristics are included in the For physical attractiveness, there was a significant two-way budget, only physical attractiveness, kindness, and social level interaction between budget and gender, F(2, 493) ¼ 25.10, were analyzed. p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .05. In addition, there was a significant There were two conditions: low budget (10 mate dollars) two-way interaction between budget and relationship type, and high budget (30 mate dollars). Participants were asked to F(2, 493) ¼ 22.85, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .09. No other interactions spend all their mate dollars on the five characteristics in each reached significance. condition, and presentation of the low and high budget was Post hoc tests with a Bonferroni correction showed that both counterbalanced (46.5% of participants received the low bud- men and women spent more mate dollars on physical attrac- get first). Characteristics that received the most mate dollars tiveness in the low budget condition than they did in the high when the budget was low were considered mate traits men and budget condition, p ¼ .001, and for each type of relationship March et al. 5 Table 1. Mean Percentages Allocated to Each Characteristic for Men and Women in Low and High Budgets for Short-Term Mates, Booty-Call Mates, and Long-Term Mates. Men Women Total Low Budget High Budget Low Budget High Budget Low Budget High Budget Characteristics M (SD) M (SD) M (SD) M (SD) M (SD) M (SD) Short-term relationship Physical attractiveness 40.71 (15.62) 27.61 (4.90) 32.74 (11.66) 24.54 (5.12) 34.53 (13.05) 25.23 (5.22) Kindness 17.22 (9.09) 17.93 (6.34) 21.85 (8.14) 23.06 (5.74) 20.80 (8.56) 21.90 (6.24) Social level 13.97 (7.75) 17.83 (7.00) 16.75 (7.40) 18.69 (5.09) 16.12 (7.55) 18.49 (5.57) Booty-call relationship Physical attractiveness 44.64 (19.99) 25.50 (5.99) 30.54 (18.84) 23.37 (5.72) 34.47 (20.82) 24.09 (5.87) Kindness 19.51 (16.96) 20.29 (7.37) 29.06 (15.98) 23.62 (6.84) 25.85 (16.85) 22.50 (7.17) Social level 10.61 (10.76) 17.88 (6.34) 12.65 (9.19) 18.77 (6.43) 11.97 (9.75) 18.47 (6.39) Long-term relationship Physical attractiveness 25.87 (14.22) 21.13 (6.65) 20.61 (7.61) 20.14 (3.90) 21.69 (9.54) 20.35 (4.59) Kindness 26.41 (6.76) 23.69 (5.03) 30.35 (8.38) 25.45 (4.08) 29.54 (8.22) 25.09 (4.34) Social level 15.98 (10.22) 18.96 (5.59) 17.91 (9.30) 19.39 (5.76) 17.51 (9.50) 19.30 (5.71) Table 2. Summary of Main Effects for Gender, Relationship Type, and Budget on Characteristics of Physical Attractiveness, Kindness, and Social Level. Characteristics F test Z Physical attractiveness Sex F(1, 493) ¼ 40.46*** .08 Relationship type F(2, 493) ¼ 53.45*** .18 Budget F(1, 493) ¼ 208.33*** .30 Kindness Sex F(1, 493) ¼ 38.37*** .07 Relationship type F(2, 493) ¼ 27.43*** .10 Budget F(1, 493) ¼ 13.56*** .03 Social level Sex F(1, 493) ¼ 4.69* .01 Relationship type F(2, 493) ¼ 6.24** .03 Budget F(1, 493) ¼ 93.16*** .16 Figure 1. Three-way interaction for variables of budget, gender, and *p < .05. **p < .01. ***p < .001. type of relationship for percentage of mate dollars spent on physical attractiveness. Error bars represent standard error. Y-axis begins at 15%. (short term, booty call, and long term), both men and women spent significantly more mate dollars in the low budget than the Kindness high budget, p ¼ .001, .001, and .011, respectively. Although the omnibus three-way interaction did not reach statistical sig- For kindness, there was a significant two-way interaction nificance, post hoc tests revealed significant results. However, between budget and gender, F(1, 493) ¼ 7.86, p ¼ .005, due to the nonsignificance of the overall test, these results Z ¼ .02. Although the interaction between gender and should be interpreted with caution. For short-term relation- relationship type did not reach significance, there was a signif- ships, both men (p ¼ .001) and women (p ¼ .001) spent sig- icant two-way interaction between budget and relationship nificantly more mate dollars on physical attractiveness in the type, F(2, 493) ¼ 10.29, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .04. Finally, there was low budget compared to the high budget condition. In addition, a significant three-way interaction for budget, gender, and rela- for booty-call relationships, both men (p ¼ .001) and women (p tionship type, F(2, 493) ¼ 4.04, p ¼ .018, Z ¼ .02. ¼ .001) spent significantly more mate dollars on physical In relation to the significant interaction between budget and attractiveness in the low budget compared to the high budget gender, post hoc tests with a Bonferroni correction showed condition. However, for long-term relationships, only men (p ¼ that women spent significantly more mate dollars on kindness .001) and not women (p ¼ .612) spent significantly more mate in the low budget compared to the high budget, p ¼ .001. In dollars on physical attractiveness in the low budget compared relation to the significant interaction between budget and rela- to the high budget condition. This three-way interaction is tionship type, both men and women spent significantly more visually depicted in Figure 1. mate dollars in the low budget than the high budget condition, 6 Evolutionary Psychology Figure 2. Three-way interaction for variables of budget, gender, and type of relationship for percentage of mate dollars spent on kindness. Figure 3. Three-way interaction for variables of budget, gender, and Error bars represent standard error. Y-axis begins at 15%. type of relationship for percentage of mate dollars spent on social level. Error bars represent standard error. Y-axis begins at 10%. p ¼ .011, and .001, respectively. No other comparisons reached significance. results. However, due to the nonsignificance of the overall test, For the significant three-way interaction of budget, gender, these results should be interpreted with caution. Post hoc com- and relationship type, post hoc comparisons demonstrated that parisons show that for short-term relationships, both men (p ¼ for booty-call relationships, only women spent significantly .001) and women (p ¼ .002) spent significantly more mate more mate dollars on kindness in the low budget compared dollars on social level in the high budget compared to the low to the high budget, p ¼ .001. This result indicates that women, budget. In addition, for booty-call relationships, both men (p ¼ not men, consider the kindness of a booty-call mate a necessity. .001) and women (p ¼ .001) spent significantly more mate For short-term mates, there were no significant comparisons. dollars on social level in the high budget compared to the low Finally, for long-term relationships, both men (p ¼ .047) and budget. Finally, for long-term relationships, both men (p ¼ women (p ¼ .001) spent significantly more mate dollars on .013) and women (p ¼ .015) spent significantly more mate kindness in the low budget compared to the high budget, sug- dollars on social level in the high budget compared to the low gesting that both men and women consider the kindness of a budget. These results suggest that for these three relationship long-term mate a necessity. This three-way interaction is types, both men and women consider social level a luxury. This visually depicted in Figure 2. three-way interaction is visually depicted in Figure 3. Social Level Discussion For social level, there was no significant two-way interaction The aim of the current study was to assess the characteristics between budget and gender, F(1, 493) ¼ 3.47, p ¼ .063, Z ¼ p considered necessities in a booty-call mate, an interpersonal .01. There was, however, a significant two-way interaction relationship which has received limited attention in the litera- between budget and relationship type, F(2, 493) ¼ 10.32, ture. Predictions were based on whether the booty-call relation- p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .04. There was no significant two-way interac- p ship is considered a short-term, unemotional relationship or a tion between gender and relationship type, F(2, 493) ¼ .08, hybrid long- and short-term relationship. To properly assess the p ¼ .920, Z ¼ .01. Finally, there was no significant three-way p mate preferences for a booty-call relationship, mate prefer- interaction for budget, gender, and relationship type, ences regarding long- and short-term mates were also assessed. F(2, 493) ¼ .07, p ¼ .930, Z ¼ .01. To further explore these interactions, post hoc tests with a Long- and Short-Term Mate Preferences Bonferroni correction were conducted. For the interaction of budget and relationship type, post hoc tests showed that For short-term mates, although the omnibus test for the three- for all relationship types, individuals spent significantly more way interaction did not reach significance, significant post hoc mate dollars in the high budget compared to the low budget, tests indicated that both men and women considered the phys- p ¼ .001, .001, and.001 for short term, booty calls, and long ical attractiveness of a short-term mate necessity—a result fur- term, respectively. ther supported by the significant two-way interaction between Although the omnibus three-way interaction did not reach budget and relationship type. The result of both sexes consid- statistical significance, post hoc tests revealed significant ering the physical attractiveness of a short-term mate a March et al. 7 necessity corroborates the results of Li and Kenrick (2006). necessity. As women did not consider the kindness of a Furthermore, this result provides support for the premise that short-term mate a necessity, these results do not support the when considering a short-term mate, women place increased premise that the booty-call relationship is considered a short- emphasis on physical attractiveness (Buunk et al., 2002; Wie- term, unemotional sexual relationship. Importantly, it should derman & Dubois, 1998). The current results showed that both be noted that both men and women consider the kindness of a men and women did not consider the kindness or the social long-term mate a necessity. Combined with the current result level of a short-term mate a necessity, in line with Li and that both men and women consider the physical attractiveness Kenrick (2006). Interestingly, Li and Kenrick reported that of a booty call, a mate, and a necessity, results of the current men considered the kindness of a short-term mate a luxury— study support the premise of Jonason and colleagues (2011) a result not replicated here. It is possible that as the mate budget who proposed the booty-call relationship as a sexual relation- has had limited use in the literature, the results are still rela- ship but more emotional than the short-term, one-night stand tively inconsistent. relationship. Thus, results of the current study best support the Only men considered the physical attractiveness of a long- second hypothesis, which proposed that a booty-call relation- term mate a necessity, further corroborating previous research ship may be a hybrid long- and short-term relationship that of Li and colleagues (2002). In addition, both men and women helps reach a compromise between the sexes. considered the kindness of a long-term mate a necessity and However, it should be noted that the compromise relation- the social level of a long-term mate a luxury. Although Li and ship appears to only be the case for women, not men. Although colleagues (2002) established that only women, not men, con- women’s booty-call mate preferences appeared to be an amal- sidered a long-term mate’s kindness as a necessity, both sexes gamation of short- and long-term mate preferences, men’s have been shown to consider kindness as one of the most booty-call mate preferences mirrored their short-term mate important and desirable traits for a potential romantic partner preferences. Thus, the current study appears to support Jonason to possess (Buss & Barnes, 1986; Lippa, 2007). However, and colleagues’ (2009) suggestion that the booty call may be women considering the social level of a long-term mate a characterized as a “compromise relationship” between the luxury, not a necessity, are inconsistent with the results of sexes (see Jonason et al., 2009) in that it allows men to have Li et al. (2002). sex without a high level of commitment, while offering women Although inconsistent, and as mentioned above, it should be the potential for future commitment. Results of the current noted that only a small body of research has used the mate study also support the premise that men and women differ more budget paradigm. As such, characteristics men and women in preferences when considering primarily sexual relationships consider necessities and luxuries in mate preferences may not (e.g., Jonason, 2013), further supporting sexual strategies the- yet be established. It should be noted that the current results do ory (Buss & Schmitt, 1993). The results of the current study not suggest that women do not care about the social level of a provide further conceptualization of new contemporary rela- mate (nor do they suggest that men do not care about the social tionship styles in comparison to traditional styles (e.g., long- level of a mate) but simply may not consider this characteristic term marriage, short-term casual one-night stand). a necessity. Previous research posits many factors (e.g., gender Finally, although the omnibus test did not reach significance roles, level of income) may influence a woman’s desire for a and thus results be interpreted with caution, post hoc compar- mate to possess significant status and resources (e.g., Eagly, isons showed both men and women considered the social level Eastwick, & Johannesen-Schmit, 2009; Moore, Cassidy, & of a booty-call mate a luxury. Interestingly, social level was perrett, 2010). As such, women not considering a long-term considered by both sexes to be a luxury across all types of mate’s social level a necessity may not be due to methodolo- relationships (short term, booty call, and long term). Given this gical limitations, but rather individual differences within and consistency, it appears that men’s and women’s preference for between samples. Importantly, this result provides support for a booty-call mate’s social level is reflective of their short- and strategic pluralism theory (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000), as long-term mate preferences. Thus, it can still be said that booty- women may be strategically adapting their mate preferences call mate preferences are an amalgamation of both short- and according to their environment. long-term mate preferences. Booty-Call Mate Preferences Limitations and Future Directions Based on previous studies (Jonason et al., 2009, 2011; Li et al., A potential limitation of the current study was that the list of 2002; Li & Kenrick, 2006) regarding short-term, booty-call, characteristics (i.e., physical attractiveness, kindness, and and long-term relationships, we predicted that if both men and social level) was short. Although this list of traits was consis- women consider a booty call a short-term, unemotional sexual tent with previous work in this area (e.g., Li et al., 2002), traits relationship, physical attractiveness should be a necessity for not assessed or explored here might be deemed important in a both sexes, with kindness and social level as luxuries. Results potential booty-call mate. Future research could assess addi- were that, regardless of gender, physical attractiveness was considered a necessity in a booty-call mate. However, women tional mate characteristics, such as intelligence (Lippa, 2007), were found to consider the kindness of a booty-call mate a creativity (e.g., Li et al., 2002), and even other traits that may 8 Evolutionary Psychology be considered more important in a primarily sexual relation- Appendix ship, such as eroticism and sexual performance. Physical Attraction A further limitation is the relatively small sample size. For the trait of physical attractiveness, there was a main effect Although post hoc tests reached significance, overall omnibus of budget, F(1, 493) ¼ 181.66, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .27; gender, tests did not. This, combined with the effect sizes of these tests, F(1, 493) ¼ 33.65, p ¼ .001; Z ¼ .06; and relationship type, suggests that the power of the test may have been constrained F(2, 493) ¼ 49.28, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .17. Post hoc analyses with by the sample size. Future research should seek to recruit a the Bonferroni correction were conducted. For budget, post hoc larger number of participants when conducting comparisons analyses demonstrated people spent more mate dollars on between relationship types. Nonetheless, the sample size for physical attractiveness in the low budget condition (M ¼ the current study (N ¼ 559) was substantially larger than pre- 32.12, SE ¼ .72) compared to the high budget condition vious research examining booty-call relationships (e.g., N ¼ (M ¼ 23.72, SE ¼ .27), suggesting that this trait is considered 123 in Collins & Horn, 2018; N ¼ 61 in Jonason et al., 2009; N a necessity, p ¼ .001. For gender, men spent more on physical ¼ 123 in Jonason et al., 2011; N ¼ 192 in Wesche, Claxton, attractiveness (M ¼ 30.51, SE ¼ .77) than did women (M ¼ Lefkowitz, & van Dulman, 2017), and because our sample 25.32, SE ¼ .46), p ¼ .001. In relation to relationship type, included a substantial proportion of nonstudents, we suggest people spent more mate dollars on a booty-call mate’s physical that our results provide reasonable insight into this particular attractiveness (M ¼ 30.41, SE ¼ .87) and a short-term mate’s interpersonal behavior. physical attractiveness (M ¼ 31.40, SE ¼ .72) than they did on The results of the current study may also be limited in gen- physical attractiveness in long-term relationships (M ¼ 21.94, eralizing to all sexual orientations, as the sample was predomi- SE ¼ .73), p ¼ .001 and p ¼ .001, respectively. In addition, nantly heterosexual (88.2%). Although the mating strategies of there was no significant difference between the amount of mate homosexual and heterosexual men and women are not consid- dollars individuals spent on a booty-call and short-term mate’s ered to differ (Symons, 1979), some research has shown dif- physical attractiveness. ferences in mate preferences for homosexual and heterosexual women (Bailey, Gaulin, Agyei, & Gladue, 1994). As such, Kindness although homosexual men’s and women’s mate preferences For the trait of kindness, there was a main effect of budget, may be fundamentally similar to their heterosexual counter- parts, this similarity should not be assumed (March, Grieve, F(1, 493) ¼ 13.56, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .03; gender, F(1, 493) ¼ & Marx, 2014). Future research would benefit from exploring 38.37, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .07; and relationship type, F(2, 493) ¼ mate preferences of individuals other than those with a hetero- 27.43, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .10. Post hoc analyses with the Bonfer- sexual orientation in these relationship paradigms (i.e., booty roni correction were conducted. For budget, post hoc analyses demonstrated that people spent more mate dollars on kindness calls, friends with benefits, and fuck buddies). in the low budget condition (M ¼ 24.07, SE ¼ .56) than they did in the high budget condition (M ¼ 22.34, SE ¼ .30), sug- gesting this trait is considered a necessity, p ¼ .001. For gender, Conclusion women spent more on kindness (M ¼ 25.56, SE ¼ .39) than did An apparent flaw in much of the existing literature on relation- men (M ¼ 20.84, SE ¼ .65), p ¼ .001. Finally, for relationship ships is the assumption that there is a dichotomy of relation- type, people spent more mate dollars on a long-term mate’s ships and that all relationships can be characterized as either kindness (M ¼ 26.48, SE ¼ .62) than on a short-term mate’s short term or long term. Results of the current study show that kindness (M ¼ 20.02, SE ¼ .61), p ¼ .001. In addition, people not all human relationships fit within this dichotomy, as some spent more mate dollars on a long-term mate’s kindness com- relations (e.g., the booty-call relationship) incorporate charac- pared to a booty-call mate’s kindness (M ¼ 23.12, SE ¼ .74), teristics of both short- and long-term relationships. Our results p ¼ .002. Finally, people spent significantly more mate dollars support previous suggestions that the booty-call relationship is on a booty-call mate’s kindness than a short-term mate’s kind- a compromise relationship that benefits the sexes in different ness, p ¼ .004. ways (e.g., Jonason et al., 2009, 2011). However, the current study also extends previous research by establishing the neces- Social Level sity of a booty-calls mate’s physical attractiveness, kindness, For social level, there was a significant main effect of budget, and social level. Furthermore, the current study shows that both F(1, 493) ¼ 93.16, p ¼ .001, Z ¼ .16; gender, F(1, 493) ¼ sexes considered the physical attractiveness of a booty-call 4.69, p ¼ .031, Z ¼ .01; and relationship term, F(2,493) ¼ mate a necessity, suggesting that both sexes could be using the 6.24, p ¼ .002, Z ¼ .03. Post hoc comparisons with a Bon- booty-call relationship as a means of satisfying short-term sex- ferroni adjustment were conducted. Post hoc results showed ual means (e.g., Jonason, 2013). Finally, although previous people spent more mate dollars on social level in the high research has conceptualized the booty-call relationship as a budget condition (M ¼ 18.59, SE ¼ .31) compared to the low compromise between men and women (e.g., Jonason et al., budget condition (M ¼ 14.64, SE ¼ .47), p ¼ .001. This result 2009), our findings indicate that perhaps it is only women, not demonstrates the characteristic of social level is considered a men, who are doing the compromising. luxury. In addition, women spent more mate dollars on a mate’s March et al. 9 Eagly, A. H., Eastwick, P. W., & Johannesen-Schmidt, M. (2009). social level (M ¼ 17.36, SE ¼ .35) compared to men Possible selves in marital roles: The impact of the anticipated (M ¼ 15.87, SE ¼ .59), p ¼ .031. Finally, people spent signif- division of labor on the mate preferences of women and men. icantly more mate dollars on a long-term mate’s social level Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 403–414. doi: (M ¼ 18.06, SE ¼ .56) than on a booty-call mate’s social level 10.1177/0146167208329696 (M ¼ 14.98, SE ¼ .67), p ¼ .001. No other comparisons were Eagly, A. H., & Steffen, V. J. (1984). Gender stereotypes stem from significant. the distribution of women and men into social roles. 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Journal

Evolutionary PsychologySAGE

Published: Nov 14, 2018

Keywords: mate preferences; booty calls; short-term relationship; long-term relationship; mating; mate budget

References