• Does female promiscuity increase religious beliefs? testing the male control theory versus the female control theory

      Rolón, Vania (2017-07)
      Most psychological articles examining religion treat this construct as either an independent or controlled variable. Few studies have addressed the possibility that religiosity may shift as a function of environmental cues (i.e., that religiosity may be studied as a dependent variable). Among these studies, even fewer have looked into how religion may be a viable means to suppressing the sexuality of others, particularly that of females. My work aims to test two theories as to which sex stifles female sexual behavior the most. I examined whether reading about a highly versus a less promiscuous target affects participants' religiosity and whether the sex of the target and the participant interact in this effect. A series of ANCOVAs revealed that, while promiscuity levels did not seem to affect religiosity, target and participant sex did interact, with men reporting less religiosity when presented with same-sex targets but females not varying significantly as a result of the target's sex. Results support the existing research that religiosity is a more flexible construct than previously thought.
    • Implicit attitudes towards sexually and reproductively relevant stimuli : do female attitudes vary based on sexual orientation, conception-risk, and hormonal contraceptive use?

      Guitar, Amanda E. (2013-06-26)
      Previous research has suggested that females at high fertility may be more sensitive to cues of sexual-relevance as opposed to reproductive-relevance. The current study examined this issue by having females of varying sexual orientation complete two implicit association tasks (IAT) while they were in either a high-conception risk phase (i.e., fertile phase) or low-conception risk phase (i.e., non-fertile phase), as well as comparing this data to women who were currently taking hormonal contraceptives. The IAT is an implicit measure designed to detect the strength of a person's automatic association between mental representations of concepts in memory. The first IAT assessed attitudes towards cues of reproductively relevant stimuli (images of women who are or are not visibly pregnant) and the second IAT examined cues of sexually relevant stimuli (images of provocatively or conservatively dressed women). Results suggest that women did differ on implicit attitudes towards both stimuli; however, these differences were not statistically significant.
    • Look @ me 2.0: self-sexualization in Facebook photographs, self-objectification, and body image

      Ruckel, Lindsay M. (2012-12)
      Growing attention has been paid to examining people’s self-presentation on Social Networking Sites (SNSs). To date, one study has explored the extent to which women present themselves in a sexualized way in their profile photographs on SNSs. SNSs provide a unique opportunity for self-sexualization, or the presentation of one’s body in a sexually objectifying way for others’ evaluation. The current study tested the relationship between women’s self-objectification and their self-sexualization in their Facebook profile photographs. This work also investigated how self-sexualization relates to body image satisfaction, internalization of the “thin ideal”, and how contingent self-worth is on appearance. Facebook profile photographs of 100 women, ranging from 18-49 years old were coded for self-sexualization. Results suggested that women who reported higher levels of self-objectification and who identified more strongly with the appearance-contingency of self-worth were more likely to self-sexualize in their Facebook profile photographs. However, no relationship was found between self-sexualization and internalization of the “thin ideal” or body image satisfaction. Potential implications and directions for future research are explored.
    • Partner insurance : women may have backup romantic partners as a mating strategy

      Wedberg, Nicole A. (2016-05)
      The science behind reproductive success is arguably the most prominent area of study within evolutionary psychology. Humans utilize a variety of mating strategies as a result of strategic pluralism (Gangestad & Simpson, 2000) which explains that both men and women have evolved with a plethora of conditional mating strategies that may be more or less beneficial depending on the context and circumstance. Recent research points to the existence of "back-burner relationships" (Dibble & Drouin, 2014) as a means to compare and consider potential alternatives in the way of romantic relationships. The current study refers to this phenomenon as partner insurance, and focuses on heterosexual women in committed relationships. A new scale called the Plan B Proclivity scale (PBP) was designed for the current study to measure the degree to which women consider their closest platonic male friend a romantic "backup plan." Results suggest that 20% of women report having some level of partner insurance, and various variables predict this including being young in age, having low relationship satisfaction with a current partner, having an unrestricted sociosexual orientation, and having a personality composed of relatively high narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy (i.e. the Dark Triad). Implications for these findings are discussed.
    • Patterns of past and present body esteem: do they matter?

      Fish, Jennaleigh (2013-06-25)
      The present study examined the relationship between patterns of perceptions of body image/esteem (past and present) and sexual behavior in young women during emerging adulthood. One hundred and forty-eight participants completed an online survey which measured body image perception and aspects of sexual behavior. Using past body perceptions (retrospective) and current body perceptions, participants were placed into four groups—those who were consistently positive in their body esteem, those who were consistently negative in their body esteem, and those who perceived a change in body esteem. These groups were then used as independent variables to compare women across sexual desire, sexual confidence, and body image perceptions. Change in perceptions of body esteem had significant effects on all of the study variables except sexual desire. Several patterns emerged from the results of this study. Among the most prevalent included: Women who were consistently positive in their body esteem had higher levels of body area satisfaction, appearance satisfaction, sexual desire, and sexual confidence; having had a positive body image perception at some point in the past seems to benefit women’s body esteem in emerging adulthood; and women who had a consistently negative body image perception report lower body area satisfaction, sexual desire, and sexual confidence. The results indicate that perceived body esteem, both past and current, is related to higher levels of body satisfaction, more positive appearance evaluations, and lower self weight classification, all of which have not been explored in previous research. Therefore, those who have more positive body esteem and have always had positive body esteem are more also more likely to have a positive body image in emerging adulthood.
    • Untangling the complexities of female sexuality: a mixed approach

      Carmen, Rachael A. (2014-01-28)
      Human sexuality is fascinating. Though it is such an integral part of our everyday lives, our understanding is lacking (to say the least)--especially when it comes to female sexuality. "Human" sexuality has been studied for nearly a hundred years, but the findings were usually in regard to males (as was most psychological research at the time). Because of this unbalance, this research attempts to answer questions solely surrounding female sexuality. In order to truly piece apart female sexuality, one hundred and forty five females at a small college in the Northeast were given three sexuality scales: (The Sexual Self-Efficacy Scale for Female Functioning (SSES) (Bailes et al., 1998), The Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) (Rosen et al., 2000) and The Sexual Self-Schema Scale (SSSS) (Andersen & Cyranowski, 1994)). Additionally, to ascertain what variables play key roles in female sexuality, they were also given the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEI-Que) (Schutte et al., 1998), The High-K scale (Giosan, 2006), The Mating Intelligence Scale (slightly revised) (MI) (Geher & Kaufman, 2007), and The Perceived Stress Reactivity Scale (PSRS) (Schlotz, Yim, Zoccola, Jansen & Schulz, 2011). Statistical analyses show that Emotional Intelligence and Life History Strategy are strongly positively correlated with higher levels of sexuality.
    • Women on hormonal contraception: a behavioral biopsychosocial perspective

      Newmark, Rebecca L. (2013-06-28)
      Normally cycling females experience natural cyclic shifts in their physical appearance and in various psychological traits (Haselton & Gildersleeve, 2011; Alvergne & Lummaa, 2009). When women use hormonal contraception (HC), these natural cyclical changes are no longer present (Welling et al., 2012; Miller, Tybur, & Jordan, 2007). Many physical differences between hormonal contraception users and non-users have been examined (Shulman, 2011). However, far fewer psychological and behavioral traits that are likely associated with hormonal contraceptive use have been studied. My goal was to examine relevant dispositional and behavioral traits that differ in hormonal contraceptive users and non-users. The variables examined include life history strategy, sociosexuality, intrasexual competition, social support and risk-taking behavior. One’s life history strategy is indicative of one’s mating pattern among other attitudes and behavior relevant to reproductive success. Sociosexuality is an individual’s tendency to engage in promiscuous behavior. Intrasexual competition is the competition among members of the same sex over mates and status. I included these variables based on the broad prediction that a lack of ovulation leads women to spend a higher proportion of time in a state of long-term mating (with the idea that these women do not experience the ovulatory state so wellnoted for leading to various short-term mating tactics). Thus, women on HC were predicted to show markers of a relatively slow life history and a relatively restricted sociosexuality, coupled with low levels of both intrasexual competition and risky behavior. HC users reported to engage in between-group competition risk-taking more heavily compared to non-users in their ovulatory phase. HC users reported a more restricted sociosexuality in terms of the desire facet compared to non-users. HC users reported to receive higher levels of social support compared to normally cycling women. Lastly, HC users reported to be more intrasexually competitive compared to normally cycling women in their ovulatory phase.