The Role of Attractiveness in Dating Selection

Sarah C. Atchley,
Hendrix College

Full manuscript:

Abstract: Current research explores how attractive a person is perceived based on the number of sexual partners the person and the attractiveness of those sexual partners. Without ever witnessing the individual, participants formed opinions of the individual’s level of attractiveness and desirability based on a high or low number of sexual partners and high or low attractiveness levels of those partners.

Introduction: When selecting romantic partners, people have very different perspectives on what is considered desirable. One person may put high emphases on the importance of hygiene, fashion, or physical attractiveness that another may find to be less attractive. While there are several factors influencing one’s choice of a romantic partner, a person’s level of attractiveness is one of the strongest indicators of dating desirability. Another important aspect of attractiveness is lifestyle. One’s personal choices, such as whom and how many people an individual chooses to date, also factor in deciding who is attractive. A person’s number of sexual partners and a person’s attractiveness are two key components to attraction; however, one questions if a person could be found attractive based on qualities of their partners. It is for this reason that the present research addresses how someone is perceived based on the number of their sexual partners and the level of attractiveness, on average, that their partners reach.

Read the full manuscript: