Portions of this article were presented at the 60th Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association, Boston, MA, March 30-April 2, 1989. The authors wish to thank Paul Schmidt, Donna Wittl, Karen Ross, Bob Radaz, and Lisa Allen for their assistance in data collection. Appreciation is also extended to Galen Bodenhausen, Linda Jackson, and two anonymous reviewers for comments on an earlier draft of this article.
Toward an Understanding of “The Sex Game”: The Effects of Gender and Self-Monitoring on Perceptions of Sexuality and Likability in Initial Interactions1
Article first published online: 15 AUG 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 20, Issue 16, pages 1333–1344, September 1990
How to Cite
Harnish, R. J., Abbey, A. and DeBono, K. G. (1990), Toward an Understanding of “The Sex Game”: The Effects of Gender and Self-Monitoring on Perceptions of Sexuality and Likability in Initial Interactions. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 20: 1333–1344. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1990.tb01475.x
- Issue published online: 15 AUG 2006
- Article first published online: 15 AUG 2006
Results of several studies indicate that men attribute more sexual meaning to heterosexual interactions than do women. Based on Abbey's (1982) findings, we hypothesized that males, in comparison to females, would attribute more sexuality to opposite-sex partners. Based on findings from several self-monitoring dating studies, we predicted that high self-monitors would rate their partners and themselves higher on sexuality and likability traits than would low self-monitors. A laboratory study was conducted in which mixed-sex pairs of participants discussed their likes and dislikes about college life. Participants then rated themselves and their opposite-sex partners on a set of sexuality and likability trait adjectives and indicated their interest in getting to know their partner better. Results supported the gender hypotheses, whereas they only partially supported the self-monitoring predictions. The self-monitoring effects on self-ratings of sexuality and partner ratings of likability are used to explain why high self-monitors are more successful than low self-monitors in establishing heterosexual relationships.