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Partner preferences across sexual orientations and biological sex


  • Jarryd T. Willis, Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Arlington.
  • There is no potential conflict of interest pertaining to this study.


This study examined how partner preferences differ across interpersonal contexts (romantic attachment and relationship expectations) based on sexuality and biological sex. Participants completed measures of attachment and behavioral expectations for their romantic partners, cross-sex friends, and same-sex friends. The attachment anxiety results revealed an effect of sexuality: Single heterosexuals scored higher for their cross-sex friends than same-sex friends, single lesbian/gay individuals scored higher for same-sex friends than cross-sex friends, and bisexuals' attachment anxiety was equal regardless of friends' biological sex. The behavioral expectation results revealed an effect of biological sex indicating that, regardless of sexuality, women are preferred over men for emotional/social needs. Finally, an interaction revealed that lesbians have higher expectations for their girlfriends/wives than straight men have for theirs.

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