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Dimensions of the heterosexual bond: Culture, personality and cycle effects

SHIMODA, REI (2014) Dimensions of the heterosexual bond: Culture, personality and cycle effects. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Romantic love, sexual desire, and adult attachment mechanisms were proposed to be universal adaptations which initiate and maintain a pair-bond relationship with a selected partner. The main goal of the thesis was to explore the functions of the pair-bond mechanisms from an evolutionary perspective and to test whether these proposed mechanisms showed the characteristics expected of psychological systems designed to initiate and maintain a pair-bond. The life history theory assumes that, as the available resources and lifespan are limited, decisions regarding resource allocation (e.g., energy) involve trade-offs among life history tasks (e.g., reproduction, parenting). The theory implies that individuals in different circumstances should deal with trade-offs differently, and this may be reflected in the experiences of pair-bond relationships. I first selected prospective items in order to construct self-report measurements of pair-bond relationships (Chapter Two). These items were administered to Occidental and Japanese participants. Their responses were entered in a series of factor analyses in order to confirm factor structure underlying pair-bond relationships, and to develop and refine measurements to assess relationships dimensions (Chapter Three). For both cultural groups, six factors were generated: a romantic love related factor (obsession); three attachment-related factors (care-receiving, care-giving, separation distress); and two sexual desire-related factors (partner- and other-directed sexual desire). The developed scales and/or some of the selected items were used to assess whether individuals differed in the intensity of relationship dimensions as a function of sex (Chapters Four and Five), age (Chapter Four), relationship stage (Chapter Four), cultural background (Chapter Four), personality (Chapter Five) and female conception probability (Chapter Six). Results showed that the intensity of relationship dimensions differed between sexes, different age groups, relationship stages, cultural backgrounds, personalities, and menstrual phases. In fact, culture had a major impact on pair-bond relationship dimensions. The strong cultural influence found on the relationship dimensions suggests that this should not be ignored by evolutionary psychologists.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Evolutionary psychology Romantic love Sexual desire Adult attachment
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Psychology, Department of
Thesis Date:2014
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:28 Apr 2015 12:22

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