Dominance, Prosocial Orientation, and Female Preferences: Do Nice Guys Really Finish Last?

Lauri A. Jensen-Campbell, William G. Graziano, Stephen West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Three multimethod studies (total N = 348) probed the hypothesis that women's attraction to men would be influenced by male prosocial orientation. In Study 1, prosocial men were rated as more physically and sexually attractive, socially desirable, and desirable as dates than were nonprosocial men. Dominant men were no more attractive than low-dominance men, and male dominance did not interact with male prosocial orientation in eliciting attraction from women. In Study 2, prosocial orientation was manipulated to avoid "personalism," but still affected attraction. Across all measures attraction was an interactive function of dominance and prosocial tendencies. Dominance alone did not increase any form of attraction measured. In Study 3, male prosocial tendencies and dominance interacted to affect women's attraction to men. Results are discussed in terms of the place of altruism and dominance in evolutionary approaches to human interpersonal attraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)427-440
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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