Effects of attractiveness and status in dating desire in homosexual and heterosexual men and women

Thao Ha, Judith E.M. Van Den Berg, Rutger C.M.E. Engels, Anna Lichtwarck-Aschoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The present study examined partner preferences of homosexual and heterosexual men and woman, focusing on attractiveness and status. Homosexual (N=591 men; M age =28.87 years, SD=10.21; N=249 women; M age=33.36 years,SD=13.12)andheterosexualparticipants (N=346men; M age=39.74 years, SD=14.26; N=400 women; M age =35.93 years, SD=13.72) rated the importance of attractiveness and social status of potential partners and then, in a vignette test, expressed their desire to date hypothetical potential partners based on photographs that varied in attractiveness and status-related profiles. With ratings, heterosexual men valued attractiveness the most, followed by homosexual men, heterosexual women, and homosexual women. Heterosexual women rated social status asmost important.When status profiles were manipulated and accompanied with photographs of faces, the pattern of differences between homosexuals and heterosexuals supported the self-reported results. Overall, homosexual men and women have similarmate preferences to heterosexual men and women by showing more dating desire for attractive and high social status persons. Compared to attractiveness, status played a smaller role in dating desire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-682
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Attractiveness
  • Heterosexuality
  • Homosexuality
  • Mate preference
  • Sexual orientation
  • Status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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