Source: Evolutionary Psychology
The current set of studies examined regret involving action and inaction in the realm of romantic relationships by testing whether such regret is associated with the characteristics of one’s mate. In study 1, 394 participants reported on a previous casual sexual encounter, and in study 2, 358 participants reported on a previous romantic relationship. In both, instances of actual engagement and instances of passing up opportunities were studied. Study 3 was experimental and elicited reactions to hypothetical scenarios from 201 participants. Regret reported by men in both study 1 and study 2 varied as a function of the perceived attractiveness of the participants’ actual and potential mate. Regret reported by women in study 2 varied as a function of the perceived stinginess of the participant’s mate and perceived wealth of the participants’ potential mate. Study 3 found that sex differences in type of regret (with men regretting inaction more than women) occurred only when the mate presented in the scenario was described in ways consistent with mate preferences. Together these findings suggest that regret differs between the sexes in ways consistent with sex differences in mate preferences.
Source: PLoS ONE
Do people believe that sharing food might involve sharing more than just food? To investigate this, participants were asked to rate how jealous they (Study 1) – or their best friend (Study 2) – would be if their current romantic partner were contacted by an ex-romantic partner and subsequently engaged in an array of food- and drink-based activities. We consistently find – across both men and women – that meals elicit more jealousy than face-to-face interactions that do not involve eating, such as having coffee. These findings suggest that people generally presume that sharing a meal enhances cooperation. In the context of romantic pairs, we find that participants are attuned to relationship risks that extra-pair commensality can present. For romantic partners left out of a meal, we find a common view that lunch, for example, is not “just lunch.”
See: It’s not just lunch (EurekAlert!)
Domestic Work and Psychological Distress-What Is the Importance of Relative Socioeconomic Position and Gender Inequality in the Couple Relationship?
Source: PLoS ONE
The aim of this study was to investigate whether the relation between responsibility for domestic work and psychological distress was influenced by perception of gender inequality in the couple relationship and relative socioeconomic position.
In the Northern Swedish Cohort, all pupils who studied in the last year of compulsory school in a northern Swedish town in 1981 have been followed regularly until 2007. In this study, participants living with children were selected (n = 371 women, 352 men). The importance of relative socioeconomic position and perception of gender inequality in the couple relationship in combination with domestic work for psychological distress was examined through logistic regression analysis.
Two combinations of variables including socioeconomic position (‘having less than half of the responsibility for domestic work and partner higher socioeconomic position’ and ‘having more than half the responsibility for domestic work and equal socioeconomic position’) were related to psychological distress. There were also higher ORs for psychological distress for the combinations of having ‘less than half of the responsibility for domestic work and gender-unequal couple relationship’ and ‘more than half the responsibility for domestic work and gender-unequal couple relationship’. Having a lower socioeconomic position than the partner was associated with higher ORs for psychological distress among men.
This study showed that domestic work is a highly gendered activity as women tend to have a greater and men a smaller responsibility. Both these directions of inequality in domestic work, in combination with experiencing the couple relationship as gender-unequal, were associated with psychological distress There is a need for more research with a relational approach on inequalities in health in order to capture the power relations within couples in various settings.
Screening Women for Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review to Update the 2004 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Recommendation
Background:In 2004, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force determined that evidence was insufficient to support screening women for intimate partner violence (IPV).
Purpose:To review new evidence on the effectiveness of screening and interventions for women in health care settings in reducing IPV and related health outcomes, the diagnostic accuracy of screening instruments, and adverse effects of screening and interventions.
Data Sources:MEDLINE and PsycINFO (January 2002 to January 2012), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (through fourth quarter 2011), Scopus, and reference lists.
Study Selection:English-language trials of the effectiveness of screening and interventions, diagnostic accuracy studies of screening instruments, and studies of any design about adverse effects.
Data Extraction:Investigators extracted data about study populations, designs, and outcomes, and rated study quality by using established criteria.
Data Synthesis:A large fair-quality trial of screening versus usual care indicated improved IPV and health outcomes for both groups, but no statistically significant differences between groups. Fifteen fair- and good-quality studies evaluated 13 screening instruments, and six instruments were highly accurate. Four fair- and goodquality trials of counseling reported reduced IPV and improved birth outcomes for pregnant women, reduced IPV for new mothers, and reduced pregnancy coercion and unsafe relationships for women in family-planning clinics. Fourteen studies indicated minimal adverse effects with screening, but some women experienced discomfort, loss of privacy, emotional distress, and concerns about further abuse.
Limitation:Trials were limited by heterogeneity, lack of true control groups, high loss to follow-up, self-reported measures, and lack of accepted reference standards.
Conclusion:Screening instruments accurately identify women experiencing IPV. Screening women for IPV can provide benefits that vary by population, while potential adverse effects have minimal impact on most women.
Primary Funding Source:Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
Exploitative male mating strategies: Personality, mating orientation, and relationship status (PDF)
Source: Personality and Individual Differences
Previous research suggests men are sexually attracted to women displaying cues to sexual exploitability. During human evolutionary history, men’s agreeableness, orientation towards casual sex, and relation- ship status may have been recurrently associated with greater net benefits of pursuing a sexually exploit- ative strategy. We hypothesized these three individual differences would predict men’s perceptions of women’s sexual exploitability. Seventy-two men viewed photographs of women and rated their sexual exploitability. Men’s agreeableness, sociosexual orientation, and current relationship status interacted to predict their perceptions of women’s sexual exploitability; among unmated men, the combination of low agreeableness and an orientation toward uncommitted sex was associated with higher perceptions of women’s sexual exploitability. This suggests mechanisms motivating sexually exploitative strategies may depend on an interaction between personality characteristics and situational variables.
Avoiding entangling commitments: Tactics for implementing a short-term mating strategy (PDF)
Source: Personality and Individual Differences
The successful pursuit of a short-term mating strategy requires avoiding entangling commitments or unwanted, encumbering relationships. Two studies, based on an act-nomination and reported act perfor- mance methodologies, were conducted on samples of American college students to explore how individ- uals avoid entangling commitments. In Study 1 (N = 102) we identified the acts individuals use to avoid entangling commitments in the context of short-term mating. In Study 2 (N = 298) we examined reported usage of these tactics, and identified correlations with personality traits previously implicated in the pur- suit of a short-term mating strategy (e.g., narcissism, mate-value). Personality traits such as the Dark Triad and sociosexuality, as well as mate-value, were positively correlated with tactics used to avoid entangling commitments. Results document how short-term mating strategists solve the problem of avoiding entangling commitments, reveal sex differences previously undiscovered, and highlight personality characteristics linked to solving this adaptive problem. (2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.)
The 2011 Annual Report on the implementation of the Charter for Protection of Children and Young People reports that nearly all dioceses in the country are totally compliant with the 17-point Charter.It also notes that, as in previous years, the Diocese of Baker, Oregon, and Lincoln, Nebraska, and six eparchies (Eastern rite dioceses) refused to participate in the audits and therefore are found non-compliant.…The report notes that most allegations reported today are of incidents from previous decades. For example, 68 percent of allegations made in 2011, were of incidents from 1960-1984, and the most common time period for allegations was 1975-1979. It also found most of the accused have died or been removed from ministry and many had been accused previously.Three percent (or 21) of the allegations noted in the 2011 report came from current minors.“Of the 21 allegations made by minors, seven were considered credible by law enforcement; three were determined to be false, five were determined to be boundary violations, and three are still under investigation,” the report said. The credibility of three allegations could not be determined.In the same period, “683 adults who were victims/survivors of abuse in the past came forward to report on allegations for the first time.”
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The Misperception of Sexual Interest (PDF)
Source: Psychological Science
In the current study (N = 199), we utilized a speed-meeting methodology to investigate misperceptions of sexual interest. This method allowed us to evaluate the magnitude of men’s overperception of women’s sexual interest, to examine whether and how women misperceive men’s sexual interest, and to assess individual differences in susceptibility to sexual misperception. We found strong support for the prediction that women would underestimate men’s sexual interest. Men who were more oriented toward short-term mating strategies or who rated themselves more attractive were more likely to overperceive women’s sexual interest. The magnitude of men’s overperception of women’s sexual interest was predicted by the women’s physical attractiveness. We discuss implications of gender differences and within-sex individual differences in susceptibility to sexual misperception.
An influential evolutionary account of romantic jealousy proposes that natural selection shaped a specific sexually-dimorphic psychological mechanism in response to relationship threat. However, this account has faced considerable theoretical and methodological criticism and it remains unclear whether putative sex differences in romantic jealousy actually exist and, if they do, whether they are consistent with its predictions. Given the multidimensional nature of romantic jealousy, the current study employed a qualitative design to examine these issues. We report the results of sixteen semi-structured interviews that were conducted with heterosexual men and women with the purpose of exploring the emotions, cognitions and behaviors that formed their subjective, lived experience in response to relationship threat. Interpretative phenomenological analysis revealed four super-ordinate themes (“threat appraisal”, “emotional episodes”, “sex-specific threat” and “forgive and forget”) and unequivocal sex differences in romantic jealousy consistent with the evolutionary account. Self-esteem, particularly when conceptualized as an index of mate value, emerged as an important proximal mediator for both sexes. However, specific outcomes were dependent upon domains central to the individual’s self concept that were primarily sex-specific. The findings are integrated within the context of existing self-esteem and evolutionary theory and future directions for romantic jealousy research are suggested.
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Children’s Exposure to Intimate Partner Violence and Other Family Violence (PDF)
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
This bulletin discusses the data on exposure to family violence in the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence (NatSCEV), the most comprehensive nationwide survey of the incidence and prevalence of children’s exposure to violence to date, sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
More than 1 in 9 (11 percent) were exposed to some form of family violence in the past year, including 1 in 15 (6.6 percent) exposed to IPV between parents (or between a parent and that parent’s partner). One in four children (26 percent) were exposed to at least one form of family violence during their lifetimes. Most youth exposed to family violence, including 90 percent of those exposed to IPV, saw the violence, as opposed to hearing it or other indirect forms of exposure. Males were more likely to perpetrate incidents that were witnessed than females, with 68 percent of youth witnessing only violence by males. Father figures were the most common perpetrators of family violence, although assaults by mothers and other caregivers were also common.
Promiscuous mating produces offspring with higher lifetime fitness (PDF)
Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
In many species, each female pairs with a single male for the purpose of rearing offspring, but may also engage in extra-pair copulations. Despite the prevalence of such promiscuity, whether and how multiple mating benefits females remains an open question. Multiple mating is typically thought to be favoured primarily through indirect benefits (i.e. heritable effects on the fitness of offspring). This prediction has been repeatedly tested in a variety of species, but the evidence has been equivocal, perhaps because such studies have focused on pre-reproductive survival rather than lifetime fitness of offspring. Here, we show that in a songbird, the dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis), both male and female offspring produced by extra-pair fertilizations have higher lifetime reproductive success than do offspring sired within the social pair. Furthermore, adult male offspring sired via extra-pair matings are more likely to sire extra-pair offspring (EPO) themselves, suggesting that fitness benefits to males accrue primarily through enhanced mating success. By contrast, female EPO benefited primarily through enhanced fecundity. Our results provide strong support for the hypothesis that the evolution of extra-pair mating by females is favoured by indirect benefits and shows that such benefits accrue much later in the offspring’s life than previously documented.