The effect of relationship status on perceived attractiveness

Sean O'Hagen, Amanda Johnson, Gina Lardi, Julian Paul Keenan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The effect of relationship availability on perceived attractiveness is a key component to social relations. Experiment 1 tested 90 female college students, having them read a vignette description of a hypothetical male who was either single, involved, or married. Participants rated the male on 5 questions pertaining to attractiveness. The results indicated that females were more attracted to single males compared to both involved and married males. No significant difference was found between the ratings of involved and married males. In Experiment 2, 127 males and females were tested employing the same instrument. The results indicated that females were less attracted to married individuals, while the male participants had no significant difference in their ratings. Although these findings show no clear support for either evolutionary or sociocultural attraction theories, they point towards striking gender differences in perceived attraction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)291-300
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Behavior and Personality
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003


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