Attachment Theory and the Sexual Double Standard

Erin A. Vogel, Illinois Wesleyan University
Amanda M. Vicary, Faculaty Advisor, Illinois Wesleyan University

Description

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between participants’ attachment styles and their exhibitions of the sexual double standard, i.e., the tendency to judge women who have had many sexual partners more harshly than men who have had many sexual partners. According to attachment theory, anxious adults are more jealous and fearful of abandonment, while avoidant adults are more distrustful and uncomfortable with intimacy. To investigate whether people’s attachment style relates to their exhibitions of the double standard, we had participants read about a fictional male or female who reported having had 12 sexual partners or 1 sexual partner. Participants then evaluated the target person on a variety of domains, such as intelligence and values. Results indicated that anxious people tended to exhibit the sexual double standard for some domains; there was no relationship between attachment avoidance and evaluation of the targets.

 
Apr 14th, 9:00 AM Apr 14th, 10:00 AM

Attachment Theory and the Sexual Double Standard

Atrium, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between participants’ attachment styles and their exhibitions of the sexual double standard, i.e., the tendency to judge women who have had many sexual partners more harshly than men who have had many sexual partners. According to attachment theory, anxious adults are more jealous and fearful of abandonment, while avoidant adults are more distrustful and uncomfortable with intimacy. To investigate whether people’s attachment style relates to their exhibitions of the double standard, we had participants read about a fictional male or female who reported having had 12 sexual partners or 1 sexual partner. Participants then evaluated the target person on a variety of domains, such as intelligence and values. Results indicated that anxious people tended to exhibit the sexual double standard for some domains; there was no relationship between attachment avoidance and evaluation of the targets.