The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between adults’ attachment orientation and their exhibition of the sexual double standard. According to attachment theory, adults who score higher on measures of anxious attachment are more clingy, jealous, and fearful of abandonment. Those who are more avoidant are distrustful and uncomfortable with intimacy. The sexual double standard is the belief that men are rewarded for sexual activity while women are derogated for the same activity. Participants read about a male or female who has had either 12 sexual partners or 1 sexual partner. They then evaluated the person’s popularity, success, intelligence, and values. Although this study did not find evidence of the double standard, results indicated that women who are insecurely attached to their mothers judge men with more partners more harshly than men with fewer partners, and men who are anxiously attached to their romantic partners judge men with more sexual partners more harshly than men with fewer sexual partners.
Vogel, Erin A., "Attachment Theory and the Sexual Double Standard" (2012). Honors Projects. Paper 156.