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Religiosity as a Heterosexual Mating Strategy and the Influence of a Homosexuality Threat

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A prior experiment by Li and colleagues found that when participants rated same sex faces in physical attractiveness, their self-reports of religiosity were higher in comparison to those that rated opposite sex faces. Could this be due to participants feeling

A prior experiment by Li and colleagues found that when participants rated same sex faces in physical attractiveness, their self-reports of religiosity were higher in comparison to those that rated opposite sex faces. Could this be due to participants feeling their sexuality was threatened or misunderstood? In the current experiment, we attempted to replicate these findings and extend them by using a pseudo personality test that presented false feedback to participants. This feedback explained that their personalities were similar to homosexual or heterosexual people. Four hundred and fifty participants from Amazon Mturk were randomized into these conditions. We also measured homophobia, moral values, and the believability of the experiment. Results displayed no replication of the original findings. Men were more homophobic than women, while displaying lower moral values and religiosity. Those that self-reported being more homophobic also reported being more religious and moral. In conditions of sexual threat (homosexual personality, same sex faces) and sexual comfort (heterosexual personality, opposite sex faces), self-reports of moral values increased. Participants that reported believing the feedback displayed higher religiosity in both sexual threat and sexual comfort conditions. For a more concrete understanding of the relationship between religiosity, mating goals, and threats to sexuality, more research needs to be performed.

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2014-12