Partner preferences among homosexual men and women

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Pamela C. Regan
Roberta Medina
Anupama Joshi
Cite this article:  Regan, P., Medina, R., & Joshi, A. (2001). Partner preferences among homosexual men and women. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 29(7), 625-634.


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In the present study we examined the degree to which various partner characteristics are preferred by homosexual men and women in a short-term sexual relationship versus a long-term romantic relationship. A non-college sample of adults (N = 80) individually rated the desirability of various attributes in a “short-term sexual” or a “long-term romantic” partner (randomly assigned). The results indicated that participants clearly distinguished between these two types of relational partner. Specifically, and consistent with hypotheses, both men and women emphasized internal mental attributes (e.g., intellect), prosocial personality characteristics (e.g., interpersonal sensitivity, responsiveness), and characteristics reflective of family orientation (e.g., desire for children) more in a long-term romantic, than in a short-term sexual, partner. Conversely, and consistent with earlier work using heterosexual samples, men and women desired higher levels of physical appeal (e.g., physical attractiveness, sexy appearance) from a potential sex partner than from a potential romantic partner. Sex differences also were found. Men desired honesty and trustworthiness from a short-term sex partner more than did women, and women valued a long-term romantic partner’s family orientation more than did men.

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