Although past research has reliably established unique effects of social exclusion on human cognition and behavior, the current research focuses on the unique effects of social inclusion. Recent evidence indicates that social inclusion leads to enhanced prioritization of reproductive interests. The current study extends these findings by showing that the pursuit of these inclusion-induced reproductive goals occurs in sex-specific ways. Across three experiments, social inclusion led men, but not women, to endorse riskier, more aggressive mating strategies compared to control and socially excluded participants. Specifically, included men were more likely to endorse sexual aggression (Experiment 1), high-risk mate poaching behaviors (Experiment 2), and high-risk mate retention tactics (Experiment 3). These results demonstrate that the experience of social inclusion can affect sex-differentiated preferences for risky mating strategies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Psychology