Variability in women's perception of potential female rivals: effects of fertility, mating orientation, and revealing dress biases
Gomes, Katelyn M.
Doctor of Philosophy
DisciplinePsychology : Clinical
SubjectPerceptions of women
Biases of revealing dress
Short-term mating orientation
MetadataShow full item record
Two studies were conducted to better understand individual difference factors that influence women’s mating-relevant perceptions of other women. In Study 1, biases about revealing dress were examined and the extent to which mating-relevant individual differences variables are associated with these biases. Study 2 examined whether jealousy and perceptions of potential mating rivals and style of dress change with fertility across the menstrual cycle. Results from the first study revealed that women judged more revealingly dressed women to be more attractive, feminine, promiscuous, and flirtatious; and less trustworthy, nice, and intelligent than less revealingly dressed women. Other revealing dress biases included a non-friend bias, a jealousy bias, and a rival bias (i.e., the report that one’s partner would be more attracted to her). Characteristics of the observing women (e.g., relationship status, virginity status, and hormonal contraceptive use) were significantly associated with specific revealing dress biases. In addition, compared to women with low short-term mating orientation (STMO), women with high STMO showed more of the attractiveness revealing dress bias; and less of the untrustworthy, not-nice, unintelligent, promiscuous, flirtatious, and not-friend revealing dress biases. In Study 2, women viewed revealingly dressed women more negatively when fertility was high versus low. Women were also more jealous of all potential rivals (regardless of clothing style) at higher versus lower fertility cycle phases. In addition, women low on STMO were more jealous of all potential rivals at higher versus lower fertility days, while women high on STMO showed the opposite pattern. The results from these studies have implications for understanding individual differences in women’s perceptions and attributions about other women based on style of dress and provide support for the existence of mating-relevant evolutionary mechanisms in revealing dress biases.