Factors That Trigger Attraction

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Running head: NON TACTILE FACTORS THAT TRIGGER SEXUAL ATTRACTION

Non Tactile Factors that Trigger Sexual Attraction in Women Te-Erika Patterson Barry University Spring 2010

Factors That Trigger Attraction Table of Contents

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Introduction…………………………………………………………………………3 Statement of Problem……………………………………………………………….5 Statement of Purpose………………………………………………………............. 7 Statement of Hypothesis……………………………………………………............ 9 Limitations………………………………………………………..……….. 10 Assumptions……………………………………………………………….. 11

Review of Related Literature………………………………………………………. 12 Methodology……………………………………………………………………….. 14 Participants………………………………………………………………………….14 Instruments & Analysis…………………………………………………….............. 14 Experimental Design & Procedure…………………………………………………..16 References……………………………………………………………………………18

Factors That Trigger Attraction Introduction

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There’s a guy out there who weighs 100 pounds, loves fixing computers and dreams of working for NASA. He has never been on a date and doesn’t suppose he should since he doesn’t look like Tyson Beckford or Brad Pitt. He assumes no woman will want him. He is inundated with images of the ideal male through media and entertainment television and every glance in the mirror confirms the negative assumption that he will never get laid. Why would a woman want him when there are so many well stacked men who hit the gym every evening. His own attempts at building his body into the perfect machine left him in the hospital with a broken toe after a 5 pound weight fell on him during a work out session.

Sadly, he resigns himself to a life of solitude and masturbation. His pornography collection is plentiful and he has pet names for his various lubricants and sexual enhancement toys. Will he ever have a chance to ejaculate in the company of another human being? Will he wear the title, “just a friend” for his entire life?

The answer is No. There are multitudes of women who are sexually attracted to men who fall outside of the realm of society’s expressed ideal for what a woman should want in a man. There are men who don’t have 6 pack abs who get to enjoy sex on a regular basis. The question is, what qualities do men possess that allow them to taste the delightful fruit of a woman without breaking their backs at the gym or rising through the ranks of corporate leadership?

Factors That Trigger Attraction

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This study will assess the non tactile factors that contribute to sexual attraction for men without the physical attributes that would generally cause a woman to swoon.

Factors That Trigger Attraction Statement of Problem

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Men all over the world spend hours upon hours in an attempt to cultivate the perfect look and lifestyle to attract the women they desire. They spend fortunes on fast cars, beat their bodies into submission to craft the perfect abs and will fearlessly walk through fire in pursuit of attention and sexual compliance from the women they admire. On many occasions, their efforts result in success; they attain the attention and affection from the women they desire but in some instances their efforts result in blank stares, muffled giggles or restraining orders.

If it is a societal assumption that men with bulging muscles and plentiful bank accounts are ideal then why do men who possess these characteristics sometimes falter when it comes to being on the receiving end of sexual desire from women? Why do some men make the cut and others get cut off? What exactly is it about some men that cause women to desire them sexually without even a touch? Is there hope for men with less than pleasing physical traits and less than plentiful bank accounts? I believe so. Millions of women around the world hook up, make out and become impregnated by men who are less than ideal for who society says they should be sexually attracted to. Why is this so?

I believe there are other factors that contribute to sexual attraction to certain men. These factors can not be measured by a dollar amount or with a tape measure. This study will examine the different traits found in men that contribute to sexual attraction which are not related to touch.

Factors That Trigger Attraction

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To date there have been hundreds of studies on attraction and a multitude of articles which attempt to teach men how to sexually arouse a woman physically. However, I have not found one specific study which addresses the factors that contribute to arousal without the stimulation of touch. Research presented by John R. Jacobs in 1992 describes in detail the four facilitators that influence a desire for romance and lead to romantic attraction. They are distress, identity enhancement, aging and social pressures and sexual desires. Other studies have accurately categorized why two individuals become attracted to each other but the specific area of physical and sexual attraction is not addressed in any of these studies.

Factors That Trigger Attraction Statement of Purpose

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The purpose of this study is to examine non tactile factors that trigger sexual attraction in women. This study will gauge and present evidence of a women’s ability to become sexually attracted to and/or aroused by a man who is not necessarily generally attractive or well off financially.

This study is important because it will help women to better understand why they choose the partners they choose and it will also aid in boosting the esteem of men who do not hold the presumed characteristics that generally make a man attractive. This study is important for any person who desires to be in a romantic or sexual relationship. The benefits of this study are:

1) A deeper understanding of why women are attracted to a wide variety of men. 2) A healthier understanding of characteristics a man can develop to become more attractive to women.

I believe that other traits found in men following the initial interaction can create a physical attraction in women. Traits like:

1) Potential- A man who has proven that he has the potential for success by being an earnest, hard worker who is diligent in his work ethic.

Factors That Trigger Attraction 2) Emotional Support – A man who eases fears and reassures.

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3) Caregiver- A man who allows you to feel that your needs and desires will be taken care of by him to the best of his ability. Your needs and desires are a priority in his life. 4) Morals/Ethics/Belief System – A man whose beliefs and morals match your own.

Factors That Trigger Attraction Statement of Hypothesis

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In my opinion, women are presumed to be typically attracted to men who hold alpha male characteristics like men who are always the leader in high positions with ample financial holdings. I believe this assumption is only a socially constructed idea and unrealistic as every man can not be the leader in all social circles and every man’s body will not be crafted to resemble the underwear advertisements that we are inundated by through mass marketing schemes.

Somehow, millions of men meet women who are sexually attracted to them without having to develop the physical brawn or be top stockholders in fortune 500 companies. I believe that a man who a woman views as having the potential to be successful in his career and in his life, a man who shares the same values and ideas that the woman holds or a man who is a noted caregiver, often resembling the ideal father figure that the woman may or may not have had, may also be seen as sexy or attractive.

Factors That Trigger Attraction Limitations

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Because this study has been crafted as an anonymous questionnaire, a few major limitations may present themselves. For example, 1) Due to the length of the questionnaire the participant may become tired of reading the questions and respond automatically instead of honestly. 2) The language of the short stories/scenarios may affect the reader emotionally, swaying their responses. 3) The fact that participants oftentimes do not actually get to meet the partner and/or have an opportunity to move a step further to actually experiencing the portrayed scenarios this study is quite different from real life in terms of how attraction develops and how it affects one's personal interaction and reactions.

Factors That Trigger Attraction Assumptions Before we can analyze the findings in this study we must come to an agreeable understanding about the ideas presented.

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In this study we assume that: 1) Women are taught to be attracted to men who are physically fit and attractive and men who are secure financially. 2) Men are taught that the man that has brawns and financial abundance will attract the woman. 3) There are successful relationships between men and women where the man does not possess the physical brawn or financial abundance that the woman assumes is necessary. 4) A successful relationship is defined as a relationship where both parties feel satisfied in their interaction with each other.

Factors That Trigger Attraction Review of Literature

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As the old saying ‘‘birds of a feather flock together’’ indicates, individuals should be attracted to others who share their own characteristics according to a study done by Luo and Zhang in 2009. Whereas general reciprocal liking holds that individuals who generally like other people tend to be liked by others, dyadic reciprocal liking refers to the unique liking shared between two partners. According to Luo and Zhang, there has been a great deal of evidence that partners’ physical attractiveness is a reliable predictor of attraction in initial encounters. Initial encounter and sexual attraction based on physical traits versus non physical traits is what we hope to measure in this study.

It has been well catalogued that people with similar personality patterns are especially inclined to like each other but the study done by Tenney, Turkeheimer, et.al adds the significance of the fact that mere exposure adds to the attractiveness of a potential partner. Those we are exposed to on a consistent basis are more likely to become attractive to us.

“The mere exposure effect is the finding that all else being equal, familiar stimuli… Familiar stimuli are easier to perceive and interpret than novel because information about the familiar has already been processed at least once before. In general, processing stimuli with ease (called perceptual fluency or processing fluency) is experienced as pleasurable; and when people encounter a familiar stimulus, they might attribute the

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pleasure they feel from perceptual fluency to the stimulus itself . (Tenney, Turkheimer, et. Al 2009)

On the basis of a survey of attitudes on dating and marriage the survey reported that among male and female college students, 90% and 81%, respectively, considered having a sense of humor to be critical in a potential mate. (McGee 2009) If sense of humor is rated as critical in a potential mate then factors other than brawn and financial stability should be critical as well.

Factors That Trigger Attraction Methodology

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The population for this study is defined as all adult women who are capable of expressing the desire to engage in a romantic/sexual relationship and/or express a sexual interest in a man.

Participants Participants in this study must be women over the age of 18 who have previously expressed a sexual desire to be intimate with a man at some point in their past. Participants will be pulled from an ad on MSN.com on the front page which advertises the study. MSN.com receives a multitude of visitors each day who I believe are a representative sample of genders and attitudes which reflect the diverse population in our country.

Instruments & Analysis A questionnaire has been designed which has 30 scenarios written in the form of short stories that engage the participant emotionally which will gauge their sexual interest. Volunteers may respond to the questionnaire anonymously and submit their responses online automatically.

Scenarios will be created that demonstrate men showing different traits such as dedication to family, consistency in work ethic, display of romantic affection, physical attractiveness and financial generosity and provision. Questions will be

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randomly placed in the questionnaire with no indication to the participant what they are measuring. After the data is collected a statistical review of the areas in which women presented the strongest sexual desire will be catalogued, ultimately measuring the traits that men possess which stimulate strong sexual desire in women.

Factors That Trigger Attraction Experimental Design

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A sample question on the online questionnaire will read:

You’ve seen Matthew every morning for the past 3 months. His car pulls in to the circular drive through of the elementary school moments after yours does. You watch as he steps from the driver’s side of his 2006 Nissan Ultima to open the door for his son. His son is neatly dressed and always smiling as he waves goodbye to his father. Matthew is equally as immaculate and well kept. You admire the way he watches his son walk into the school before pulling off, headed to work.

Rate your level of sexual attraction: A) Very Interested B) Interested C) Mildy Interested D) Uninterested

Seymour has been your friend for a year and a half. His apartment is across the quad from yours and you run into him almost daily as you run your errands and go to and from work. Every evening he waves at you as he walks across the courtyard to his apartment. You smile at the way his hands are full of grit and grim as he returns from his construction job. As his door slams shut you imagine him pulling off his smelly work shirt and tossing it into the hamper, removing his shoes and placing them on the patio to air out and jumping in the shower. Every day this ritual continues and you can not stop thinking about how hard working he is and how dedicated he is to his profession. The

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smell of concrete now reminds you of him and you wonder what he looks like beneath that dirty t-shirt.

Rate your level of sexual attraction: B) Very Interested B) Interested C) Mildy Interested D) Uninterested

Time Frame

The study will run over a period of 2 weeks through an active link on the website until 500 participants have completed the questionnaire.

Factors That Trigger Attraction References

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Jacobs, John R. (1992). Facilitators of romantic attraction and their relation to lovestyle. Social Behavior and personality. 227-234.

Luo, S., & Zhang, G. (2009). What leads to romantic attraction: Similarity, reciprocity, security, or beauty? Evidence from a speed-dating study. Journal of Personality, 77(4), 933-964. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2009.00570.x.

Elizabeth R. Tenney, Eric Turkheimer and Thomas F. Oltmanns (2009) Being liked is more than having a good personality: The role of matching Journal of Personality, 132, 21-22 McGee, Elizabeth, (2009) Effect of humor on interpersonal attraction and mate selection. Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary and Applied, Vol 143(1), Jan, 2009. pp. 67-77.

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