Graduation Year

2014

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Mark Goldman

Keywords

alcohol, alcohol expectancies, approach behavior, evolutionary psychology

Abstract

A recent line of research grounded in evolutionary theory has shown that exposure to women's fertility cues affects men's mating cognition and behavior. This area of research has not yet been examined in relation to alcohol. As alcohol has also been shown to facilitate the formation of sexual connections for males, establishing the intersection between these two lines of research seems necessary to understand the impetus behind human behavior. Ninety-eight male participants were primed with either the scent of a fertile woman or the scent of nonfertile woman and then completed measures assessing their level of attraction to pictures of women, beer consumption, approach behavior, and alcohol expectancies. Results of the study indicated that males' mating behaviors are affected by women's ovulatory cues, as men exposed to an ovulation prime drank significantly more and exhibited significantly more approach behavior than men exposed to a control prime. Furthermore, an interaction was found between sexual enhancement expectancies and prime condition on beer consumption, which indicated that there was no effect for sexual enhancement expectancies for those in the control prime condition, but for those in the ovulation prime condition, increased drinking was associated with higher sexual facilitation expectancies. These findings were consistent with previous research and support evolutionary theories of mating behavior while taking an integrative approach in trying to explain factors behind human behavior.

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