Title

The Siren’s Call: Terror Management and The Threat of Sexual Attraction

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Keywords

gender; physical attraction; sexism; sexuality, terror management theory; mortality; corporeality; mortality concerns; male sexual allure; sexual ambivalence; awareness

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

http://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.90.1.129

Abstract

Why do sexually appealing women often attract derogation and aggression? According to terror management theory, women's sexual allure threatens to increase men's awareness of their corporeality and thus mortality. Accordingly, in Study 1 a subliminal mortality prime decreased men's but not women's attractiveness ratings of alluring women. In Study 2, mortality salience (MS) led men to downplay their sexual intent toward a sexy woman. In Study 3, MS decreased men's interest in a seductive but not a wholesome woman. In Study 4, MS decreased men's but not women's attraction to a sexy opposite-sex target. In Study 5, MS and a corporeal lust prime increased men's tolerance of aggression toward women. Discussion focuses on mortality concerns and male sexual ambivalence.

Was this content written or created while at USF?

Yes

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, v. 90, issue 1, p. 129-146

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