Connect With Us

                

SAGE Publications

 

Friday
Nov222013

The Dangers of Putting Your Partner on a Pedestal: Relationship Matters Podcast 27

In the 27th installment of SAGE's Relationship Matters podcast, hosted by Dr. Bjarne Holmes of Champlain College, Dr. Jennifer Tomlinson of Colgate University discusses the pros and cons of idealizing our partners.

In collaboration with Art Aron (Stony Brook University), Cheryl Carmichael (Brooklyn College), Harry Reis (University of Rochester), and John Holmes (University of Waterloo), the research team set out to test the idea that although idealizing partners is good to some degree, over-idealizing partners could have negative consequences as well.  

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov212013

“Would You Go To Bed With Me Tonight?”: Stigma and the Sexual Double Standard

When it comes to casual, uncommitted, non-emotional sex, there is a strong gender stereotype: men are more interested in doing it (literally) than women. We have covered research examining this phenomenon—on the surface, it appears as though men are much more excited about having sex with a complete stranger, whereas women seem to be grossed out. Some researchers suggest that this is because of an innate biological difference between the sexes; men have a stronger desire for casual sex because they want to maximize reproductive success, while women are more interested in acquiring resources from a committed partner, and thus choosier about whom they mate with.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov212013

America Speaks: Ideal Age for Parenthood

According to a recent Gallup Poll, "Americans see 25 as ideal age for women to have first child." The poll results have received a lot of attention in the popular media, so we thought we should chime in as well. As it turns out, we've previously summarized the scientific data regarding how mom's age affects child outcomes in our book. An excerpt from that chapter is below.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov202013

Warm Relationships: A Key to Men's Happiness and Prosperity

In 1938 Harvard began studying a group of men and followed them as they grew old. A book by George Vaillant, entitled Triumphs of Experience, chronicles the results and provides several interesting insights about the role of alcholism, smoking, and intelligence on aging and life satisfaction.  

Some of the most intersting findings, at least to us, involved "warm relationships." As this article explains, there was a "powerful correlation between the warmth of your relationships and your health and happiness in your later years." To learn more about the other benefits of warm relationships, click here. 

Wednesday
Nov202013

Announcing The First-Ever SPSP Sexuality Pre-Conference!

I have attended a lot of academic conferences over the years and I’ve almost always had the same thought after leaving each one: “What would make this conference even better? More sex on the program!” But it turns out I wasn’t the only one thinking this. Several of my colleagues have also noticed that many of our major conferences have a serious lack of sexuality programming, so we got together and decided to take matters into our own hands. The fruit of our labor is the first ever Sexuality Pre-Conference to be held at the 2014 meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP).

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov192013

How You Doin’? Self-Esteem Affects How People Flirt

Popular wisdom or results from a cursory Google search suggest that people with lower self-esteem have poor social skills. However, recent research finds that this is not true: In fact, people with lower self-esteem have the same social skills as people with higher self-esteem, but they often don’t feel safe enough to use them.1 This ‘safety’ concern comes into play in situations when one tries to start a relationship with another person, or what researchers call relationship initiation; such situations are risky because one often doesn’t know if the other person is going to be accepting or rejecting,1 and thus the outcome of the attempted initiation is often uncertain. So what do people do when they want to start a relationship but don’t know how the other person will respond?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov182013

The Sadie Hawkins Effect: Gender Role-Reversals in Dating

Imagine that a guy and a girl are at a party, and one approaches the other and strikes up a conversation. Chances are that when you envisioned this scenario, you assumed it was the guy who approached the girl. That’s because we have what psychologists call behavioral scripts, or a sequence of events that we typically expect to occur in social situations. In most cultures, expectations or norms about male and female dating behaviors (e.g., guy approaches girl) are so entrenched that there are special days or dances where the script is flipped. On Sadie Hawkins Day (traditionally observed in early November) or at a Sadie Hawkins Dance, women have the opportunity to break social conventions by asking men out on a date or to a dance. To study dating behaviors like this, researchers have used the somewhat unique experience of speed dating.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov172013

You Don't Have to be Einstein to Know It's Complicated

Read more about the Y's of X's here.

Saturday
Nov162013

The Science of Orgasm (video...but not that kind of video)

Friday
Nov152013

Love in “The Hunger Games”: Why Katniss Falls for Peeta

I’m completely obsessed with The Hunger Games. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I have visited North Korea, a real country where millions of people really are dying of hunger. Maybe it’s the ironic meta-experience of watching the movie’s violence on a huge screen, when the movie’s point is that people shouldn’t watch violence on a huge screen. Regardless, The Hunger Games is chock-full of possible psychological analysis. Today I’m focusing on the fascinatingly weird emotions that spark between the The Hunger Games’ two main protagonists, Peeta and Katniss.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov142013

“We Don’t Have Anal Sex in Malawi” and Other Tales

Michelle Kaufman is a researcher who focuses on sexual behavior in the developing world. She globetrots regularly, engaging in ethnographic work along the way in order to inform the quantitative and qualitative research she conducts. Recently, Michelle visited Malawi to start a research study on condom use and accessibility.

I recently returned from a research trip to Malawi where I was training a data collection team on the procedures and questionnaires for two small studies, one focused on condom use and accessibility, and the other on male circumcision. The team with which I work—from the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Malawi—is in the midst of conducting a 10-year-long program called BRIDGE, which focuses on HIV prevention through the provision of services such as voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC), getting pregnant women to enroll in treatment for prevention of mother-to-child-transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, and, most relevant to this article, condom distribution.  

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov132013

Our China Partnership: 1.3 Billion Relationship Science Fans

 

After a successful first year, we're thrilled to announce that we have renewed our partnership with Guokr Media, who translate and distribute our articles in China, helping us accomplish our mission of sharing relationship science with the world.

Follow ScienceOfRelationship.com on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, Feedly, or via RSS.

Wednesday
Nov132013

The Science of Hate Crimes: When Prejudice Turns to Violence

Scott Jones. Marc Carson. Michael Felenchak. Peter Nortman. Nick Porto. Kevin Atkins. Jacqueline Clarke. Ali Matson. Kerry Tyler. Ben Stoviak.

These names represent just a handful of individuals who have recently been physically attacked because of their actual or perceived sexuality. There has been an apparent surge in violent responses to same-sex couples who display affection in public (such as holding hands or kissing). Two women were attacked in Vancouver after holding hands and kissing on a public transit bus. A number of male same-sex couples have been attacked in NYC while holding hands, some even in broad daylight in areas of the city known to be gay-friendly. Yet another gay couple is launching a human rights case against a taxi cab company whose employee tried to force the couple out of his cab on a busy expressway after the couple shared a kiss in the back seat of their cab.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov122013

Weddings: Size Matters…For Some More Than Others

One of the more surprising things about the scientific literature on dating and marriage is that there are very few studies of the events that signify the “beginning” of dating and marriage relationships. For example, we still know fairly little (on the scientific front) about how relationships form in the real world. We can look at processes in the lab, and even simulate events (e.g., speed dating studies) that should, presumably, lead to relationship formation. But, for all our efforts, capturing real relationships as they develop has proven a formidable challenge.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov112013

Curves Ahead: The Science of Female Waist-to-Hip Ratio and Attractiveness  

Semi-renowned armchair relationship expert Sir Mix-a-Lot once said, “So Cosmo says you're fat, well I ain't down with that! 'Cause your waist is small and your curves are kickin' …To the beanpole dames in the magazines: You ain't it, Miss Thing!” What Mr. Mix-a-Lot so melodically points out is that women’s attractiveness does not rely on thinness, but rather the kickin’ nature of her curves. In fact, for women there’s a universal formula -- the waist-to-hip ratio -- that contributes to how attractive males find females’ bodies.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov102013

The Science of Having a Crush

Read our articles about crushes here and here.

Sunday
Nov102013

Julia Sweeney @ TED on "The Talk"

Saturday
Nov092013

We Aren't Saying She's a Gold Digger...but if the Shoe Fits....

Friday
Nov082013

Relationship Rules: Honesty, Deception, and Relationship Satisfaction - Relationship Matters Podcast 26

In the 26th installment of SAGE's Relationship Matters podcast, hosted by Dr. Bjarne Holmes of Champlain College, Katlyn Gangi (formerly Roggensack) talks about her research on honesty in relationships.

Gangi, now a PhD student in the Department of Communication at the University of California in Santa Barbara, conducted the research with Dr. Alan Sillars while at the University of Montana.

The researchers were interested in the assumptions people have regarding what honesty and deception means to romantic partners. Gangi explains on the podcast,

We don’t go into relationships blindly without any expectations of how others will act...we have rules for all sorts of things...and these rules help create structure and predictability in our relationships...Rules about honesty and deception though are kind of in a class of their own…Often people only start talking about these things once a rule is perceived to be broken...Somebody does something that doesn’t meet up to your expectations or surprises you or upsets you and then you say, ‘Hey, why did you do that? I thought that these were the expectations in our relationship and it seems like you think something different’.”

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov072013

Men Slowly Stroll Down Lover's Lane

Do romantic couples adjust their walking speed when walking together?  Researchers timed how long it took 11 heterosexual couples (22 total participants) to walk around a track by themselves, next to their romantic partners, holding their partner’s hands, with same-sex friends, and with opposite-sex friends. Regardless of hand-holding, men significantly slowed their pace when walking with their romantic partners, whereas women did not adjust their pace. When walking with opposite-sex friends, men slowed their pace and women increased their pace, though neither changed pace for same-sex friends, suggesting that when the walking partner was not a romantic partner, individuals compromised in their walking speeds. 

Wagnild, J., & Wall-Scheffler, C. M. (2013). Energetic consequences of human sociality: Walking speed choices among friendly dyads. PLoS ONE, 8(10): e76576.