Attributions of Deception in Human Mating Strategies

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In accordance with evolutionary theory, females have to make the greatest parental investment and as a result bear a greater risk when mating compared to males. In humans, both males and females use particular gender-defined strategies in mating, including strategies and counter-strategies. Undergraduates (48 females, 18 males) filled out a survey in which they were to assess how the opposite gender would present themselves in dating situations. It was found that females assume more deception overall by members of the opposite sex. For females, attributions of deception also depended on the apparent sexual motivation of the deceiver, while males assumed little deception regardless of the sexual motivation of the deceiver. These results support the hypotheses of gender differences in the detection of deception and that females who bear the greater risk in reproduction are more cautious maters.

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