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Factors That Contribute To The Perception Of Exploitability In A Relationship

1786 words - 8 pages

Courtship was once viewed as a significant phase in a person’s life in which individuals participated in activities such as long walks in the park while under the supervision of adults and the community (Lloyd, 1991). Although men would only act on courting behaviors when they proved to have the means to provide for a future family, the activities did not involve an excessive amount of money spending like it does today. While sexual exploitation has been used by many throughout the years, individuals are becoming more aware of the tactics and cues used by one another. Men and women casually date multiple individuals and deceive each other to increase their chances of sustaining a mate, whether it be for a short-term or long-term period (Buss & Duntley, 2008; Lloyd, 1991). Many researches have also brought forth increasing attention to techniques used to diminish the probabilities of being victimized or exploited (Buss & Duntley, 2008).
Exploitability is defined by Buss and Duntley (2008) as the ability to use deception, manipulation, coercion, intimidation, or violence for one’s own advantage. For example, in today’s dating world, many individuals lie about their salary or hide their true intentions for dating an individual in the pursuit of a successful mating. Research on exploitative tactics and cues are obtaining increasing attention as well as the development of anti-exploitative defenses (Buss & Duntley, 2008). Other studies have looked at the relationship between a woman’s observable behavior and their sociosexuality (Stillman & Maner, 2008). The idea behind Stillman and Maner’s (2008) study is that women who have an unrestricted sociosexuality act on explicit behaviors different from women who are more sexually restricted. Women who are considered to be unrestricted are more than likely to participate in short-term mating whereas sexually restricted individuals are more likely to participate in long-term relationships (Stillman & Maner, 2008; Goetz, Easton, & Buss, 2013).
There are many specific factors that contribute to the perception of exploitability. Women for example, are more than likely to use exploitative tactics when in search for a short-term mate or when they have a less restrictive sexual lifestyle. According to a study conducted by Lewis, Easton, Goetz, and Buss (2011), men are more likely to perceive women as sexually exploitable when they (men) are unmated, have an unrestricted sociosexual orientation, and when they have lower levels of agreeableness (Lewis et al., 2011). Agreeableness refers to the degree wherein men are more likely to relate or empathize with one’s feelings. The study did not find a relationship between unmated men who had a more restricted sociosexual orientation and perceptions of women’s exploitability. In congruence with the study, mated men perceived women as less exploitable when they obtained characteristics that were high in agreeableness and obtained a more restrictive socieosexuality....

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