Photo by Cristina Fletes-Boutte, [email protected] Jah Spellman (with glasses), 13, an 8th grader at Marian Middle School in South County, raises her hand to answer a question on business etiquette on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.
Using the concept of speed-dating, the group of about 20 students are participating in a speed-linking program, exposing the girls to career options and potential mentors in the field.
For instance, might approaching — rather than being approached — in a dating situation make individuals less selective?
Finkel & Eastwick (2009) set about to answer just that question with an experiment designed to test whether a potential partner’s “choosiness” was due in part to whether they were the ones doing the choosing or not.
In this case, researchers just assumed that since men rotate in real-life, they should do so in speed-dating experiments.
This may have skewed the results of past studies that used this speed-dating procedure, especially those that examined women’s “selectivity” — selectivity that may have been a result of the procedure itself, not the women.
We’ve long been told that women are more selective when it comes to the men they choose to date.
But what if at least a part of that selectivity is due simply to environmental factors and social norms — factors that could be easily manipulated?
The researchers noted, "Although Western civilization has become increasingly egalitarian over the past century, certain social institutions remain gendered, some in subtle, almost invisible, ways.After each date, participants rated their romantic desire and romantic chemistry for that partner, as well as how much self-confidence they felt that had on that particular “date.” The researchers found that the speed daters who approached their partners relative to those who stayed sitting would experience a greater romantic desire and chemistry toward their partners, and were more likely to respond “Yes, I would see this person again” to their partners.In other words, the people who rotated from person to person were less selective than those sitting, regardless of which gender was doing the rotating.They corralled 350 college students into 15 speed dating events for their study.Participants went on 4 minute “speed dates” with approximately 12 opposite-sex individuals during each event.Photo by Cristina Fletes-Boutte, [email protected] group of girls listen to Yemi Adeyanju, a system deputy general counsel at SSM Health, and Kendra Howard, an administrative judge for the U. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision, speak about their jobs on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.Photo by Cristina Fletes-Boutte, [email protected] Alanis, 13, of St.Louis, an 8th grader at Marian Middle School in South County, listens to Yemi Adeyanju, a system deputy general counsel at SSM Health, and Kendra Howard, an administrative judge for the U. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision, speak about their jobs on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.Photo by Cristina Fletes-Boutte, [email protected]� Webster, 13, an 8th grader at Marian Middle School in South County, raises her hand to ask a question to Kendra Howard, an administrative judge for the U. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision, about her job on Wednesday, April 15, 2015.On the one hand, this sex difference did not significantly reverse at events where women rotated, so on average there was at least an overall trend in the present data for men to experience greater romantic approach (i.e., to be less selective) than women."On the other hand, the gendered norm we manipulated in the present study is just one of a universe of possible norms that could in principle affect romantic attraction, and our participants almost certainly had a lifelong history of navigating such norms that no subtle laboratory manipulation could readily erase.