A prospective study of personality and gender differences in romantic attraction

Ayala M. Pines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


A major controversy exists on gender differences in romantic attraction. On one side are psychodynamic and evolutionary theorists who argue that for women, commitment, intimacy and security are more important while for men physical appearance and sexual appeal are the more important. On the other side are social constructionists who argue that the similarities in romantic attraction between men and women are greater than the differences. In the current study, 45 men and 48 women were tested twice: at age 18 comprehensive personality descriptions of each subject were given by observers using the California Adult Q-Set (CAQ). At 23 subjects were interviewed about their most significant intimate relationship. Findings show significant gender differences: men described themselves as more attracted to the physical appearance of their mate, while women's level of intimacy, commitment and security were higher than men's. There were also different patterns of correlations between the CAQ items and the romantic attachment factors for men and women that support the psychodynamic and evolutionary perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-157
Number of pages11
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender-differences
  • Prospective
  • Romantic attraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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