Fluctuating asymmetry, sociosexuality, and intrasexual competitive tactics

Jeffry A. Simpson, P. Niels Christensen, Kira Leck, Steven W. Gangestad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Heterosexual men and women were told they were competing with another same-sex individual for a date with an attractive opposite-sex interviewer. After answering 6 questions, participants were asked to tell the competitor why the interviewer should choose them over the competitor. Participants' videotaped behavior was coded for different behavioral tactics. Men who were more symmetrical and who had a more unrestricted sociosexual orientation were more likely to use direct competition tactics than were less symmetrical and restricted men. Restricted men accentuated their positive personal qualities, presenting themselves as "nice guys." Structural equation modeling revealed that fluctuating asymmetry (FA) was directly associated with the use of direct competition tactics. However, the link between FA and presenting oneself as a nice guy was mediated through sociosexuality. No effects were found for women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-172
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1999


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