Sex and The Perceived Effectiveness of Short-term Mate Poaching Acts in College Students

Research Article

James Moran & T. Joel Wade

Human Ethology Bulletin, Volume 32, No 3, 109-128,  published September 30, 2017

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Schmitt and Buss (2001) investigated acts that would be used in a mate poach. However, during their first phase of research, they failed to ask their participants to nominate acts in a short-term mate poaching context. This current study set out to discover the actions men use during short-term mate poaching and the effectiveness of these actions. Study 1 asked heterosexual men (N = 39) to nominate actions they would use for a short-term mate poach. Men were expected to nominate actions that display emotional support, caring, emotional stability, and dominance. Study 2 (N = 448) investigated which acts were perceived as most effective by both men and women. The five acts that were nominated as most effective were acts that signaled emotional commitment and altruism.


Keywordsact nomination, mating strategy, error management theory, short-term mate poaching, tactics.


ISSN: 2224-4476