“Hey Big Boy!”: Characteristics of women who initiate intimate relationships with men

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Courtney B. Ross
David Knox
Marty E. Zusman


Analysis of survey data from 692 undergraduate women at a large southeastern university revealed 10 statistically significant differences between the almost 40% who had asked a new guy to go out compared to those who had not. Characteristics of these "relationship initiators" included those who did not believe in there being only one true love, who had experienced love at first sight, who had used the Internet to look for a new partner, who did not view themselves as religious, who had non traditional sexual values, and who would cohabit with a partner before marriage. Initiators were also more likely to be white and reported that they had been faithful in previous relationships, had not been involved in a "friends with benefits" relationship, and had used a form of birth control (other than withdrawal) the last time they had intercourse. Implicit theories of relationships is the theoretical framework used to interpret the data. Implications and/imitations of the data are suggested.

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