Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

4-2017

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Lorne Campbell

Second Advisor

Rhonda Balzarini

Abstract

While a plethora of research exists on relationships ideals and sex, and how these factors affect important relationship outcomes (i.e. relationship dissolution), there has yet to be an investigation into the existence or importance of sexual ideals. The current study seeks to assess whether sexual ideals affect important relationship outcomes. Specifically, will a greater mismatch in sexual ideals result in a higher likelihood of perceived relationship dissolution? It was predicted that couples that exhibit less of a match in their sexual ideals would be more likely to perceive their relationship to dissolve, and it was further predicted that this effect would be moderated by individuals’ implicit theory of relationships. To assess such, 207 romantic couples completed a Sexual Ideals Questionnaire, the Destiny and Growth Belief Questionnaire, and the Marital Status Inventory-Brief in order to investigate the effect of mismatched sexual ideals on relationship outcomes. It was predicted that those who hold growth beliefs would be less affected by a mismatch in sexual ideals than those who hold destiny beliefs. Using a linear-mixed model, it was found that a mismatch in sexual ideals did significantly predict a higher likelihood of perceived relationship dissolution, however this effect was not significantly moderated by implicit relationship beliefs.

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