Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Lorne Campbell


Three preregistered studies examined how romantic partners make sexual advances, and how accurately these behaviours are perceived. Study 1 generated a list of 29 sexual advance behaviours common in romantic relationships. Studies 2a and 2b tested whether partners were able to track the pattern of their partner’s advances, if they over- or underestimated the extent to which their partner used those behaviours, whether this tracking accuracy and bias were moderated by individual differences, and whether tracking accuracy and bias predicted relational outcomes. Results revealed strong evidence for tracking accuracy, and mixed results for bias. In addition, there was strong evidence that gender and average frequency of sexual initiation and rejection moderate tracking accuracy and bias, and mixed evidence was found for the importance of attachment orientation. Finally, biased and accurate sexual advance perceptions were associated with love and sexual satisfaction. Implications for theory and relationship dynamics are discussed.