The Effect of Target's Physical Attractiveness and Dominance on STDRisk Perceptions Academic Article uri icon


  • Utilizing a 2 x 2 design, the present study examined the effect of a female's physical attractiveness and dominance on men's sexual motivation and sexually transmitted disease (STD) risk perceptions in a sample of 72 heterosexual male college students. As predicted, participants were more motivated to have sex with more physically attractive women. Nonetheless, they also believed that the more physically attractive women had been more promiscuous in the past, and believed that unprotected sex with a physically attractive woman implied a relatively somewhat higher risk of contracting an STD. In contrast, the more socially dominant women were perceived as having practiced safer sex more regularly and as having had less risky sexual partners in the past. Practical implications of this study are discussed.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Applied Social Psychology

altmetric score

  • 92

author list (cited authors)

  • Dijkstra, P., Buunk, B. P., & Blanton, H.

citation count

  • 42

complete list of authors

  • Dijkstra, Pieternel||Buunk, Bram P||Blanton, Hart

publication date

  • January 2000