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Title: Women's fear of crime and preference for formidable mates: How specific are the underlying psychological mechanisms?
Authors: Ryder, Hannah
Maltby, John Julian
Rai, Lovedeep
Jones, P.
Flowe, H. D.
First Published: 2016
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Evolution and Human Behavior (Accepted, In Press)
Abstract: Previous research shows that feelings of vulnerability, as measured by fear of crime, are associated with preferences for physically formidable and dominant mates (PPFDM), ostensibly because of the physical protection such mates can afford. In the lab and in the field, we tested whether the relationship between PPFDM and fear of crime is pronounced when the risk of crime is relatively high, and for crimes that are evolutionarily more costly. In Study 1, women were presented with daytime and night time images that featured a lone shadowy male figure, crime hotspots and safespots, and they reported their risk of victimisation in the situation depicted in the image. In Study 2, we had female participants walk through crime hotspots and safespots in a city centre during the daytime, and had them report their perceived victimisation risk for different types of crime, perpetrated by a male- versus female. Participants in Study 1 and 2 also completed a scale that measures PPFDM. In both studies, we found that PPFDM was positively associated with fear of crime in hotspots and in safespots. Additionally, fear of crime was significantly affected by risk situation (i.e., safespot versus hotspot, night time versus daytime). The relationship between PPFDM and fear, however, did not vary in relation to risk situation, perpetrator gender, or crime type, suggesting that the psychological mechanisms underlying the relationship between perceived risk of victimisation and PPFDM are general in nature. Women who prefer physically formidable and dominant mates tend to feel more at risk of crime, regardless of the situational risk factors present.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.01.005
ISSN: 1090-5138
Embargo on file until: 1-Jan-10000
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2016 Published by Elsevier Inc. This manuscript version is made available after the end of the embargo period under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license 
Description: The file associated with this record is under a 12-month embargo from publication in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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