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Romance and Risk: Romantic Attraction and Health Risks in the Process of Relationship Formation
Unformatted Document Text:  4 participants’ intentions to have sex, the lower were their intentions to use condoms. Although this study gives important insights into the relationships between physical attractiveness, perceived partner’s risk, and partner selection, it has a major weakness. It did not investigate the mediating psychological processes by which participants actually came to their judgments of risk or attractiveness. Moreover, it does not consider the extent to which certain features or aspects of a potential partner increase or decrease one’s degree of attraction to that partner. It would be informative to know what particular features or specific characteristics of a potential partner are correlated with assessment of risk and attraction. Also of interest would be the correlation between these two values (e.g., do high risk cues reduce attraction and/or do attractive cues reduce perceived risk?) A third explanation for why perceived risk is not related to behavior is that risk assessments are obtained at the wrong time (Weinstein & Nicolich, 1993). People may engage in a risk screening or judgment process before they select a partner and before they decide to engage in sex with that partner. After having made such risk judgments and partner selections, persons may perceive that their partners are safe, and thus, do not intend to or use condoms when having sex.

Authors: Johnson, Brenda., Fishbein, Martin., Hennessy, Michael. and Yzer, Marcus.
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4
participants’ intentions to have sex, the lower were their
intentions to use condoms.
Although this study gives important insights into the
relationships between physical attractiveness, perceived partner’s
risk, and partner selection, it has a major weakness. It did not
investigate the mediating psychological processes by which
participants actually came to their judgments of risk or
attractiveness. Moreover, it does not consider the extent to
which certain features or aspects of a potential partner increase
or decrease one’s degree of attraction to that partner.
It would
be informative to know what particular features or specific
characteristics of
a
potential partner are correlated with
assessment of risk and attraction. Also of interest would be the
correlation between these two values (e.g., do high risk cues
reduce attraction and/or do attractive cues reduce perceived
risk?)
A third explanation for why perceived risk is not related to
behavior is that risk assessments are obtained at the wrong time
(Weinstein & Nicolich, 1993). People may engage in a risk
screening or judgment process before they select a partner and
before they decide to engage in sex with that partner. After
having made such risk judgments and partner selections, persons
may perceive that their partners are safe, and thus, do not intend
to or use condoms when having sex.


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