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Acta Psychologica Sinica    2020, Vol. 52 Issue (2) : 207-215     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2020.00207
Reports of Empirical Studies |
The influence of parent-child relationship and “good resource” on unmarried males’ unrestricted sociosexual attitudes
WANG Yan1(),HOU Bowen1,LIU Wenjin2
1 Department of Psychology, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
2 Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, USA
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As a Chinese popular saying goes, “Money turns a good man into a bad man”. Is this saying reflecting the truth or not? This research would discuss this phenomenon from the evolutionary perspective.

“Good Resource” has been regarded as one of the most important aspects that males self-evaluate in the mating process. However, little has been known regarding whether and why male mating strategy would vary under different levels of resource availability. According to Life History Theory, the development of humans’ sexual strategy is based on childhood experiences, which would be influenced by current environmental conditions as well. According to previous research, two studies explored how resource-acquiring cues and childhood experiences (including childhood economic condition and parent-child relationship) would influence unmarried males’ unrestricted sociosexual attitudes.

Study 1 adopted the imaginary method, recruited 62 college students (M = 19.53 years, SD = 2.78) in a psychology class at Fudan University. Participants were randomly divided into two groups and filled their demographic information including childhood economic background and parent-child relationships, followed by the task of writing an article. The article was based on the imagination of living either a wealthy life or an underprivileged life. Participants completed the questionnaire adapted from the SOI-STMO (Sociosexual Orientation Inventory - Short-term Mating Orientation Scale; Jackson & Kirkpatrick, 2007) after writing the article. The results showed that parent-child relationship during early childhood was a moderator in the association between the quality of resource and their sexual attitudes. However, the moderating effect of childhood economic background was not found to be statistically significant.

Study 2 utilized Experiences in Close Relationships-Relationship Structures questionnaire (ECR-RS) to explore the moderating effect of attachment styles on the association between the quality of resource and participants’ sexual attitudes. Participants were randomly divided into two groups and filled out their demographic information including childhood economic background and the ECR-RS. Participants were presented with three pictures that showed either “good” or “bad” resource, wrote an article regarding the experience, and completed the questionnaire adapted from the Brief Sexual Attitudes Scale (Hendrick, Hendrick, & Reich, 2006). Participants’ photos of their own face were integrated in those pictures to increase a sense of authenticity. According to the results, avoidantly-attached behaviors in the early childhood had the most significant moderating effect on the relationship between resource-acquiring capability and participants’ sexual attitudes. To be specific, highly avoidant participants were more likely to have more open sexual attitudes if they had “good resource.” Those on the lower end of avoidance tended to show a significant lower level of unrestricted sexual attitudes under the situation of “good resource” (vs “bad resource”).

Given these two studies, the previous statement of “Money turns a good man into a bad man” seemed to be true only for those who showed an avoidant attachment style to their parents at the young age. The current study aimed to enrich the Life History Theory literature and provide useful implication and direction for future studies.

Keywords life history theory      good resource      childhood economic background      childhood parent-child relationship      unrestricted sociosexual attitudes     
ZTFLH:  B849: C91  
Corresponding Authors: Yan WANG     E-mail:
Issue Date: 24 December 2019
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Bowen HOU
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Yan WANG,Bowen HOU,Wenjin LIU. The influence of parent-child relationship and “good resource” on unmarried males’ unrestricted sociosexual attitudes[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2020, 52(2): 207-215.
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项目 因子负荷 公因子方差
1 2 3
1.当需要帮助时, 我会向爸爸/妈妈寻求帮助 0.92 -0.12 0.10 0.88
2.我常常和爸爸/妈妈商量事情 0.88 -0.12 0.28 0.87
3.我认为依靠爸爸/妈妈是一件寻常的事 0.88 -0.16 0.04 0.81
4.我经常和爸爸/妈妈讨论我焦虑和担心的事情 0.84 0.03 0.41 0.87
5.当我感到非常沮丧和消沉时, 通常不愿意让爸爸/妈妈知道(r) 0.12 -0.07 0.92 0.86
6.向爸爸/妈妈坦露心扉会令我感到不舒服(r) 0.37 -0.17 0.80 0.80
7.我担心爸爸/妈妈不会像我关心她那样地关心我 -0.10 0.96 -0.06 0.93
8.我经常怀疑爸爸/妈妈从来没有真正地关心过我 -0.19 0.92 -0.01 0.89
9.我担心爸爸/妈妈会抛弃我 -0.02 0.90 -0.19 0.84
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[1] WANG Yan, LIN Zhenchao, HOU Bowen, SUN Shijin. The intrinsic mechanism of life history trade-offs: The mediating role of control striving[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(6): 783-793.
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