Age Preferences and Mate Choice Among Homosexuals and Heterosexuals: A Case for Modular Psychological Mechanisms

Douglas Kenrick, Richard C. Keefe, Angela Bryan, Alicia Barr, Stephanie Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

93 Scopus citations


Age preferences expressed by homosexuals and heterosexuals in 783 singles ads were compared. In line with earlier cross-cultural findings, heterosexual women at all ages tend to prefer men from their own age to several years older. Heterosexual men change with age; young men show an interest in both older and younger women, but older men express progressively stronger interest in women younger than themselves. Homosexual men's preferences were very similar to those of heterosexual men and homosexual women showed a pattern somewhat between that of heterosexual women and men. Results combine with previous literature to suggest that homosexual choice is not a simple and general reversal of heterosexual roles, and fit with an emerging view that sexual behavior is controlled by a number of independently evolved psychological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1166-1172
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Psychology

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