Rachel E. Bukberg, &
Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 2013
Humans have a fundamental need to belong
(Baumeister & Leary, 2005)
Same-sex friendships – critical for satisfying
this need (Stevens & Van Tilburg, 2011)
Stigmatized groups are at risk for having fewer
friends (isolation, loneliness, discrimination)
And consequently, for increased psychological
and physical health risks
Attitudes or behaviors that are more liberal or
extensive than what is normative in a social group
Extensive research on partners, friends, &
general person preferences finds it undesirable:
Reasons for undesirability:
Evolutionary – Cheating & Mate poaching
Socio-cultural – Stigmatized
For stigmatized people, important source of
friendships could be those similar to them
Homophily – people tend to associate with
similar ones (McPherson et al., 2001)
But drawbacks in same-sex friendships –
greater chance for mate poaching; even more so
If permissive people are rejected not only by
nonpermissive, but also by permissive
people, that would place them at heightened
Women judged more negatively for sexual
permissiveness than men
Everyone believes it exists
Experimental evidence is mixed
Particularly strong in same-sex friendships?
Women control women’s sexuality more (Baumeister &
Women have higher expectations of friends
Negative main effects of target
permissiveness - Replicate and extend findings
to various aspects of friendship desirability.
Double standard - Contribute to ongoing
debate re its existence.
Participant permissiveness moderation of the
negative main effect of target permissiveness.
751 (mostly) heterosexual college students
(75% female) aged 18 to 23 (M = 19.7).
Recruitment through 7 in-class
30-min anonymous online survey.
Participant permissiveness. Sociosexual
Orientation Inventory-Revised (SOI-R; Penke &
Asendorpf, 2008), a 9-item measure of casual
sex motivation, attitudes, and experience
Target permissiveness. Participants read one
of two descriptions of a hypothetical same-sex
person . Descriptions were identical except for
target lifetime number (2 or 20) of sex partners.
Negative main effect of target permissiveness in
7 of 10 outcomes; and in at least some sets of
Ps, a negative effect in 9 of 10.
Ps permissiveness moderated target
permissiveness in 5 of 10 outcomes: Attenuated
or eliminated, never reversed preferences.
Gender moderated effects in 7 of 10 outcomes.
Sexually permissive people are stigmatized as
same-sex friends, and may be at increased risk
of loneliness, isolation, and related negative
Permissive women might be at a particularly
Permissive men are often not discriminated
against by other men, particularly not by other
3:1 ratio women: men in sample
Hypothetical scenarios paradigm
Cornell University Human Ecology Alumni
American Institute of Bisexuality