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Open AccessArticle

Not the Cat’s Meow? The Impact of Posing with Cats on Female Perceptions of Male Dateability

by Lori Kogan 1 and Shelly Volsche 2,*
1
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1601, USA
2
Department of Anthropology, Boise State University, Boise, ID 83725, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(6), 1007; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10061007
Received: 28 April 2020 / Revised: 28 May 2020 / Accepted: 4 June 2020 / Published: 9 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
People use dating sites to look for both long-term and short-term potential partners. Previous research suggests that the presence of a pet may add to women’s perceptions of male attractiveness and dateability. This study sought to understand to what degree, if any, the presence of a cat has on women’s perceptions of men. Women responded to an online survey and rated photos of men alone and men holding cats on measures of masculinity and personality. Men holding cats were viewed as less masculine; more neurotic, agreeable, and open; and less dateable. These results varied slightly depending whether the women self-identified as a “dog person” or a “cat person.” This study suggests that a closer look at the effects of different companion species on perceived masculinity and dateability is warranted.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether men were considered more attractive when posing for a photo alone or holding a cat. Prior research suggests that women view pet owners as more attractive and dateable than non-pet owners; however, this effect was strongest with dog owners. We hypothesized that men posing with cats would be more attractive than those posing alone. Using an online survey, women viewed images of a man posing alone or with a cat and rated the men on the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) and the Big Five Inventory. Women viewed men as less masculine when holding the cat; higher in neuroticism, agreeableness, and openness; and less dateable. These findings suggest that pets continue to play a role in women’s mate choices and dating preferences, but that a closer look at the effects of different species of pets is warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: dating; cats; personality; sex roles; human–animal interactions dating; cats; personality; sex roles; human–animal interactions
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Kogan, L.; Volsche, S. Not the Cat’s Meow? The Impact of Posing with Cats on Female Perceptions of Male Dateability. Animals 2020, 10, 1007.

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