Social Psychologist

Megs Carpenter, PhD.

  • Studied under Dr. Elaine Hatfield
  • Thesis: "OtherFishInTheScene.com: The Effects of Operational Sex Ratios on Sociosexuality" 


​Abstract: Among evolutionary theorists it is generally accepted that mating behaviors largely revolve around the availability of potential mates, as well as the amount and type of parental investment expended by either gender. It has been suggested that these factors also directly influence the expression of sociosexuality (i.e. willingness to engage in uncommitted sex) within any given population. More specifically, when one gender is in abundant supply, they must adapt their mating preferences to those of the gender in limited supply in order to attract a sexual partner, or otherwise run the risk of never finding a partner as a result of population constraints. While most research on this topic has sought to examine these effects in environments where the sex ratio is naturally biased, this study empirically manipulates the sex ratios of an artifical dating website's population in an attempt to demonstrate the theorized adaptive shifts in sociosexuality. 

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Social Psychology, Masters of Arts

My Education

  • Studied under Dr. Elaine Hatfield
  • Dissertation: "Sex, Power, & Attraction: The Moderating Effects of Power on Sex Ratios and Sociosexuality


Abstract: ​Much of the existing literature on sexual behaviors and attitudes points to biological factors as the major determinants. Evolutionary theorists in particular cite the differential costs and benefits of reproduction for males and females as the major deciding factors in human sexual behaviors and attitudes. However, a major flaw of this previous literature is that it does not consider the social construct of power as a potential moderator of the relationship between gender and sexual behaviors and attitudes. Considering that men across the globe tend to have greater power and social status than women, it is important to address this gap. Results presented in this paper suggest that power influences attitudes toward, desires for, and willingness to engage in casual sex, regardless of gender. Furthermore, power was shown to influence the reporting of previous casual sex behaviors for women. Importantly, power was also shown to have a direct impact on attraction to various forms of sexual aggression, including attraction to bondage, conventional sex, and unconventional sex. Moreover, power also impacted the mate quality that individuals thought they could realistically attain for a short-term relationship, such that people with power perceived themselves as capable of obtaining a higher quality mate for a short-term relationship. These studies question previous beliefs about the biological underpinnings of sexual behavior, and instead support the idea that power may directly influence the relationship between gender and sexual behaviors and attitudes.

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Social Psychology, Ph.D

University of Hawaii at Manoa 

Bachelor of Arts

2012

2015

  • General Psychology

2010