Attractive People Often Have More Control Over Commitment and Sex

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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According to a new study, good-looking men and women often have more control over the amount of commitment and sexual activity in a relationship.

Elizabeth McClintock, a sociologist with the University of Notre Dame, found physically attractive women are more likely to form exclusive relationships than sexual relationships and are more likely to have less sexual partners. They are also less likely to have sexual intercourse within the first week of meeting a partner.

On the flip side, the more physically attractive a man is, the more sexual partners he is likely to have.


“Good-looking men and women often have more

control over commitment and sexual activity.”

McClintock also found the majority of couples match up closely when it comes to physical attractiveness and other status markers.

Her research shows physical attractiveness acts as just one factor when it comes to mate selection and it operates a lot like other factors when selecting a mate, including education levels and income.

While McClintock notes good looks may be exchanged for status and financial resources, she has found “the strongest force by far in partner selection is similarity — in education, race, religion and physical attractiveness.”

“I find little evidence of exchange, but I find very strong evidence of matching,” she said. “With some exceptions, the vast majority of couples select partners who are similar to themselves in both status and in attractiveness.”

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