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College Students’ Romantic Attraction Toward Peers with Physical Disabilities

  • Michelle Man
  • Johannes Rojahn
  • Linda Chrosniak
  • James Sanford
Article

This study investigated how romantically attracted college students were toward peers with and without a physical disability and whether romantic attraction was a function of motivational characteristics (Reiss Profile; Reiss, S., and Havercamp, S., 1998. Psychol. Assess. 10: 97–106) and degrees of discomfort in interacting with people with disabilities (Interaction with Disabled Persons Scale [IDP]; Gething, L., 1994). One hundred twenty-three participants (41 males and 82 females) from different racial groups were recruited. Participants received a packet with 16 photographs of individuals each paired with a biographical vignette. They rated each of the 16 portrayed individuals with the Romantic Attraction Scale (Campell, W., 1999. J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 77: 1254–1270). The presence of a disability did not influence ratings of romantic attractiveness. In addition, select subscales of the IDP and Reiss Profile's motivational traits predicted ratings of attraction. Furthermore, romantic attraction within racial groups tended to be stronger than across racial groups. Implications of these findings are discussed and suggestions are made for future research.

KEY WORDS:

physical disabilities; attraction; sexuality; attitudes; motivation; personality 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michelle Man
    • 1
  • Johannes Rojahn
    • 1
    • 2
  • Linda Chrosniak
    • 1
  • James Sanford
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Cognitive DevelopmentGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Center for Cognitive DevelopmentGeorge Mason University, 4400 University DriveFairfaxUSA

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