Reproductive value (social psychology)

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Reproductive value (RV) is a term used in social psychology to describe the level of attractiveness of women. The reproduction value theory introduces a mechanism that men unintentionally use when "searching" for a partner. The level of the RV is decided by several things, including:

  • Genetic information, i.e. what is the quality of the genotype presented by the potential partner? (This is without doubt the most important factor in this theory)
  • Social status, i.e. what is the salary or social stability of the potential partner?
  • Numerous other things, i.e. what are the acquired results or achievements of the potential partner?

It is clear now that the higher the RV gets, the more attractive a woman is. One might wonder if women have a similar mechanism when selecting a man. Though a lot of research is currently in progress on this subject, the term resource acquisition ability is known as the sexual opposite of the RV.

See also[edit]


Stewart, Stinnett and Rosenfeld. "Sex Differences in Desired Characteristics of Short-Term and Long-Term Relationship Partners", J. Soc. and Personal Rel. 2000; 17:843-853.