Graduation Date

Summer 2021

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Psychology, option Academic Research

Committee Chair Name

Amanda Hahn

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Amber Gaffney

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

Maria Iturbide

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



Previous studies have suggested that heterosexual women, but not heterosexual men, find same sex beauty rewarding. This finding has been attributed to a “greater bisexual interest among heterosexual women”, but no other explanations have been offered or tested. The current study aimed to explore social comparison tendencies as a potential alternate explanation to this previously observed finding. Twenty-three heterosexual women completed a series of questionnaires designed to assess their social comparison tendencies (the social comparison orientation scale, the physical appearance comparison scale, and the intrasexual competition scale). They also completed a “pay-per-view” keypress task to measure the reward value of attractive female faces. The previous finding, that same-sex beauty holds reward value for heterosexual females, was replicated in the current work. However, none of the social comparison tendencies measured were found to predict the reward value of same-sex beauty. These results do not support the hypothesis that social comparison tendencies may, at least in part, explain the reward value of same-sex beauty among heterosexual women. However, due to the small sample size these results should be interpreted somewhat cautiously.

Citation Style