2001 Volume 44 Issue 4 Pages 281-291
The present paper examines the nature of the similarities and differences in the desired physical and psychological characteristics of lover and cross-sex friend among college students. Fourteen physical and twenty five psychological traits were presented to 160 Bengali Hindu college students who rated them in terms of their desirability in either a date or a cross sex friend. Results indicated that women put greater emphasis on psychological characteristics, while men emphasized physical traits to a greater extent. However considerable overlap across sex and target was also observed. Differences and similarities with Western studies have been highlighted. The findings seem to partially support both the evolutionary hypothesis and the social learning model.